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Emo-Capsule » Documentation

Archive for the ‘Documentation’ Category is off to SIGGRAPH

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008


It has been a long while since we have posted anything on out blog so here is an exciting update!An update on, with great news our group has been ACCEPTED to take part in SIGGRAPH 2008 being hosted in LA. We will be presenting the week of August 11 - 15 at Los Angeles Convention Centre. This is big news, for those unaware as to what SIGGRAPH (short for Special Interest Group on GRAPHics and Interactive Techniques) is a Internation Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactivity Techniques which is being hosted at the LA Convention Center during August 11 - 15 2008. In 2005 25 000 people attended the conference, this is something to be pumped about being accepted to.

EmoCapsule is a study of interactivity. Participants influence the installation by inputting their emotions at The website provides users with emotional statistics and trends based on frequency, location, and weather information collected. The installation is dynamically updated to reflect the dominant emotional mood.

Visitors interact with the current emotional state of the EmoCapsule installation - depicted through sound, text, and colour. Participants move and catch emotion words using their own silhouette and other objects. Participants make loud noises, triggering the installation to emit reactive sounds and display new words. These form a sort of conversation between the user and the installation space.

So if you will please check out and or the SIGGRAPH website. With Love JSHAW and the EmoCapsule Team

Safari Tech Books Online!!

Sunday, August 5th, 2007

Safari: If you haven’t already heard about/used it - it’s amazing. Many many technological books available to read online. If you can stand reading off of your computer screen, it is well worth it.

I’m currently reading a book called Physical Computing: Sensing and Controlling the Physical World with Computers by Dan O’Sullivan, Tom Igoe. I think it could be verrrrry helpful for getting into the microcontrollers and sensors and stuff.

I know I already posted about Arduino, but I found a booklet online that describes how to get started using it. I know I’ll end up going through it and thought some of you might also be interested. I found some Ultrasonic Range Finders that are basically like bats (haha). They can detect the exact distance of objects that are a couple of cm to several meters away. They are a bit more expensive than other sensors (in the $30 each range) but could come in handing in a low-light environment. I’m in the process of tracking down an Arduino microcontroller and some sensors that I can start playing with. I will post what I find!

Some Research on Emotions and Facial Expression-Ekman

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

I’ve been doing some readings with emotions, facial expressions… Here are some PDF’s I found relating to Ekman’s research. I havn’t had time to go through all the documents in detail but they seem to be relavent and hold useful information.

Basic Emotions CH. 3 - Paul Ekman

Facial Expressions CH. 16 - Paul Ekman

Facial Expression and Emotions - Paul Ekman


 I have also started writing some stuff in a google doc. I have shared it with everyone. If you haven’t got it please let me know and I will make sure you do.


SEE you guys this weekend.

Research and Organization

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

Checkout: I put a bunch of stuff there - some articles and diagrams I grabbed from the books I found. Go snoop around.I sent out login information for the csit server space so check your email.

Since I’m spending so much time working with the accelerometers, I’ve started spending my outside-of-work time looking into video processing and how this might be useful for deriving gestures. Over the next week, I’ll be posting my test files for these and the other stuff I’ve been working on.

I’m also trying to gather as much theoretical information as I can to help support our design decisions (when we actually make them) and how we will associate particular sounds/images/movements etc with words. I’m doing my best to compile this information on the csit server too.


Friday, June 1st, 2007

Hey guys,I have been doing some research and really haven’t found anything that useful on sound processing…. I found this website which kind of gives you a rundown on how your averge computer system processes sound, and the available methods…. so it might turn out to be more useful than useless sometime in the future. 

I also got a return e-mail from Whitehead that suggested a site to me. It’s not techincally a book to read but he suggested that I read 6 of the publications, and to be honest most of them are pretty interesting and offer all sorts of professional publications related to interpertaion of emotive movement…

This site could be super helpful as alot of the documents on it are directly linked to existing projects that do stuff kind of like what we do. I will keep looking and try to update this more requlalry, I just plain out suck at technology forgive me.

TXT Update pt.1

Friday, May 25th, 2007

 The following is an update on where I am with the txting. I have a local flash program that retreives the txt from BPE, sends it to php file #1 which stores the txt into a database and displays the txt  back out on php file #1. I still need to develope the second part of the concept as to retreive the information from the database (the database is set up just as a test) via php page #2 and send it to another flash/processing file stored online to display the different txts. This will probably be done in elementry form by the end of the weekend. Once the steps are all finished and layed out I will just have to tweek the flash files and BluePhoneElite settings to make the program run cleanly and efficently. As soon as the program works in elementry form I will post my phone number, a time to send txt’s, and a link to the txt display page for testing.

 Some of the problems that I have run into and am noticing consists of the following:

  1. With the use of BluePhoneElite 1.0 the system only works with a mac.
  2. BPE gets the txt from your phone via Bluetooth. To receive a new txt a phone has to be within Bluetooth reception. This means that either we leave a phone by a computer all the time so it automatically updates the database when ever it receives a new txt (invest in a group phone either a plan or pay as you go with unlimited incomming txts) . The other option is to only post and allow txt’s  at certain times of the day or only when the installation it is on display. I feel the first option is a bit pricy but works best with the scope of the project it really deminstrates the purpose and technology aspect of SMStxting. The second option is cheaper, but it eliminates some of the purpose and awe of allowing people to submit emotions via txting.
  3. I have to play around with flash and BPE to try and prevent dialog windows/new windows from opening when a txt is received.

For the above reason, in the Google doc I wrote up yesterday I mentioned the idea of having a donate now Paypal button to help cover some of the cost of the project (ie: a phone and the plan etc…)

I have found a program from Rogers that seems to be simular to BPE but works with PC. I havn’t tried it because I run a mac but if anyone wants to test it out the link is here –>  Rogers.

I have briefly looked into SMS Gateways but they seem relativly expensive for our purpose. And am still unsure how the txt will interact with a computer and a database.

If you haven’t notices I did some research on Color theory and Emotions yesterday. It is posted in a shared Google doc.

Current Documentation

Friday, May 18th, 2007

I decided that it may be a good idea to upload and keep track of all submitted documentation on the blog incase we need to reference them. So far we have the Project Proposal and Project Plan.

Emo Capsule Project Proposal
Project Plan

Using BlueTooth and BluePhoneElite I am able to pass incomming and outgoing txt messages between my computer and phone. The next step is to get that information to automatically save into either a .txt, a XML be able to access the file content with Processing/PHP or Flash. I am currently thinking that I need to use AppleScript to save the incomming messages as the desired file type.

As well, I was talking to Eric about his yesterday, does anybody know exactly what a .plist file is, what it contains and how to read the file content?