Hello world! This week marks the very first week of development for Team Face-2-Face. It’s been a bit of a scramble to get caught up on what exactly we’re about to spend the next fifteen weeks building and exploring, which brings us to the question of…

What is Face-2-Face?

Face-2-Face is a project at the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University that is trying to explore the use of facial recognition and augmented reality on mobile in order to help individuals improve their emotional expression and recognition. Because we on Team Face-2-Face are definitely not experts when it comes to SEL (Social-Emotional Learning), we are working closely with a team of researchers from the University of California, Santa Cruz led by Professor Katherine Isbister who are focused on this exact subject.

The seeds for this project stem from an internship that happened over the summer here at the ETC. Two of our fellow classmates, Matthew Bofenkamp and Zhiguo Lai, worked with our client to investigate how to use facial recognition and AR to assist autistic individuals with improving their emotional expression and recognition skills.

But before we get any further into the details of our project, let’s meet the team!

The Team

Liam Philiben: Liam is a virtual experience designer with a background in cinema and media studies and transmedia game design. On Face-2-Face, he will be working as both an experience designer and as the producer for the project.

Ashley Liang: Ashley is a game programmer with a strong passion for VR and AR, whose interests lie at the intersection of technology and art. On Face-2-Face, she will be working as one of two programmers on the team.

Chang Liu: Chang is a programmer with a strong background in web development, game development, and AR/VR technology. On Face-2-Face, he will be working as one of two programmers on the team.

Yoli Shen: Yoli is an artist with a background in concept art and environmental design. On Face-2-Face, she will be acting as our resident game design, art, and programming liaison, helping out in any of those departments when the need arises.

Freya Li: Freya is a 3D artist who not only loves all manner of visuals, but would like to make every effort to explore the unknown and create beautiful 3D art on an AR platform. On Face-2-Face, she will be working as the main artist for the team.

The work this week…

The majority of the work this week has been centered around administrative tasks (namely, determining the core hours for the team) and learning as much about the background of the project as possible so that we can get started.

Core Hours and Weekly Faculty Meetings

Here's a much prettier looking version of the schedule outlined below

It was a bit of a challenge to wrangle a few times that worked for the entire team, especially since people’s schedules were both still in flux and because we lost Friday due to their being pretty much no overlapping free time between the five of us. But we managed to create a schedule that roughly gave us 22 hours of development time per week.

By the end of the week, we were able to confirm the following core hours for the team:

Monday: 1 pm - 7 pm
Tuesday: 9 am - 12 pm, and 4 pm - 6 pm
Wednesday: 1 pm - 7 pm
Thursday: 9 am - 12 pm, 4 pm - 6 pm
Friday: none

We also were able to schedule our weekly instructor meetings for the semester for Mondays from 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm.

Still working on getting a weekly meeting time with our client, but that should be worked out shortly!

Learning about the project and further research

As mentioned at the top of this post, the origin of this project came out of an summer internship here at ETC, in which two of our peers, in collaboration with our client, began to develop an app that would assist autistic individual with better recognizing and expressing neurotypical emotions.

However, since the team only knew very little about the project aside from what was written in the project description, we decided to get in touch with Matthew and Lai. From this meeting, we learned quite a bit about both the overall project and some of the limitations of the technology:

We also were fortunate enough to get access to the Google Drive that Matthew and Lai worked out of over the summer, which included invaluable documentation

Plans for next week

We’ve begun laying the groundwork for our

We also laid out goals for week 2 and had a better idea of roles and responsibilities in the team. Everyone in the team has a learning goal that intersects with the project and will actively be pursuing it through the semester. In the next few weeks, we are going to keep posting interesting findings and updates on our progress.


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