Earlier this week, the team sat down (via video chat) with George Buckenham of Sensible Object, the team behind the smart connected game Fabulous Beasts. He gave us advice about developing our idea, making hardware that works reliably, and designing around technical limitations.
The team has continued working on our hardware and communications setup for the technical core of our smart balls. Larger versions of the inflatable ball are on the way to start trying to load up with tech.
We have also been expanding on the actual behavior of the balls. What specific behavior changes occur? How does the personality manifest itself? Based on the ball’s hardware capabilities, what cues can convey what anthropomorphic emotions and reactions? Answering these questions is key to designing what interacting with these balls feels like. That experience is a big part of our product, so we want to be able to convey it during our upcoming Halves (midterm) presentation. Therefore, our artist is creating a set of small animations to help illustrate and iterate on these interactions prior to the completion of the hardware.
This coming week is our spring break. However, we will still be working on the project. Our team has arranged a meeting with Bob Ianucci. He has personal experience with the Internet of Things and wireless position tracking, so the information and feedback we receive from him will be quite valuable.
We are still exploring the limitations of the hardware itself versus our design. Size, power consumption, accuracy, and functionality all require trade-offs. Once we find the appropriate balance, we can tailor our behavior design accordingly. Most everyone we’ve presented our idea to has been excited to see the results. We aim to meet those expectations!