Mind the Needle Iteration 0.1

First Iteration of Mind the Needle, an exploration of emergent interfaces.

Mind the Needle is project exploring the commercially emergent user interfaces of EEG devices. After establishing the goal as popping a balloon with your mind –mapping the attention signal to a servo with an arm that holds a needle–, the project focused on better understanding how people approach these new interfaces and how can we start creating better practices around BCIs –Brain Computer Interfaces–. Mind the Needle has come to fruition after considering different scenarios. It focuses on finding the best way communicating progression through the attention signal. In the end we decided to only portray forward movement even though the attention signal varies constantly. In other words, the amount of Attention only affects the speed of the arm moving, not its actual position. Again, this is why the arm can only move forward, to better communicate progression in such intangible, rather ambiguous interactions –such as Brain Wave Signals–, which in the end mitigate frustration.

The first chosen layout was two arcs the same size, splitting the screen in two. The arc on the left is the user's Attention feedback and the other arc is the digital representation of the arm.

After the first draft, and a couple of feedback from people experimenting with just the Graphical User Interface, it was clear the need for the entire setup. However, after some first tryouts with the servo, there were really important insights around the GUI. Even though the visual language –Perceptual Aesthetic– used did convey progression and forwardness, the signs behind it remained unclear. People were still expecting the servo to move accordingly with the Attention signal. This is why in the final GUI this signal resembles a velocimeter.

UI Alternatives

Physical Prototype

Sidenote: To ensure the successful popping-strike at the end, the servo should make a quick slash in the end (if θ ≧ 180º) – {θ = 170º; delay(10); θ = 178;}