In an effort to dive deeper into HCI (Human Computer Interaction) by hacking together parts easily acquired, I set out to build something especially "non-computery" - introducing the Interactive Mirror. On paper, this construction looked like it'd be novel and fun. I was pleasantly surprised to see it was way more fun than expected once I fired it up.
The cognitive machine that is your brain automatically deals with things like size and distance and perspective, a job it hopefully does fairly well, you don't have to give a mirror's reflection much thought. However, interacting with buttons and animation layered on your reflection and the world behind you is unlike any other touchscreen experience. This unexpectedness, to me, is precisely the allure of HCI and all things touch-capable.
I thought to build this version of the Interactive Mirror after I saw some dielectric glass mirrors with LCD panels built into them. They're meant to be the bathroom of the future, complete with news and weather to accompany your toothpaste in the morning. Sounds nifty, but it looked completely un-fun. It lacked a human touch. I brainstormed with friend Sam Ewen and soon started cutting aluminum t-slot.
There are some tricks built into this installation: like internal mirror bounces for greater projection throw (wide angle lenses are expensive) and a projection running at an aspect ratio of 9:16 rather than 16:9. I'm also using mouse emulation, which is key in my opinion. Much like the Lasergames set up, I'm able to repurpose some of my previously created flash work or set up any game on the installation for instant action, making it a very dynamic system.
Watch in HD on Vimeo: http://www.vimeo.com/1867956
Watch in HQ on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAI9mF_cBu0
Thanks to Gosia, Nick, and Howie for getting on camera.
Contact me or Sam at InterferenceInc.com if interested.