Picture This leaflet


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We present Picture This! a new input device embedded in children's toys for video composition. It consists of a new form of interaction for children's capturing of storytelling with physical artifacts. It functions as a video and storytelling performance system in that children craft videos with and about character toys as the system analyzes their gestures and play patterns. Children's favorite props alternate between characters and cameramen in a film. As they play with the toys to act out a story, they conduct film assembly. We position our work as ubiquitous computing that supports children's tangible interaction with digital materials. During user testing, we observed children ages 4 to 10 playing with Picture This!. We assess to what extent gesture interaction with objects for video editing allows children to explore visual perspectives in storytelling. A new genre of Gesture Object Interfaces as exemplified by Picture This relies on the analysis of gestures coupled with objects to represent bits.

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Picture This leaflet

  1. 1. Picture This! When the hand becomes the eye ... Cati Vaucelle . Tangible Media Group . MIT Media Lab
  2. 2. Picture This! When the hand becomes the eye. Concept With Picture This! children ages 6+ can make a movie with their toys, about their toys, while playing with their toys. They discover unique visual perspectives by alternating between being the toy and being the movie maker. A quick gesture language alternates between which doll is recording, strings together sequences of separate shots, and finally, replays the entire movie! Because the child holds the doll that holds the video, the hand becomes the eye. The child explores the environment from the point of view of her cherished toys with her body actions and perspectives. The dolls become the body. The hand becomes the eye.
  3. 3. Picture This! When the hand becomes the eye. Key design principles: - The dolls become the body - a point of new perpective. - The hand becomes the eye that grabs visual discoveries. - The toy offers its visual perspective. What if any object could share its perspective? Wouldn’t this open a new world to the child?
  4. 4. Picture This! When the hand becomes the eye. Inspiration With the apparition of the camcorder and its preview display, the relationship between the actor and the cameraman is transformed. The actor has more control over how her actions are represented in the global scene. Through the preview display, the actor is given real-time visual feedback and can adopt different postures accordingly. In Picture This! the traditional camera- human relationship is modified. The point of focus of the movies being the characters, children are guided towards creating a conversation which provokes a shift in perspective. Children have an object to focus on for their movie allowing them to iterate back-and- forth, stepping back from the scene and immersing themselves into it.
  5. 5. Picture This! When the hand becomes the eye. Children gradually project themselves onto their toys, embedding persons they know in their stories and character toys, and adopting a “god’s eyes view” to obtain a deeper understanding of their own stories. Here is the excerpt of a video story by Jeremy, 10 years old.
  6. 6. Picture This! When the hand becomes the eye. Vision Children project their personal experiences onto their toys and reflect their discoveries and hypotheses about the world they live in. The child storyteller enters the world of the movie maker. Cameras become part of a toy system showing how things look from a toy’s point of view. They can be integrated into Lego people, car drivers, and even coffee mugs!
  7. 7. Picture This! When the hand becomes the eye. What if we could touch small animals and be projected visually into their lives ...
  8. 8. Picture This! When the hand becomes the eye. Assignment ”Design a new platform for the making of movies” In Picture This! I combine the activity of play with the video making process. Whereas play emphasizes spontaneity and improvisation, video making necessitates deliberate structure and composition. SOFTWARE DESIGN The gestures analyzed to drive the system support natural character play movements, such as jumping and shaking. The motions that are detected by the system are anthropomorphized. The dolls need to jump in synchrony at completion and shake for attention, as if the doll wants to say: “film me, film me!”! HARDWARE DESIGN I use a low-cost Piezo vibration sensor (PVDF). I distinguish between vertical and horizontal motions despite the use of a single axis accelerometer, which only detects mechanical stress. I detect small variations of the off-axis motion with the on- axis accelerometer, categorizing strong motion in one axis and weak motion in the orthogonal axis.
  9. 9. Picture This! When the hand becomes the eye. In the piezo vibration sensor, crystal structures are stressed which generate voltage that can be converted to acceleration. Piezo Sensor MiniSense 100 is a vibration sensor loaded by a mass to offer high sensitivity at low frequencies. Impact containing high frequency components will excite the resonance frequency (1oohz).
  10. 10. Picture This! When the hand becomes the eye. 10 Choice of technology Why use a Piezo film? A Piezo vibration sensor is low-cost, easy to use and it offers a clean signal, but it is sensitive to temperature variations. Why not use optical flow calculation? Because the doll wears a camera, we could take advantages of the camera as input to detect when it is moving. With the use of a piezo film, we avoid the problem of line of sight from the optical flow calculation. The camera is on the doll. To be recorded the doll has to shake! “film me!” The optical flow vector of a moving object in a video sequence.
  11. 11. Picture This! When the hand becomes the eye. 11 Avoiding the problem of line of sight There is a problem with the optical flow method: the child can easily occlude the camera because she shakes the doll that will not record, thus does not have a direct feedback for motion detection occlusion.
  12. 12. cati@media.mit.edu