Pineal: Bringing Passive Objects to Life with Embedded Mobile Devices

David Ledo, Fraser Anderson, Ryan Schmidt, Lora Oehlberg, Saul Greenberg, Tovi Grossman

ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Pineal: Bringing Passive Objects to Life with Embedded Mobile Devices (4:16 min.)


Interactive, smart objects – customized to individuals and uses – are central to many movements, such as tangibles, the internet of things (IoT), and ubiquitous computing. Yet, rapid prototyping both the form and function of these custom objects can be problematic, particularly for those with limited electronics or programming experience. Designers often need to embed custom circuitry; program its workings; and create a form factor that not only reflects the desired user experience but can also house the required circuitry and electronics. To mitigate this, we created Pineal, a design tool that lets end-users: (1) modify 3D models to include a smart watch or phone as its heart; (2) specify high-level interactive behaviours through visual programming; and (3) have the phone or watch act out such behaviours as the objects' "smarts". Furthermore, a series of prototypes show how Pineal exploits mobile sensing and output, and automatically generates 3D printed form-factors for rich, interactive, objects.

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