Technical Prototype

The technology behind the internet connection object we use to investigate fans reactions.

Our internet connected object needs to have most of the functionality of a smart phone while still being wearable.  A flexible way to test ideas is to use a watch such as the Pebble which can connect with a mobile phone to use as a bridge to the internet and get GPS position information.  (This project took place during a hiatus in the history of watches.)

The Pebble enables connection to both Android and iPhone using its own Javascript platform, but, time scales being what they are - we first went for an Android Java app which was produced by Richard Sewell from Electric Pocket (many thanks for his work on this).  The Pebble should provide a good basis for further experimentation and user testing with user's own phones.

We use Findery as the social network and location database as it provides nearly all the functionality we need for testing.  Eventually, the object should allow social networks and location databases of the user's choice.  Findery is simple to use - though has the drawback of currently being in beta.  (Inevitably, the API changed just before one of our major tests so Richard had to do a quick bit of reprogramming.)

To test the user experience we set up as simple a system as possible.  A series of a few locations, which, when the user reached them, displayed a picture of Gallifreyan circles as notification.  This enables us to concentrate on user reaction to the experience.

Future expansions for testing include giving the user directions to a location and recognising an iBeacon or other tag as well as taking location from GPS.

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