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Here is the film I made to go along with my design proposal.  Its put together from sim graphics and some video sign characters online but I wanted to show how this product could be used.

Nearing an end

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Pin up in 3 and a half hours.  I am off to the printers now to get my posters done and sketch book bound.  It is a fantastic feeling when everything is done, and it will be even better when it is all sitting out.  It isn’t till the end you realise how much hard work you have put in, and this is a special project since it is my last ever assessed mark, yes this is my final project, and I’m glad to say, one I am extremely proud of.  Video is exporting as I type, I’m pretty happy with it but would love this to get taken forward so I could work with game developers to really bring the graphics and ideas to life.

Thank you to everyone who got in touch and helped with the project.

I am rather sleepy now but we have a degree show to build today so heads up, might get a wee kip in the hammock in our studio.

So here it is, Wii Sign:

Wii Sign is the outcome of a thematic project entitled No Words.  There are between 30-70000 sign language users in the UK.  A common misconception is that Sign language is based on words, and that each word can be translated into a sign.  In fact, it is a completely different language with its own unique grammar and structure.

Sign language is about the full experience of movement, expression, and gestures.  Sign language is about telling stories.

Wii Sign is a product and interactive game that allows users to learn and practice sign language in a fun and engaging way.  The game is an immerses the user in an environment where only signs can be used.  Wii sign is a language learning tool but maintains gaming elements to appeal to a younger age group.

Users can progress over time to more advanced levels or simply play short games with their friends or online.

The game aims to improve the sign language learning tools available by providing real environments, everyday tasks and simulated conversations.

Wii sign is for everyone

The Wii Kit

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The last couple of days I’ve been working on models and got excited by using the rapid prototyper for the first time ever.  I’m rather cuffed with the job.  Put some lights inside…looks good.  May have to paint the inside to stop the light from shining out through the plastic but thats a job for later.  The models are made for the purpose of today which is filming my cousin using it.  Although I’m a bit late now and realised I don’t have a wii, well meant to sort ot yesterday and completely forgot so I’m off to hopefully pick one up off of a friend.

I’m planning to mock up a box for this too, will have to do a quick one before I leave for Edinburgh.

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Today I’ve been in the workshop constructing a mock up of the wii branded base station.  It took all day which was disappointing as I wanted to get alot more done.  Always a time optimist.  I’m going to use it in filming and photo session, hopefully with my little cousin if he’s available.

Here’s a few images, now to pull together this interface…

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I’m struggling to pull this all together.  I’m happy with the concept, with the products, the physicality of the whole thing, and I’m happy with my major points I want to stress, after all I am no designing the whole game yet I am struggling to visualise it using the computer.

I’ve done hundreds of sketches, quick ones, to get out the major points, but when I sit at a computer and think, right lets do this, I’m drawing blanks.

Lets hope today and tonight proves fruitful.

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Project is nearly over.  I’m honestly rather worried about the amount of work I have left to do.  Although I always get it done, the stress makes me work harder!  I’m trying to quickly mock up a wii branded base station which picks up the speck movement and bluetooths it back to the wii.  I’m also trying to quickly mock up the attachment ‘bands’ of the specks, and had one of those lightbulb moments today when I thought of those slap bands I used to have as a child.  Ordered some and they are on their way.  So tomorrow is a quick mock up of  the model and then I really have to try and visualise the interface quickly.  I’ve had so many ideas for this project, I just need to get them out.  I’d also like to make it into another movie because it is very difficult to convey sign language in graphics as it is completely based on movements…watch this space.

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(video to follow later)

Today I was back at the informatics forum testing the specks for myself and capturing some of the real time character movements through Mia.  It is simply amazing to see my movements transferred to the screen.

We discussed how the project would work, what technology is needed and how it could work with the wii.  In fact, because the unit can bluetooth, it can communicate with a laptop, therefore this ‘wii’ product doesn’t have to be wii.  Although it could function as a separate product that doesn’t have to communicate through the wii, I would still like to use Nintendo as the brand, as it captures and builds upon similar behaviour already associated with the games console.

I’d also like to have a go at creating some easy to use bands to attach the specks to the body.  Will be deciding this next week, although most importantly I’d like to develop aspects of the game I feel are important to present.  I’ve been thinking about iconicity and gestural movement as the beginning phase of the game to loosen kids up and teach elements of sign language that cognate with human gestures, something Carla had mentioned she does when teaching German, words that sound similar to English.

Looking forward this weekend to really defining the interface and getting my ideas out of my head, massive sheet of news role on my studio wall tomorrow then!

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