Body Music Control

Nov 2017 – Jan 2018

Main task: concept development,
team leadership

Role: team leader | interface designer

Company: Aalto University

Context

Brain and Mind Laboratory (BML) in Aalto University specializes in researching human cognitive, social, and affective functions in health and disorders. They needed a new social game that would include using sensory devices, e.g. smartwatches, for research purposes. They didn’t specify any other requirements

Actions

We took this project as a four people team. My main role was the team and design leadership, however, I also took some programming tasks on myself given my electronics background. We started the process with the research on related technologies and already existing games. We also conducted interviews with BML employees. With that background, I organised for our team a full ideation session, that consisted of a team breakfast (for bringing up the mood and spirits :)), a warm-up and two different brainstorming activities. As a result, we collected around 50 ideas which we evaluated,  reviewed and consulted with other project stakeholders.

Finally, we decided on the one called Body Music Control. It is a game that encourages its users to move together by letting them interact with music through movement. A few Android smart devices (eg. smartwatches) are used to gather acceleration of users’ movement. The amount of movement, in turn, is used to modify certain factors of the music, like volume or noise. 

Having the idea, we started developing the concept. Firstly, we tested it using the wizard-of-oz technique. After validating it, we continued the technical development using the Processing programming language (based on Java). During that process, I took care of the teamwork environment, task management and motivation :). I was also responsible for processing the signals received wirelessly from smart devices, to control different music factors. 

Results

Overall, I made sure that the team is always on the right track with the same goal. The game was accepted and praised by BML. Most importantly, our users had always fun while using the game :). The video of participants playing the game can be watched here, the report is published here and the code can be reviewed on our Github page.