Design is fine: Workshop at UDK Berlin.

Last week our Gadgeteer tour lead us to Berlin, where Prof. Gesche Jost heads the Design Research Lab at UDK Berlin. 6 designers and creatives came together for the 2-day workshop next to the waterside of the Spree. Interestingly, for the first time we had people with a major background in Design and Arts. Nevertheless, they mastered technical hurdles quickly and produced two impressive projects:

The Bus Ticker:

Bus ticker: Shows the next buses.

Bus ticker: Shows the next buses.

An analog display shows the arrival time of the next two buses for the nearby bus stop. Therefore, a server script was written that scraped the website of the Berlin traffic union (BVV) and returned the buses’ arrival times in a Gadgeteer-friendly format. A WIFI module connects to the server and sends the data to an OLED display. Two servos control the analog display telling users when it’s time to pack up, put on their shoes and run for the bus. Or when it’s simply too late..

The Problem Generator:

Problem Generator: Collecting votes from local communities.

Problem Generator: Collecting votes from local communities.

This device is meant to be put up in neighborhoods to collect opinions about common topics, such as “Do we need another slide for our local playground?” or “Should we invest in a local power station for electric cars?”. Community members can vote by swiping their cards (Yes/No) in front of the device. Multiple questions can be answered in sequence. The result is stored to an SD card.

A vote is given by swiping a Yes/No card.

A vote is given by swiping a Yes/No card.

The multitouch display shows the question while an RFID reader notices the proximity of Yes/No tags. Once swiped, visual confirmation is given by a colored OLED display and a summary statistic is displayed at the end of the question sequence.

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