Being Human 2019 – First Iteration

After conversations with a number of potential partners, I ended up submitting a proposal to the Being Human Festival 2019 in collaboration with Norfolk Castle Museum and Art Gallery. The idea is to develop an experimental interactive experience, using the LEAP Motion Controller (LMC), that can be used to explore hitherto overlooked texts in the museum archive. ‘Touching the Past’ will initially be run as a closed workshop and then at a follow-up event at Norwich Castle during the week commencing the 18th of November.

“’Touching the Past’ is a series of workshops that encourages young people to explore overlooked stories in Norfolk Museums’ collection through digital experience and gestural interaction.”

Promo Image for ‘Touching the Past’

The picture is purely for promotional purposes as is often the case with events where the promotion takes place before the work has actually been made.

From a production perspective – I chose Unity over Unreal Engine as a Leap-friendly development platform. This is partly due to some prior familiarity with Unity, which I used to make Play Table, and a greater working knowledge of programming with C# over C++. It was relatively easy to get the LEAP sensor up and running with Unity although there are a few gotchas, like LEAP currently requiring an older version of Unity to work. Most of the LEAP examples in the latest version of the Unity Orion library are geared towards VR with a head-mounted sensor. Some adaption is required to work with a table-mounted sensor.

The visual metaphor I have chosen for this early work is that of post-it notes. The idea being that the user selects a post-it note containing a single word which then reveals a more detailed item of text. The detailed view can then be reverted back to its original brief form and another keyword chosen for investigation, by rotating through all available post-it notes.

The interaction metaphor is not fixed completely but I am currently experimenting with the following control scheme:

Extended hand used to rotate through post-its
Extended finger used to select a post-it
Fist used to close an opened detail view

These are a couple of screen shots of the work as it currently stands.

Selecting a post-it
A detail item revealed