Our diverse backgrounds played a significant role in the ideation process. The designers were interested in designing an experience for the users, the electrical engineers were interested in exploring computer vision and building hardware, the computer scientist was interested in building a software interface, and together we created an integration of hardware, software, and physical experience.
What it does
TRACEME is an educational web app that allows children to learn varies topics such as how to write the alphabet, numbers, and how to draw basic shapes. The parents would set up the environment with just a click of a button, and children will be able to use the webcam and the gloveme (a glove with LED's located on the tip of the index finger) to start drawing letters or numbers out of thin air. The webcam tracks the LED light on the tip of the index finger and the child will attempt to trace the dashed outlines that appears on the webcam feedback. Red LED is for writing, and the green LED is for erasing. There are multiple lessons that the users can choose from.
How I built it
We used open source code from trackingjs.com as a template, and we modified the functions to be able to track our desired colors with greater accuracy and robustness as well as modified the aesthetics of the interface.
The graphics were all created using illustrator and photoshop.
The glove was built with LED lights, basic circuitry, and a garden glove.
Challenges I ran into
Color tracking was difficult in the presence of noise, mainly changing illumination and accommodating for the presence of objects with similar color in the background.
On top of the technical issues, working cohesively as a group and planning out individual work was also challenging for us. We constantly challenged our ideas and made changes to it, therefore it was hard for everyone to be on the same page as we all had different ideas for improvement. When we were breaking off into individual work, some people were confused about what exactly we are making. This miscommunication resulted in a lot of wasted effort and time. However, we were able to converge our ideas the second day and really solidify a plan and schedule to keep us on track.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We were able to finish the project in 17 hours. Also, we were also able to incorporate every members expertise into this project, the process of putting our individual parts were difficult but also very rewarding.
What I learned
In terms of group dynamics: we learned how to collaborate with all sorts of different people. We also learned that self motivation is very important for a project that is our own (not for grade).
What's next for TRACEME
TRACEME can be expanded to have lessons for a wider age range of users. It can also have custom traces that the users can create and share. TRACEME can also incorporate healthy competitions to further encourage participation.