Pcomp Final Update

Super Long Story Behind

Phase 1 – Two Prototypes In Play Test

At first, we wanted to realize this idea by building a manufactory-line-like “Cookie” factory, in which four parts included (input, company factory, platform center and advertising factory). It is looped from input to ad/output side and tightly connected with the core idea “Cookie”. So we researched a lot and finally found a Youtuber who made lots of mini factories.

The Mini Gear | from Youtube.

We tested the feasibility of this plan and it turned out that it was sooo fab heavy and not beautiful enough. We didn’t actually satisfy its visual effect. So we wanted to change the plan. trying to be more high-tech.

We researched a lot to find inspirations. Suddenly I happened to see a chord diagram and realized it can beautifully represent the loops of our data industry process. I thought that we could use optic fiber as the wires in chord diagram and boxes as different identities in the ecosystem.

Chord diagram
Our proposal

Phase 2 – Play Testing

Second version of prototype: Users can choose to toss a coin to start. He can pause the process in any way he wants. Otherwise, he could choose to answer a question to start and there is no way to stop any of the process (sounds of data flow, company signature sounds will be played during the process). (TBD) In the end, the user can get a paper with ad / they watch a short video of ad and get the reward (maybe cookie/candy …). Paid user can get a reward without suffering ad. We quickly made a rough prototype and play-tested it on Wednesday’s class.

(super rough prototype of light installation)

Playtest Feedback

Users were interested in our concept when we explained it to them after playing it. But they were so confused before explaining. I thought it was because of the loose connection between input and output and also the audience seldom had knowledge of data ecosystem. They had no idea what represented in each steps of this light installation.

“Design it somehow people could get the idea.”

“You should have people pay the real money for this. ”

“For the buttons, I wouldn’t choose any of this. I feel like I have no choice.”

“I don’t care about the process, and I will be focus on the choices. And I care about how these three input changed my feedback.”

“I was confused. How do I play with it?”

Feedbacks from users in the other class.

Danny also suggested us to add more elements in it, like users can pause the process by touching the boxes. And he also liked the idea of tossing coin.

Phase 3 – Experimenting Materials Used In New Plan

We quickly bought optic fiber and acrylic sheet. The first optic fiber was end glow fiber, which only glowed in the end the fiber. But we wanted it glow all the way. The first solution I quickly camp up with was decrease its high reflective surface by sanding it to let lights come out of the high purity fiber core. It worked, but only glows for at most 12 inches.

The maximum length of glowing

Testing optic fibers (end glow 0.76mm diameter, Neopixel – WS2812b)

We need more powerful light source and fibers that glowed all the way. Then I found side glow optic fiber that met our needs. We ordered it and tested it. It did glow as we expected, but we need small and powerful light source to enable up to 24 inches optic fiber. And also this side optic fiber was super super angle sensitive. It dimmed quickly if the fiber was not strictly pointed at the light source.

Office Hour – Seeking For Help

Henry is super good at finding suitable people for help. He booked a number of office hour for us and we got lots of good advice.

Feedback from prof Shawn.

We went to Prof. Shawn for the advice of our concept. He suggested the following useful advice.

“maybe we could adding sound during the processing to help the audience understand the process”.

“Some tips and information about how to protect your personal data. (How to use a VPN, you use clear your cookie more often.)”

“Get more detail, more personal, using NYU as an example in this installation. How NYU data getting processed.”

From Prof. Shawn.

Feedback from Jessy

We asked resident Jessy to seek for advice about the light source and fiber. He told us that for the light, either scale down the installation, or using a high power leds. And think aout EL wires.

We searched them but none of these fitted our needs (either too big or not powerful enough). So we had to think another way to represent the light flow. Chenhe Suggested us to use projection mapping as a way. We considered this for a long time and decided to use it.

Phase 4 – Final Idea

Modification of Our Final Idea

Our ideas changed from make a cookie factory to make a light installation, and now we want to use projection mapping for the lighting process based on the feedback we got from office hours.

On the physical side, we will have around 30 boxes (1.5in * 1.5in) with leds, and wires from each boxes connect others. We will have an outside that can send papers based on users choice and display the concept on the paper.

On the digital side, we will project all the light process for each wires. It will be change based on user’s button choice as well. And we will have sound display in the whole process inside of the p5 functions.


We finished ordering yesterday.


11.20 – 11.26 Finish the first around of the electronic board design, and the coding part in p5.js

11.26 – 12.01 Second around of the electronic board design, and coding. Buying things for fabrication.

12.01 – 12.04 Projection mapping and ready for test. Debug for electronic and p5 code.

12.04 – 12.11 Fabrication and make everything together

12.11 – 12.14 Finishing up and show!