Interactive Technology: Vending Machines

Vending Machines are dispensaries that allow a customer to purchase various items within them for indicated prices.

The interaction comes from the customer putting the correct amount of money into said machine and following the onscreen commands to input the corresponding number in relation to the item you want. Generally these are found in forms that dispense food and drinks, and are located in locations that have high through traffic to attribute to the amount of people.

They came into fruition in the early 1880’s of which the first commercial coin-operated vending machines were introduced in London of which initially dispensed post cards. They made there way to the United States in 1888 and primarily sold Tutti-Frutti gum in the subway platforms of New York City. The modern day food and drink dispensers didn’t start to come into light until the 1920’s.


Bellis, M. 2014. The History of Vending Machines. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 13 Jan 2014].


Interactive Environments: Paragon Project – Interactivity Ideas

With the project being an interactive environment, obviously there needs to be interaction for the player to be more immersed. By default, having a playable level and the player being able to navigate it, includes it as ‘interactive’ but to make it more enjoyable for the player, i will propose some ideas to be transposed on to the level with the following;

  • Underground – As the Paragon Station has an underground section to it, I was thinking that this could have a tunnel throughout the map to allow the player easy escape and/or exit from the station and near to one of the street sections that will be developed later on in the project.
  • Height – To ensure that the player isn’t bored with just wandering around the map, I’d suggest having ladders or something of the sort to allow the player to get ontop of buildings. With my building The Tower for example, a scripted sequence could allow the player to drop down a ladder that could connect it with the Hull School of Art building situated right next to it to allow for traversal in that regard.
  • The Small Things – A solid factor towards interactivity is the small things, the things that the game allows the player to do on the smaller scale of things, such as; opening doors, pressing buttons and interacting more inclusively with objects on the level
  • Life – Having animals and other intractable humans in the level increases the realistic feel of the game and makes it more intractable and relatable for the player.

Interactive Technology: Google Glass

Google Glass as a product offers a peak into the future mirrored only by the Oculus Rift. Instead of virtual reality, this product attempts to merge the real world and the virtual world to allow the user to interact with the virtual aspect of the device (such as social mediums, such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) whilst being on the go and away from other more strenuous devices to use, as it is shaped as glasses, hence the ‘Glass’.

The product it closely relates to are the mobile phones, of which this product has the potential to replace as a way of technological convergence being more hands free and having a greater level of interactive involvement.

A notable use was an orthopedic surgeon in Jaipur using a Google Glass to successfully perform a foot and ankle surgery of which was thus broadcasted live on the internet. First of all, allowing the surgeon to successfully perform the surgery increases the interactivity factor as it allowed him to utilise the technology to his advantage. Second and lastly, the entire social aspect of involving viewers in the procedure of the surgery opens up avenues for educational systems to learn in such a way from professional performing the job live.

References 2014. NRI doctor successfully performs surgery in Jaipur with help of Google Glass – Sci/Tech – dna. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 13 Jan 2014]. 2014. What it Does – Google Glass. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 13 Jan 2014].

Interactive Technology: ATM

In terms of the public space, nothing speaks more to interaction then an ATM. A necessity of modern day living, allows you to withdraw currency from a machine situated at several locations across thousands of cities and countries across the globe. The interaction comes from the action of putting your PIN number within the system to gain access to your account by following a set of on-screen menu systems of which if successful, you’re allowed to do with your funds as you wish.

It wasn’t always like this however, the Bankograph in 1961 installed in the City Bank of New York was one of the historical devices that the ATM descends from and acted as a way of depositing and withdrawing cash and checks, which design is still used primarily in ATM’s in modern day.


Bellis, M. 2014. History of Automatic Teller Machines or ATM – Luther Simjian. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 13 Jan 2014].

Mental Floss. 2014. A Brief History of the ATM. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 13 Jan 2014].

Interactive Technology: Oculus Rift

Virtual reality, the premise of exploring virtual worlds as if they were ‘real’. It’s an interactive technological medium sought by the masses for decades, with little success in terms of technology. The Oculus Rift, creation of one Palmer Luckey, is a virtual reality headset that promises to turn the tides in terms of this technology and as of recent years has grabbed the curiosity of its onlookers, having a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign and gaining the backing of industry professionals such as Markuss Persson (Creator of Minecraft), Gabe Newell (Co-founder of Valve Corporation) and John Carmack (id Software co-founder, and now CTO of Oculus VR, Inc).

This presents the first noteworthy attempt at such a technology in years and the resurgence of such a notion, gives us a great insight into the levels of interactivity and creation that this type of technology can achieve with the prowess of this generation. Imagine, being able to vividly explore virtual worlds, from deep dark dungeons to vibrant jungle environments and the type of immersive interaction that can occur from being so visually intertwined with a game in such a fashion. The avenues the technology presents extend far beyond gaming as a whole, from immersive product prototyping to visually educational material that could massively encourage learning on an entirely new scale, this technology could be revolutionary.

The games that it tends to support, are primarily those of a first-person orientation that put the player in the eyes of the protagonist. Using this technology on a game that had a third-person perspective, for example, wouldn’t be near as effective because you lose the immersion factor that the first-person perspective games give in terms of promoting realism.

(Gone Home, created by The Fullbright Company)

I think that in terms of interaction, being able to step into a game as immersively as this and to be able to optically experience various worlds within games as if they were real, it brings an entirely new level of play. Games of recent years and of the past were built with a specific viewpoint in mind, whether it be the aforementioned first or third person perspectives, with no real intention of utilising the most out of said perspective, but now you have this technology that will effectively allow players to interact with a gaming world as if it were their own and games being made specifically for this purpose of showing this off. Gone Home, a first-person interactive story adventure game developed by The Fullbright Company, would benefit triumphantly from this with the level of immersive detail in that the game presents in the way of searching through the in-game house as you look for clues to continue the games main narrative.


GamesIndustry International. 2014. Oculus Rift and the Virtual Reality Revolution. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 9 Jan 2014].

Kickstarter. 2014. Oculus Rift: Step Into the Game. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 9 Jan 2014]. 2014. Gone Home: A Story Exploration Video Game. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 9 Jan 2014].


Interactive Environments: Steam Group

As we went away for the holidays, we were trying to come up with more efficient ways of communicating, for those that needed assistance and for better team co-ordination. We thought of things like Dropbox, Google Drive, to share assets and other material, but found those to be more time consuming for getting everybody in the group on there. Seeing a majority of the group were already on Steam to begin with, we decided on making a Steam Group.


As of writing this, not all members of the group have joined. Either they were not made aware of it, or haven’t made the effort to join it, I do not currently know. Without all members signed onto it, it’ll become fairly obvious how inefficient this will become in the long run.

Interactive Environments: Client Project – Paragon Station

Part of this module, as a collective, we were tasked with an ongoing project that would in turn extend onto the second semester as a Client Project where an external client will be in play, dictating changes and preferences, etc. The particular task, was to recreate Paragon Station in Hull but in its 1914 form (commemorating a 100 years since the beginning of World War I), using research from around that time to ensure its (near) authenticity, although for things we didn’t know or couldn’t find, we had creative license to ‘imagine’ what they would be like. The catch here was, as the train station was host to soldiers leaving for war, they had to be depicted within the level and thus a distinct timeline would need to be created in order for them to be accurately portrayed.

Naturally, the instinct of everyone within the group was to decide on the parameters of the level and what we would include. After a while, we collectively decided on focusing research efforts on 4 main directions; Inside Paragon Station, The external side of Paragon Station, Anlaby Road and Brook Street. Those directions divided the group up equally into research teams, of which I ended up on the Anlaby Road ‘team’.

Since we doubted Anlaby Road would look as similar to what it is now, we decided to scour the internet primarily as a research source, in an attempt to get a better perception of how things looked. I tended to vear off and attempted looking into background information in terms of economic and social issues arising, around 1914 that would have affected the mood and overall morale of the people. There was little in the way of credible Anlaby Road research on the internet, probably because those with the information were preparing to release books on the matter in the same fashion as this project, but we did manage to find this website however: The Anlaby Road and various ‘near’ to date maps (of which will be shown in posts following this). There were plans in motion to get the author of the website, Paul Gibson, to come in for a discussion on the area in 1914, but those plans never came into fruition.

We do have a Wikia available for short snippets of research information (aptly titled Project Paragon), but at present the design and management of it has become convoluted to the point of which, a good portion of the collective group does not know what is needed to be on there, and it has taken a backseat in terms of priority outlets for research, development and information collation.