Oyster

Tl;dr: Designed Oyster, a tangible interface designed to dispense goodwill and a sense of belonging.
Dates: September 2017
Team: Scott Dombkowski, Suzanne Choi, and Zahin Ali
Sort: academic

Oyster is a tangible interface designed to dispense goodwill and a sense of belonging. Users input their hope and receive a related fortune based on the hopes of other Oyster users.

Oyster Concept Video

Concept
  1. While waiting for a user, Oyster glows in different colors and shades.
  2. Once a user walks up to the machine, the machine uses a motion sensor to detect that user and begins its flow.
  3. The machine then displays instructions and a keyboard. Users are instructed that they can either type their hope or text their hope to a designated number.
  4. The user inputs their hope using the provided keyboard or texting client and the machine displays their hope.

Oyster Type Input Video

Oyster Text Input Video

  1. The system stores the user's hope into its database. When the hope is stored, Oyster changes its language, so it could apply to another user (change "i" to "you").
  2. The machine confirms the user’s hope is stored and displays loading dots.
  3. In the background, the system identifies keywords in the stored hope.
  4. Oyster matches the identified keywords to other users' messages and highlights multiple fortune eggs that contain similar keywords.
  5. The user sees the highlighted eggs and sees how many people have similar hopes. They then select one fortune egg by touching it.
  6. The machine displays a portion of the selected fortune message around the egg and informs the user to turn the egg, while other eggs are dimmed.
  7. The user reads their fortune message by turning their egg. After they have seen the entirety of their message, the machines asks whether the user wants to print their fortune.
  8. The user continues to rotate their egg to print their fortune and receives a printed fortune with a timestamp.

Oyster Type Output Video

Oyster Text Output Video

Tangible Interface

To make our vision possible, we mocked up a tangible interface using a HDtv, acrylic sheet, and ping pong balls cut in half. This interface allowed us to experiment with a number of novel interactions not possible on a 2D screen.

Oyster Sketch

Oyster Sketch

Ping Pong Balls

Testing Screen and Ping Pong Balls

User Flow

Oyster User Flow

Hope Logic

When a user shares their hope, Oyster moves that hope to a database. That database stores the entirety of the hopes shared with Oyster. Oyster then uses machine learning to analyze that hope and match it up with a hope that could could address the user's initial hope. For example, if a user hoped that they could be confident in navigating their freshman year. The machine would focus on keywords like confident and navigating and return another user's hope that includes similar keywords (with first person articles reconfigured to second person). For example, “You will gain confidence in navigating your future.”

Oyster Hope Context Example

Oyster Logic Map