Digital Interactive Innovation at the Miami Museum

After five years, and more than $305 million, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in Miami opened its doors to the public in early May this year. Setting a new standard for museums and aquariums around the globe, the centre features a massive suspended 1.9 million litre aquarium tank – holding sharks, turtles […]

Catch of the day: SA interactive designers hook international science museum project

Cape Town-based interactive design company, Formula D interactive, leads a collaboration of South African specialist firms to design and build a ground-breaking, large-scale audiovisual installation for the new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Miami, Florida. The museum is set to open in 2015, and  – a powerful, warm ocean current off the […]

Examples of Non-traditional Interfaces for Education in South Africa

As a specialised design consultancy for interactive learning environments and tools, Formula D interactive has gained valuable project experience in designing non-traditional interfaces for digital educational content and tools in the culturally diverse context of South Africa. The aim of this paper, the final version of which has been published by Springer is to share the company’s experience in the field using prominent examples of their recent work, related research and user testing in order to discuss the merit of large-scale interactive surfaces, gesture-based and tangible interfaces in culturally diverse contexts. The company’s work includes interactive displays for science centres and museums as well as digital learning tools for classroom environments.

Eskom uses video game to inform public about Energy Demand Management

Eskom Energy Planner night view

An interview with designer Scott Chapman about designing the Eskom Energy Planner game

Recently Formula D interactive designed the Eskom Energy Planner Game to educate people on the different power generation technologies in an entertaining way. The online game allows players to take custody of a virtual city’s power plan and seek a balance between the most efficient technologies currently available and the most environmentally friendly ones. Players must also take into account the varying costs of production of the different technologies and face the challenge of maintaining an economically viable mix of all of these elements. We asked Scott Chapman, multimedia designer at Formula D, who was heading the development team at Formula D, what it takes to design an educational game like this.

Interaction design for learning

We all know it; it is the mantra of our time: Our lives have changed a lot in the last years through information and communication technology. It has changed the way we work. It has changed the way we communicate. New technologies like mobile computing, new tools and interfaces not only have a major impact on our work and social experiences, we can rightly claim that they have improved our lives in various areas. Unfortunately, this is not the case in the field of education. Here, it seems as though things are moving slower than anywhere else. The following article proposes various engagement points for interaction designers to make technology count for education.

Designing interfaces to humanise technology

The way we interact with all the small and big machines we handle and inhabit in our daily lives tells us a lot about our personal relationship with technology. What do we actually want from technology and are we really getting it? Which side is more adaptive and compensates for the flaws of the other; Human or machine? What role play designers and artists when designing interfaces for the many black boxes our scientists and technologists surprise us with? Or can only magic save us from becoming machines ourselves? The video shows my 20 minutes talk from last July at Cape Town’s Creative Mornings event and tries to answer some of these questions.

Multitouch table helps young people to understand how personal choices affect their lives

The ability to choose is one of the things that makes us human. But making decisions is not always easy. The consequences of one bad decision can affect the rest of our lives. What happens when you’re faced with a difficult choice? Say you’ve just completed high school. Do you get a job or study further?  How do you know what to do? Which path is the right one to choose?

For young people in Uitenhage, Formula D’s Life Choices Touch Table Game is helping them to understand how personal choices affect their lives.

Interactive Installation Creates Awareness for the threatened Cape Leopard

Recognising that education is the key to protecting Cape Mountain Leopards, Leopard’s Leap commissioned Formula D interactive to design and build an educational leopard display for their visitor centre, which was recently designed by Makeka Design Lab.

The result is an interactive wall projection loaded with game-enhancing technology. The 3-meter projection loops realistically rendered animations of Cedearberg landscapes. Three different sets of day and night scenes are displayed.

When visitors step in front of the wall, their virtual avatars appear on the screen in front of them. Each visitor is randomly assigned an avatar and up to 3 people can interact with the multimedia application at the same time.

Innovating education in South Africa: Formula D interactive presents a virtual, yet tangible Chemistry Lab.

Formula D interactive Virtual Chemistry Lab

Formula D Interactive recently developed a Virtual Chemistry Lab, as a safe, low cost alternative to the standard chemistry laboratory in schools. The heart of the system is a so called object recognition table. The interactive platform consists of a 50″ High Definition rear projected screen prepped with lots of computing power. Sophisticated pattern recognition technology allows users to navigate content information by placing physical cards onto the table’s glass surface.

ibali – speaking public furniture design to inspire citizens

ibali is a public furniture design concept designed by Johan du Toit and Michael Wolf from Formula D interactive in their spare time. ibali offers an extra service to city dwellers: It inspires. A recent city branding initiative gave Cape Town the title: City of Inspiration. Cape Town and its citizens are rich with inspirational people and stories that are linked to specific places and streets in Cape Town. ibali – space of inspiration aims at creating islands of inspiration in the city allowing citizens to step out of the stream of everyday life to get a dose of hope and inspiration.

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