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New blog May 7, 2008

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in Uncategorized.

Since I am about to finish graduate school, this blog will be transfered to the following address:

I will keep posting interesting projects and news about design and interaction.
Please, stop by and comment. 🙂


White Void March 11, 2008

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in innovative displays, interactive installations.
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Very interesting website showing art & technology, interactive objects, interfaces, motion pictures and concepts.

User Experience of the future November 28, 2007

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in innovative interfaces.
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Aegis Hyposurface November 9, 2007

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in ambient displays, innovative displays, innovative interfaces.
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Aegis Hyposurface is an elastic architectural surface made up of small metal plates that are controlled pneumatically and react in real time to electronic stimuli from the environment (movement, sound, light, etc). Driven by 896 pneumatic pistons, the dynamic ‘terrains’ are generated as real-time calculations.

The Aegis Hyposurface effectively links information systems with physical form to produce dynamically variable, tactile ‘informatic’ surfaces. Aegis is perhaps the world’s first such dynamic screen.Any digital input (microphone, keyboard, movement sensor) can trigger any physical output (a wave or pattern or word.)

Sensacell November 9, 2007

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in innovative displays, innovative interfaces.
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Sensacell uses capacitive sensing technology (the measure of minute electrical changes in electrical capacity caused by objects moving in the immediate proximity of the sensing electrodes). What that means is that large conductive objects like the human body are easily detected. The sensors can not see through metal or other conductive materials as they block electric fields. The Sensacell can be ordered with or without on-board lighting. What’s nice is that they are modular and can be plugged together to make up larger grids for interactive architecture of differing scales.

Sensacell modules have various operation modes applicable for interactive architecture. In autonomous modes, modules perform actions without any interaction with the outside world, eg. they light up and change state when a sensor is triggered. They can also run in a passive mode updated by an external connection.

The Good Night Lamp October 10, 2007

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in ambient displays, remote communication.
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As we move towards a society of single households, our notion of community will change. Keeping in touch with people will gradually become more than being “always on, sometimes off”. We will learn to share parts of our lives with our families, friends and lovers in more subtle ways with the help of an ever sensitive, invisible and intelligent technology.

The Good Night Lamp project is a family of lamps which allow people to communicate the act of coming back home to their loved ones, remotely. As you turn the bigger light on, your presence home is indicated to your friends whose smaller lamps turn on as well. Inversely, the smaller lamps that you’ve collected from your friends will turn on/off as they come home, go out, go to bed. You’ll never come back to an empty home again.

Chatter Pillow October 10, 2007

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in ambient displays, gadgets, innovative displays, remote communication.
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chatter-pillow.jpg Some of the most popular items these days are internet-connected objects that contain glanceable information, such as the status of your inbox, the weather, or stock prices.

The “Chatter Pillow” designed by Rebecca Stern, an undergrad at the Parsons School of Design in New York, is a midterm project for her “Making Wireless Toys” class.

The pillow basically allows Stern to stay on IM from her bed or her couch, without the burden of a laptop — one of the pillow’s trio of icons will light up when one of three possible messages are received, so long as they’re sent only from her boyfriend. If he sends “talk to me,” “xo,” or “on my way,” then the icons (pictured) will glow blue accordingly.

The Hug Shirt October 10, 2007

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in innovative interfaces, remote communication, wearables.


The Hug Shirt created by CuteCircuit is a shirt that allows people to send and receive the physical sensation of a hug over long distances. Embedded in the shirt are sensors that feel the hug’s strength, the skin’s warmth, and the heartbeat rate of the sender. Actuators re-create those sensations in the shirt of the distant loved one.

How does it work?The Hug Shirt is a Bluetooth accessory for Java enabled mobile phones. Hug shirts don’t have any assigned phone number, all the data goes from the sensors Bluetooth to your mobile phone and your mobile phone delivers the hug data to your friend’s phone and it is seamlessly transmitted Bluetooth to his or her shirt!
Sending hugs is as easy as sending an SMS and you will be able to send hugs while you are on the move, in the same way and to the same places you are able to make phone calls (Rome to Tokyo, New York to Paris).

The system is very simple: a Hug Shirt (Bluetooth with sensors and actuators), a Bluetooth java enabled mobile phone with the Hug Me java software running (it understands what the sensors are communicating), and on the other side another phone and another shirt. If you do not have a Hug Shirt but know that your friend has one you can still send them a hug creating it with the HugMe software and it will be delivered to your friend’s Hug Shirt!

When touching the red areas of the Hug Shirt your mobile phone receives the sensors data via Bluetooth (hug pressure, skin temperature, heartbeat rate, time you are hugging for, etc) and then delivers it to the other person.

The hugs shirt is Bluetooth and works with mobile phones on any bandwidth (900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz and so on). Runs on rechargeable batteries.

Why the Hug Shirt?

Interfaces and systems must be intuitive, natural, and compatible with our emotional status. Combining emotion and technology should be part of every design process. An increasing mobility of humans throughout the globe, has brought loved ones to spend most of their time apart from each other. Humans need physical contact with each other. Technology should allow for a pleasant Human-Human Interaction.

Roy Block September 23, 2007

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in physical interaction design.
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Roy Block is a project by Sebastian Schmieg, student at Merz Akademie, Stuttgart. It is an experiment with a tangible interface that touches the field of mixed reality.

Microsoft Surface May 30, 2007

Posted by Melissa Quintanilha in innovative displays, innovative interfaces.

Microsoft has come up with a very interesting new approach to the multi-touch surfaces. They now integrate physical objects with digital information. Very cool!

Check out another video here: http://www.brightcove.com/title.jsp?title=933742930