Mary Mack 5000: Brainstorming

Eyebeam, Face-to-face Games, Mary Mack 5000, Physical Computing

The most important role of gloves in Mary Mack 5000 is to measure the accuracy of the claps. The technology must be able to assess whether or not the correct claps are being made at the correct time.

I first started out mapping out all possible clapping combinations.

Ideas like pressure sensor combined with color sensors & colorful gloves or pressure sensors combined with RFID were considered, but ultimately a simple method of ID through contact would be most suitable for the game. I bounced around several scenarios with Marko, and while a voltage ID would work, it was a mysetery how the gloves would be able to read each other’s voltage ID. Remember, each gloves would have to have both voltage and input to work with all clapping combos (clapping hands together alone, clapping hands with the other person, clapping just the right hand with the other’s right hand etc…). Combining two voltages would lead to some new voltage that stood between the 2 original voltages and creating 2 pads per gloves wouldn’t work with the various combos with the different directions the pads would face for different claps.

On Jie Qi’s last day at Eyebeam, I explained her the problem, and she suggested flipping really fast between voltage and input. So each glove would have its own unique voltage ID and yet be able to read the unique voltage ID of another glove. Thanks to Jie, this was the elegant solution to the problem!


Mary Mack 5000

Eyebeam, Face-to-face Games, Mary Mack 5000

Mary Mack 5000 is a project I have been working on at my Eyebeam fellowship. It’s a game that reintroduces the popular Patty Cake little girl’s games in a hyper, rocked out, digitized version. It uses special finger-less gloves with conductive pads, as well as pads on the thighs and upper arms. The sensors help measure timing and accuracy of two people playing the clapping game, and the score is based on these two factors. A projected interface keeps the players and spectators informed of the score and types of claps.

I am collaborating with Lina Fenequito. There are also some incredible music tracks made by Ray Mancini and Sergey Popovich of Goodswan.

The game debuted last Friday at the Come Out and Play Festival at the Brooklyn Lyceum.

I will be updated more about the development of the game here as it progresses.