Nova

Nova is a representation of the collective well-being of people working in the office.

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The Brief

To design a solution to support physical health and well-being in the workplace, through the use of interactive technologies carried on the body and embedded in the environment.
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Designing for Experience and Needs

The starting point for the project was to draw from our individual research, user interviews and literature reviews.

Problem Statement

This work was instrumental to understanding user needs and goals, and consequently defining the problem statement.

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Fun & Playful

Nova's emotional state and well-being is dependent on people in the office. She is happy when you move around and take breaks.

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Full Body Interaction

Users can interact with the character by stepping on to a mat in front of screen. Lean to a side, raise your hands, jump, crouch or walk. Thanks to a Kinect sensor, Nova reacts to your presence and movement. 

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For everyone

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Nova can walk around to other displays in the office. She can go from meeting room to your desktop and phone. If she's bored, you might see her visit and say hi.

Designing for Movement

A mat on the floor defined the 3-dimensional interaction space.

The mat makes me feel that I’m in a different space, it changes my mindset because it moves me from my work office to an area with this virtual character. And I feel like committing to play with this little guy.

Full Body Movement

Consider interactions that encourage full body movement.

Combine discrete movements

To form a sequence that is meaningful to the user

Allow multiple interpretations

Ambiguity and non-prescriptive modes of interaction to encourage fun and exploration.

 

Technical Overview

The application is built using p5.js and websockets. A Processing sketch reads data from the Kinect sensor, and receives pressure sensor data from the chairs via Bluetooth.

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The many faces of Nova

Active & Passive States

In the passive state, Nova reacts to the amount of time people spend seated. This is expressed in the form of idle animations. 

In the active state, the server receives movement data from the Kinect sensor. Depending on what you do, we select a corresponding animation - which is controlled at the frame-level in order to produce motion that's pleasing and natural. Nova leans with you to the side, and stays there as long as you do.

Nova possesses a limited but pleasant range of emotional states, that encourage interaction and exploration.

Nova possesses a limited but pleasant range of emotional states, that encourage interaction and exploration.

From left to right - happy, neutral and sad Nova.

From left to right - happy, neutral and sad Nova.