This past week I have been working to clarify my concept and begin looking at various solutions. Last week I was looking into a deck of scannable cards but would like to expand on that to create something a little for physical.
I talked with my friend Tyrone who is a professional developer to gain some insights into my project. It was good to hear some things that I did not know, such as how programming can be broken down into categories. These categories include control systems, operations and variables. I jotted down a little page to organize them and fill these in to help figure out how I can tackle these. He also talked about how complexity of systems is one of the biggest problems he faces. Debugging small errors such as syntax also causes problems and I hope to look more indepth at these issues.
Another thing that we talked about was how the electronics might work with the design. We talked about the cards being 'smart' or 'dummy' pieces. Smart ones being that electronics are inside the cards themselves. Dummy being that they are just paper/plastic pieces that do not compute or contain electronics themselves.
With variables such as the price, difficulty and complexity I decided to try to focus on dummy cards- not including electronics within. Now these cards need to be used with some technology to create a product. Something that can allow these cards to come to life and bring in the technological side.
I would like to incorportate a board that these cards can be layed on, minimizing user error. Think board game. The real brain of the project I am looking at is to actually read and use the cards via projector/camera.
This opens up a lot of really great features that I am going to explore. These include:
1) Because the cards are do not contain electronics themselves, the price is incredibly low. Once the projector piece is obtained, buying extra cards or new special packs are very cheap. Getting 500 pieces to play with is extremely cost effective.
2) The board can help with the organization of the cards, helping show structure. Also could help avoid error using the cards
3) The projector offers both INPUT AND OUTPUT. The projector can display information onto the board making a more interactive and visual experience. An integrated camera also opens the door to scanning cards and using the persons hands to act as an input (through blob recognition). The image below is from a game that demonstrates blob recognition to interact with the ball:
4) Can be hooked up to a computer or USB as an output. This can allow for things such as transferring the code from the cards into a file on the computer, with proper syntax and other features.
5) Projector can display things such as errors when cards arent placed properly, different modes such as games, tutorials, games etc. SO MANY POSSIBILITIES
Many other cool things that can be done with the technology. Am excited to look at the possibilities and how to look at them.