Tag Archives: MakeyMakey

Nailed it!: Reflecting on Interactive Exhibit Design and Nail Polish History

Finishing touches:

As I had hoped, without tweaking, the patch and the Makey Makey worked perfectly! So I moved on to create a stand that would make the project look a little more professional. I used cardboard and tape to make a stand and then painted it. I also built a little stand with the title “Nail Polish History” painted on it. After I let the paint dry, I conducted a few tests to ensure I didn’t undo a connection and took it upstairs to present at the interactive exhibit showcase. I reconnected everything and tested it again, just to be sure.

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What I wanted to do:

My original plan was to construct a controller using a webcam and the Max 6 program to recognize the colour of the user’s nail polish. This would allow the user to learn about nail polish history by matching their nail polish with the colour of a section in the nail polish patch in Max 6 that would teach you an interesting fact about nail polish.

What I ended up doing:

However, this idea proved too difficult in a short amount of time. The nail polish colour matching was far too complicated and therefore I ‘spectacularly failed’ that portion of the project. I did succeed in what I ended up creating. I decided to use the Makey Makey and connect with Max 6. Using the Makey Makey allowed me to still use the nail polish theme, but in a different yet fun way! I used brass fasteners as my conductive element. I strategically placed them where you would press if you were pressing a button on a controller that looked like a hand and placed another fastener at the base of the hand where your palm would normally sit. The fastener at the base acted as the ground for the Makey Makey. Using a patch my professor provided me, I added my content and added one more option in the patch for users to choose on the hand. It wasn’t as tricky as I had once assumed, thank goodness. I then used the help functions within Max 6 to figure out how to effectively use presentation mode. I succeeded and was able to present my project without any hitches to the class and the various guests.

Interactive Exhibit Showcase:

My project was well received by the class and guests. It was nice to see that even people who have much more experience in the field than I do, were impressed and interested in what I had achieved. I made sure to explain what I wanted to do originally and why I had to change it to the patrons. Below are some photos from the event:

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What I would have liked to have done differently:

I would have preferred that each video and photo show up on the screen by themselves. In the few minutes before our digital project showcase I didn’t have the time to fiddle with the patch in order to make this happen. But with some time and additions to the code, I probably could have made that happen.

I also would have preferred that my videos were a larger size and that they stopped playing when another part of the patch was triggered. The video size could have been remedied by changing the quality of the original saved video. The reason I chose mobile versions of the videos to begin with, was to ensure that I would not overload my computer and the software. I wanted to keep everything as simple as possible.

I would have liked to do more in-depth research into the history of nail polish and nail art. There is so much more to the art than what people think, so I believe it could be expanded on quite nicely. In particular I would have liked to delve into the history behind nail art as a business. I think it is fascinating that the nail art business is thriving and I want to know when it started and why. I would also like to know more about how the esthetician serves as a therapist in some cases.  Patrons tell them things they would not share with those close to them and I would like to know how that role is mentioned or not mentioned in school before the esthetician goes out into the workplace.

What I learned:

I now know that I CAN complete a digital exhibit and not completely fail! I also learned there is always so much more you can be doing and always someone that is going to be capable of so much more than you. You have to keep this in perspective because you know what you are capable of, and know that you are not as technically capable as other people may be. I really enjoyed taking on a project like this, even if I didn’t seem like I was enjoying it at the time. I am glad I had the opportunity to, in Ms. Frizzle’s famous words: “take chances, make mistakes and get messy!”

Ms Frizzle

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Friends Forever: Nail polish history and Max 6

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Today, the project finally started coming together! I met with my professor to get a patch and a MakeyMakey. Although I wasn’t able to get a MakeyMakey today, I will be able to pick one up tomorrow. In the mean time I used the brass paper fasteners and curled them using some needle nose pliers to make a sturdy place for the alligator clips from the MakeyMakey to connect. I thought this would be the easiest way for the contraption to stay together and look kind of cool too! I then ensured the alligator clips fit.. which they did! Yay for small successes!

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After a lot of tinkering, changing file names, and searching the contents of my computer.. we finally made the patch work on my lovely Windows computer. This success was followed by a well deserved high-five. 

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Next, I started adding my nail polish content to the patch, ensuring the correct file names were kept and double checked that I saved after every change.

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AND DRUM ROLL PLEASE……………

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I was able to add all the content and add an additional output to the patch and the patch STILL WORKS! Next, I decided to figure out the ‘presentation mode” business. Using the awesome Max 6 help pages, I found step by step instructions for switching to presentation mode, selecting items to be in presentation mode, resizing and moving things in presentation mode. 

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After I followed all of the steps, I ended up with the screen below! YAY!

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Tomorrow I will obtain a MakeyMakey and test the connection. And if all goes to plan, Max 6 and nail polish will live happily ever after in my Interactive Exhibit Design project. And if not… well I don’t want to talk about it.

A snag…

Since my last post, I have come to find out that my idea was far too lofty. That being said, my professor suggested I try using a MakeyMakey and a cardboard hand with painted nails as the controller for my Nail Polish History exhibit. I took his idea and ran with it!

I chose to use brass fasteners as the conductive part of the hand. They will allow me to connect with the MakeyMakey alligator clips and trigger a command on my Max 6 patch. This will show a video, text, and/or a photo related to nail polish history.

Check out my cardboard hand controller progress below:

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I thought that the hand looked rather boring so I decided to add something into my project that I love.. HENNA! I looked up some designs online and freehand drew them on the hand.

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TA DA! The almost finished product! Tomorrow I will meet with my professor and work on connecting the MakeyMakey and plugging in the content to the Max 6 patch.

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