The Flask is a home-installation that aims to enhance social
interactions within a household environment. Users drop tokens that
represent different emotional values (eg. joy, sadness) into a
central flask which is then displayed on the table top as a unique
visual output. It acts as a visual backdrop and aid the
conversations going on around it; filling in empty space and
providing inspiration for conversations.
Users place tokens that represent their emotional state, such as joy or sadness, into the Flask. The Flask will then display an unique and ambigous visual represention of this emotion onto the table top. Multiple tokens can be placed into the Flask, with more tokens creating increasingly complex visualisations which will hopefully give the users more things to talk about.
- - Phidget RFID Reader and RFID Chips
- - Phidget JS server plugin
- - EaselJS
- - HTML (Output)
For the final build, the visualisation was rear-projected on to a glass tabletop and the RFID reader was secured inside a glass container, the eponymous “Flask”.
The Flask was a mixed success at the Exhibit. The build itself worked perfectly, and the public was largely engaged and interested in the Flask. However, the majority of interest was in playing with the tokens and the visualisation rather than the intended emotional responses. This could have been due to the nature of the exhibit which encouraged shorter and less reflective responses than the intended home use. Whatever the reason, further work on the Flask should include a more in-depth look at how users respond to the Flask over a longer period of time, possibly through the use of a technology probe. Future works would include making the system run with an arduino to make it wireless and a touch display screen instead of a projector.
The Flask was an interesting project to work on. It began with a slow start, but through the creative process, it came together piece by piece to become something which Team Stilio envisioned The Flask to be.