Making a stand
During August of this year we had the opportunity to trial our Installation concept at a local Tourist Information Centre (TIC). The goal here was to offer a digital version of the physical models often seen at visitor attractions to provide a rich overview of the area. To achieve this it was necessary to build a stand to support the monitor, computer and user controls. As discussed in our previous post, the TIC were keen to pilot a touchless user interface so the display was also required to support this device.
With the knowledge gained from the test rig and feedback from the TIC we arrived at the design shown below. It was expected that this would provide a good viewing experience and easy access to the controls.
Stand Concept Design
Although we have limited experience of building a stand of this type, we progressed steadily in stages reviewing the design at each stage. The initial Computer Aided Design (CAD) Model was invaluable in guiding the build.
Initial Construction Stages
It was important that the stand could be transported easily and thus could not be too heavy, thus 12mm MDF was used throughout. This proved to be a good decision but it was apparent that additional bracing was necessary to produce a sufficiently stiff structure. With this it may be able to achieve an even lighter build in the future.
After some initial testing it became apparent that parts of the stand, which were not present in the test rig, were interfering with the Leap Motion control and an additional support was required to elevate the device. This cured the problem providing full functionality.
Leap Motion Support Development
The stand was then painted ready for testing at the TIC.
As part of the development of the Installation we also made some changes to the user interface with larger buttons which were more accessible using the Leap Motion. We also enabled selection of Fells simply by clicking on the summit marker, which offered an alternative to the drop down menu, which could be difficult to use with the touchless user input.
During the testing we managed to discuss the concept with a wide range of visitors. The Leap Motion attracted a lot of interest. It was clear that, whilst most people could use this, it was unfamiliar to most and took a few minutes to master. It’s possible that support for more gestures than a simple mouse click (i.e. Pinch zoom, swipe left/right etc.) could greatly improve things here. We will also look to support other control systems such as Games Controllers, Custom Controllers and Touch Screen. It’s fair to say though that the feedback on the concept of a digital model of a tourist destination was very positive.
The feedback received from this testing will be a great help in developing the concept further.