Designed by first year student Jenna Witzleben, Transmission is a two-piece wearable device and digital display system that tracks your creativity based on how much you draw. It happens far too often that that the creative process for designers, makers, engineers, and hobbyists is stunted by overthinking and mental road blocks. In sympathy with the Product of Design mantra “Get out of your head and into your hands”, the device addresses the importance of sketching in order to further your ideas.
Transmission is a two-piece wearable device and digital display system that tracks your creativity based on how much you draw.
One particularly important use case of the device is for people new to the field of design as a way to establish sketching as a critical part of the innovation process. And since the motion sensor component is wearable on the wrist (versus a smart stylus or digital table surface), users are able to experiment with any drawing tool and any canvas—from dry erase markers, to pencils, to Sharpies or even finger paint! “To me, creativity is not an innate quality that you either have or don’t have—it is a practice. This is why I appreciate Craighton Berman’s Pencil Sharpener and why I wanted to explore the concept of drawing as a creativity measurement in digital form.” Witzleben explains.
The wearable band uses a 3-axis accelerometer connected to a FLORA board to measure wrist motion and detect drawing. This information is sent via XBee radio to a corresponding receiver in the LED display, allowing the band to be used wirelessly. The Arduino UNO inside the display housing reads this data and uses it to control the NeoPixel LEDs. And since this project is open source on Instructables, users can customize the code to adjust the variables—from LED color to the time duration corresponding to each LED bar.
“To me, creativity is not an innate quality that you either have or don’t have—it is a practice."
Witzleben aims to continue exploring applications of motion tracking and wearable devices during the remainder of her graduate studies at here at SVA.