The problem statement was open-ended: "Design a tangible user interface that takes advantage of your hands and body to manipulate digital information". With a mutual interest in education, art, and kids, our team defined a more specific goal: "[To] encourage exploration and early learning for children by giving them feedback on images they encounter in the world."
Team brainstorming yielded a lot of sketches. Popular theme: exploring (flashlight, walkie talkies, utility belt, butterfly net, ...). We were interested in how we could leverage the metaphor of an existing tool, allowing the technological component to fade into the background.
To imagine our device in the real world, we drew stories around its potential use.
Prototypes began as cardboard, to get a feel for interactions. Then we added force and motion sensing electronics. To capture images, we connected a standard webcam to our python server.
We set the device loose with attendees of the project showcase. Observing how people reacted gave us a lot of ideas for how to improve the interface