Understanding challenges, exploring solutions, and rapid prototyping drive innovation. This involves human-centered approaches, addressing needs and desires, as well as solution or tech-centered methods that uncover new capabilities.
This exhibit showcases both styles of innovation – designs from The University of Melbourne’s Bachelor of Design (User Experience) students envisioning wearable tech for sustainable smart cities, and prototypes from Master of Information Technology (Human-Computer Interaction) students, reimagining high-resolution haptic controllers for virtual reality.
Pieces from the wearables for a sustainable Melbourne brief:
HortiHat is an interactive wearable and smart city solution designed for City of Melbourne’s park maintenance workers. This system empowers the workers and the council to make informed and sustainable decisions concerning the preservation of green spaces for future generations. The prototype comprises a solar-powered shade hat and digital visor.
HoloMask is a state-of-the-art holographic facial covering that harnesses the power of photonic crystal sensors to detect and mitigate airborne diseases and pollution. Functioning like a conventional face mask, this innovation transcends physical face coverage. The prototype integrates ear-mounted technology, a prototype of the holographic mask, and a sterilising carry case that sanitises the technology during charging cycles.
SoFit is a wearable spinal device that is designed to cultivate healthy fitness habits, removing barriers for embracing new activities by supporting the users’ body. The prototype is a rear-mounted spinal support system.
Pieces for the advanced haptic controllers for VR brief:
TechClaws is a prototype haptic glove controller tailored for Virtual Reality. Affixed to the back of the hand and extending to the fingers, TechClaws can selectively reduce the user’s range of motion, immobilising their fingers into distinct configurations that replicate the sensation of grasping a variety of objects.
IllusionEdge is a handheld haptic controller that dynamically adjusts its centre of gravity during use, emulating interactions with objects varying in size and weight. Employing electromagnets, IllusionEdge orchestrates the movement of weighted ball bearings across a grid-like framework, conjuring the sensation of picking up objects with different weight distributions.
Twist-Con is a hands-free haptic controller tailored for executing rotational and twisting actions in Virtual Reality. Mounted to the forearm, the device places a twisted interactive knob into the user’s hand for just-in-time physical interactions.
TextureGrasper is mounted on the forearm, serving as a just-in-time controller that situates a textured wheel within the user's grasp. The design of this device allows users to feel the texture of different virtual objects during interaction.
CuttingEdge is a pair of interactive scissor-like controllers crafted for Virtual Reality (VR). This device enables users the ability to experience realistic force feedback encounters as they engage in cutting various virtual objects and materials. CuttingEdgecan dynamically control its resistance to simulate an extensive array of sensations. This specialised controller has meaningful applications in areas such as tailor training and rehabilitation.