Created in-house, Caseture is a humanscale full-HD screen installation. Through its 7 interactions we put on view the potential of taking a gesture-based approach to digital experiences. Caseture - having emotions at the core of its design process - is a high-tech framework opening new horizons towards conceptualising and designing experiences. Deliberately designed, the project delivers a journey based on the sum of three interrelated elements: technology, experience design and product communication.
Fascination in a box
A big part of the digital installation’s fascination lies in the non-visible technique. People interact and play, but without a mouse or a keyboard. The applications get immediately a direct response from the users. The computer doesn’t direct the screen anymore, it’s the user’s body that does.
Caseture is designed to be contextualised based on the concept it encompasses and hence is limitless in what it can communicate and to whom. The frame of the experiment revolves around a brand, a product, a service or an independent experience. Moreover, it is flexible and open for one or more users. While some interactions are designed having solely a first person user in mind (Customiser), others allow a collaborative experience for multiple users (Player).
Donald Norman's ‘Stages of Action' was our starting point. In a nutshell, the theory explains how every human action passes through 7 stages. We conveyed the theory through a human-product story. It begins with (1) surprise, to be pleased by something that grasps the attention of the curious user who discovers the product for the first time. (2) The user, wondering, approaches the product aiming at getting to know it more. (3) Gaining interest, the user steps into the world of the product and learns more about it until the (4) desire state is reached. The user looks forward to make the product their own; they customise it. Eventually the user tries it and consequently (5) admires it. The process continues by (6) pursuing the product and literally reaching it. The process only comes to an end when the user (7) acquires the product and takes the pleasure in experiencing it.
A minimalist approach is taken to the visual language of Caseture. By this, the product and service are the main elements of the experience and the emphasis is on the interaction and gestures. The project’s design and branding stand out, in a way that the graphics and contrast are usefully integrated in the application. The simplicity of the icons and graphical elements reflect the simplicity of the gestures and interaction.
An utterly intuitive interaction, adopting an exact natural movement the user already does everyday: passing by. ‘Discoverer’ is an interaction of a displayed curtain that moves as soon as the user passes by. Behind the curtain, stands a product that is shortly revealed and ponders the user’s curiosity. With light movement of the hand, the curtain can reveal the product further. There’s no wrong movement, as the experience design playfully allows the user to be in control of the interaction.
‘Approacher’ sheds the light on the potential of Casture’s experience design and its limitless integration possibilities. A movement-tracker analyses the user’s position on the display and mirrors it in real-time as a video. A precise position-tracking so the more the user approaches the screen, the closer the displayed model gets. No further gestures are necessary.
Aiming at meaningfully presenting a product digitally, we mimicked the hand’s natural behaviour holding and exploring a physical product. Intuitive gestures allow the user to explore the object: by waving in both directions, one can explore a 360° view of the product. In parallel, the user notices the intuitiveness if the interaction when moving the hand towards or against the screen reveals a new perspective to the product. Such applications prove how already-learned touch-interactions such as ‘pinch’ can be elaborated in gesture-based interactions.
Swiping is the most known interaction for mobile phone and touch screen interfaces. We transferred it to our gestured-based experience with a simple wave-gesture. The user needs to apply the same logic he is already familiar with, however this time with more possibilities. The hand’s gesture and position are tracked and deliver different feedbacks in different areas of the interface.
An interactive stereophonic sound experience, based on the position of the user. In this experiment we made more use of the space, where every movement has a direct influence on what the user is listening to. The experience allows multiple inputs according to the interaction of the user; by moving to the right or left, the user activates different instruments and sound tracks. This leads to a fascinating new 3D experience.
The challenge of wayfinding in public settings is at the core of the interaction; a theme-world’s exploration and a destination finder. We took an intuitive gesture and made it serve the user to explore, navigate, get informed and find the way to a destination. By pointing towards a direction on the screen the user travels through. And by holding the hand back, the exploration stops. (Background-Info: we had in mind the use case of a Skier, who not only gets a better overview of ski tracks, but also without having to take off his gloves).
The core element of the interaction is its playfulness. ‘Player’ tracks every gesture performed, mirrors it on screen in a very realistic manner. Not only that the interaction naturally reacts to all gestures, but also has an emotional impact in a way that breaks any obstacle or distance between the user and the screen. ‘Player’ widens the horizon of Caseture’s potential and how it can encompass any wished context and purpose.
Caseture is developed on Unity, a development platform for creating games and interactive experiences. We worked with Full HD resolution at 60 FPS to have the high-end visual results we aimed. The project included an integration of 3D objects, animations, timelines and films - accompanied with different learning curves and experience levels. The execution included one 3D camera and is adaptable for multiple ones.
Let's push things forward
Through Caseture we push the boundaries of innovative experiences. By sharing our project, we look forward to any dialogue and feedback. We are already working further on new experiments and upcoming iterations. Everyone is welcome to join the discussion and take part.