MASK_02 – Hive

Second of MASK collection – Hive



It’s a community nest that connect people to overcome the distance. During the day, you walk and work as a worker bee. During the night, you come back to the nest and share what you got



  • It’s a honeycomb mask
  • Two modes (switchable)
    1. Resting Mode: User is virtually situated in one cell of the honeycomb
      • See and communicate with other people, just like a video conference
      • w/ Queen & Baby larvae
    2. Working Mode: User is virtually in the air, outside the honeycomb
      • Not like in Resting Mode, the camera screen will follow the head, so the user can see and walk
      • w/ Worker

To do:

  1. Activities & interactions
    • Resting Mode – Since it’s about living as a community, what will a community usually do?
      • Vote
      • Self supply
      • Recycle
    • Working Mode – Like honeybee, workers go out to collect pollen etc
      • Activities of worker bee
        • gather pollen into the pollen baskets on their back legs
        • create wax for comb
        • feed larvae
        • guard
      • Having a swarm of worker bees with you
        • assist you
        • protect you
        • accompany you
  2. When other people connect to the Hive, the certain cell of the mask will light up, otherwise in “breathing” mode


Content Test

 <– Worker Bee



leftover from laser cut

version 1

version 2 – mask

so many combs and mask of Frank! (Thank you Vicci!)



This week I did several small tests. Mainly tech stuff. And I found out that it’s really not easy to come out a good scenario.

Wireless Wooo_v2

Realized only laptop needed to link to itpsandbox to be server, and all the phones can connect to nyu wifi and access laptop server by going to laptop’s IP address. The whole world can access my laptop if they know my IP address! So crazy!! Mind blown!!!

Virtual Arm

  • Try to figure out how to get 360 rotation from accelerometer, and magnetometer of bluetooth TI Sensor Tag.
  • So far get pitch and roll from accelerometer, and yaw from magnetometer, but works kind of weird when using all of three at the same time. Works fine if just use pitch and yaw.
  • Bluetooth data transfer is not as free as serial communication. Might have to swtich to XBee/radio?  :/

W/ projector!

  • I bought a Slimport MicroUSB to HDMI adapter cable and tested it with projectors. It didn’t work with Samsung Pico project (HDMI to VGA to VGA 15pin), which is very small. But it worked with the medium size ones (HDMI to HDMI)! 

Control Room 2.0

Following the new strategy, get one done in detailed and change based on feedback, and experiment others freely, I chose Control Room as my target mask, since it already had physical form.

Things planed to change:

  1. Daily use
    • How can it integrate into daily life? Use it in front of laptop, use it outside home?
      • –> Only one window is remote view, others all local view
      • –> Portable home: always connected with your home. So you can see/talk with family members all the time, and your pets too
      • –> Open field option of relaxing escape for daily use
    • Based on feedback from user testing, people want to see the real world more(= see more windows, e.g. be able to see their hands if they want)
      • –> More windows to see more clearly
  2. More comfortable (suggestion from teacher Despina)
    • Smell good –> To do
    • Easy to put on, pillow in the back? –> To do
    • Aim for wearing for longer time, since it represents Home
  3. Interactions
    • Self: Based on where your head turns toward to, the things in the house react to it
    • Others
      • Open the door –> explode the house


  • Senario
    • T_T so difficult
  • Tech
    • Quaternion & Euler
      • “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!  TvT” –> famous Fxck & Yeah moment
      • Spent almost three hours trying to rotate the body with quaternion, but only change rotation.y, trying to deal something looks like this , and then found out that Three.js has Euler FUNCTION that can just convert Quaternion to Euler for you. Just need the source quaternion and order of axes.
        • setFromQuaternion ( q, order )
          • q — Quaternion quaternion must be normalized
          • order — string Order of axes, defaults to ‘XYZ’
    • Head sync
    • Exchange views

As One

Idea Sketch


User Test_01 – NYC Computer Science, Opportunity Fair

SO, first user test. O_O

I took the house mask and few Cardboards with me. Tons of high school kids. Fun. Exhausted. Learned a lot. And here’s the quick-&-dirty note:

  • Multiple users is definitely much more fun than just one
    • Fun to look at each other
  • People feel interesting and WOW when looked at there hands
  • Audience played with the house when there’s an user in it 
    • Phone died so easily!!!
  • PHYSICAL <3<3<3
    • It’s special because it has a physical representative – House mask. People got it when realizing they are both physically and virtually in the house.
    • If choosing from Cardboard and house, people choose house
    • The acceptance to put their heads inside the mask is unexpected high

And also I found an important thing I have to always bear in mind. That is…


–> Scenarios for daily use
–>Physical forms and input
–>Not all by yourself, but connect to other people through VR

WTF Moment_02

“I don’t buy your story.”

What?! What does it mean?

It seems my “design for overcoming things”, a.k.a Introversion inclination, is not strong (might because I didn’t research enough to back it up), and can’t cover/explain what I’ve done and going to do. I know it depends on what I my main desire is. But I kind of don’t know it clearly enough now…

SO. New strategy! For introvert is my original motivation, and then it gradually becomes the process of experiment, and suggest different ways to incorporate VR into daily life, with the physical medium: Mask, in two categories: functional & identity shift.

Midterm Presentation

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 9.36.49 PM( Click to see the slides for presentation<3 )


Good to explore

  • Mask fools others, VR fools you –> reinforce each other
  • Single experience with multiple masks, all together VR (Group experience)
  • The physical input to change VR (e.g. open door of the house to change the digital content of it)
  • Use the mask to do normal things, live daily life
  • Dive in one then iterate more
  • Strong performance, theatrical element



  • They’re confused because they don’t really know what’s the media content they’re seeing.
  • Should show both outside and inside view at the same time
  • User scenario sketch is confusing
  • What to explore
    1. Is it an introvert experience? Feel to be an introvert?
    2. Does it connect you to other people?
    3. Does it invite others to interact?
  • The introversion can’t explain all of the project. It’s not just about you. It’s about others and so much more


Next steps

  • Prepare for USER TEST!
    • What to show? Short and quick?
      • 3/16, high school kids at Columbia University
      • ITP Quick DIrty Show
      • On the floor grab people when they go pass by the restroom
  • Dive in one first
    • Control Room
      • Physical input changes digital output
        • (Is it possible that digital input changes physical output?)
      • Better user scenario (more than kid building his/her own castle, ppl don’t buy it)
      • Be more able to walk smoothly ( Tested on 3/10 by myself)
      • The distance between user’s eyes and phone in real world, is different from the distance between user’s eyes and eyesight plane in the virtual world :
      • Couldn’t find out the usage to import other video feed yet
      • Daily life use possibilities
        • For now, the mask’s appearance is LOUD, and the content inside is also LOUD
  • Iterate more
    • People are interested in
      • Two people
      • Group (as a single AR effect though)
      • Nonverbal Mask
      • Projector Mask



After finalizing the subject as MASK, the research needs to be updated too.

Will be updated periodically…


How is a mask to be used traditionally?

How is a mask to be used untraditionally?

– Frank Sidebottom; movie to watch Frank 

How to fool the perception, to self and to others?

  • Qs to answer
    • “What consciousness is?”
      • American philosopher Thomas Nagel argued that, even if you were somehow able to transport yourself into the mind of a bat, you still wouldn’t really know what it’s like to be a bat; you would only have the experience of being a person inside the mind of one. Nagel’s arguments rest on the fact that we don’t yet fully understand what consciousness is, and perhaps we never will.


  • Code stuff
    • Computer vision, HTML5, Three.js, WebRTC
  • Physical stuff:
    • Fabrication: cardboard, paper, paper mache
    • Arduino
  • 2/25, got advice from Alex Kauffmann, who works on the Cardboard in Google!
    • The distance between lenses and phone screen is fixed (in the current version, somewhere in the vicinity of 44mm). Provided they respect the fixed focal distance, you should be fine. Velcro is your friend. So is hot glue.
    • For interaction, I recommend not having straps—make people hold the mask as they wear it, it avoids all sorts of latency problems (your torso rotates much slower than your neck, and when you’re holding the mask, you can only turn your head as fast as your torso). Also, don’t do motion in more than one direction (if there is motion at all) and don’t accelerate and decelerate (it’s a recipe for vomit). In virtual reality, there is no friction, so no need to simulate it.
    • In terms of software, I would steer you either towards WebVR (here’s a good overview with relevant links) or the Unity plugin for the Cardboard SDK. They take care of most of the difficult optical things so you can focus on just building your 3D environments.


Computer vision

  • Talked with Kyle McDonald
    • My project reminded him of anonymous hugging
    • Suggested testing different ways to max the performance, setting benchmark and see which part costs the most
  • Face detection
    • Use small canvas for executing face detection, display the image with big size of canvas.
    • From below test pics you can see, it’s much better to analyze with smaller canvas, but there’s no big difference between displaying big and small canvas, so for better resolution, it seems ok to display bigger canvas.






Greyscale + Blur

multiple faces detection, yet not stable due to changing lightness

  • Collect personal moment as taking photos –> accompany with you all the time to comfort you to confront unknown
  • Affecting virtual world


Wireless Wooo


Thanks to Andy‘s advice on hooking up localhost of my laptop through itpsandbox wifi, now I can run codes on mobile phone using laptop as server! (ps. It also works at home, just in NYU because of the security issue, using ITPSANDBOX is needed.)

*Note* It’s not advised to run server elsewhere (e.g. heroku, digitalOcean) because it takes more time to transfer the data back and forth. Localhost with laptop is the best option for proof of concept!


Paper Mache

–> Decide to do it after finalizing the virtual content.

Roland & Surface mount soldering


2nd try – SUCCEEDED!

  1. Still couldn’t find 100 ohm resistor, so I tested with breadboard first and decided to use 68 ohm resistor.
  2. Extended 1/64 short wire
  3. Replaced some 1/64 with 1/32 to speed up milling



1st try – FAILED!

  1. When wiring 1/64 route for milling in Eagle, I made them too short underneath resistor and LEDs thus made circuits inseparate
  2. Wrong wiring to block the resistor to ground O_O mistake_1
  3. Couldn’t find 100 resistor and used 220 resistor –> too much!
  4. So now it rest on my Failure Wall 

MASK_01 – Control Room

First prototype (or maybe not just a prototype…) of MASK collection – Control Room.


It’s the kind of fantasy castle that a child builds up and role-play inside. The interior is rough and the space is tiny, but with the protection and imaginary friends, you feel less timid to the outside world.


  1. It’s a townhouse cardboard mask
  2. User is virtually in a cardboard room, and sees the real world through different windows
  3. The distance between self and the world is created, thus decreased the threatening feeling
  4. When you stay still, imaginary friends start to encourage you

Things I learned

  1. For improving performance of phone, reducing face amount
  2. Detailed model –> NO, simple yet interesting shape –> YES
  3. Texture’s effect is more powerful than model

Content test:

Imagination friend test


Fabrication process:



2015-03-02 00.46.272015-03-02 01.17.07


  • Normal, discarded cardboard is too thick… have to buy a good thin quality cardboard.


  • Scale up for eyeglasses. Too big unfortunately. Width between them will be perfect. One good thing is although the mat board is a little bit heavier, it’s not that big difference.