Inside your heart, outside the world.

Website that I have designed and developed recently

This website is developed for the Skynet Conference 2012, which is organised and hosted by the University of Limerick Computer Society.

Here is the link of the website for the conference:

Welcome to join us. Thanks.

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Tools & Technology1


Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software.  It can sense the environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors and can affect its surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators.

XBee Shield:

The Xbee shield allows an Arduino board to communicate wirelessly using Zigbee.  It is based on the Xbee module from MaxStream.  The module can communicate up to 100 feet indoors or 300 feet outdoors (with line-of-sight).  It can be used as a serial/usb replacement or you can put it into a command mode and configure it for a variety of broadcast and mesh networking options.

Xbee Breakout Board:

This is a popular and simple breakout board for XBee, optimized for breadboard mounting and gateway applications, in other ways when you use it only as an interface. It can be directly connected to the FTDI cable or to a de-chipped Arduino board, the breakout board has all the components needed to interface with 5V boards, don’t forget that the XBee needs 3,3V.

There is also a detailed tutorial how to install and use the usb to serial converter and how to configure and test the XBee module, where you can set the XBee parameters which are also explained in details.

Here is the link:


Pachube (“patch-bay”) connects people to devices, applications, and    the Internet of Things. As a web-based service built to manage the world’s real-time data, Pachube gives people the power to share, collaborate, and make use of information generated from the world around them.

Here is the link of the website:


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Why Potted Plant? What is the metaphor of plant?

Why Potted Plant?

1. Easy to reform and potential to develop

It has a pot that can be used as a perfect container to hide most electronic things in order to make the device look like everyday object. Well designed, the digital plant may also have aesthetic values and become a decoration of the house. What’s more, every leaf and petal of the flower is an element, which provide enough space for the future exporation.

2. Metaphors and meanings behind

It is quite interesting to find that in different countries, what will people think or connect in the mind when they see the plant have a lot in common. In China, people will connect the plant to life, people and emotions, etc. Here, when I ask people, they give me a quite similar answer.

Zoltan Kövecses claims that in English, the plant domain is mapped onto a variety of target concepts such as: social organizations, scientific disciplines, people, economic and political systems, human relationships, sets of ideas.

K. Ahrens analyses the LOVE IS A PLANT metaphor in Mandarin Chinese and she claims the following: “Love is understood as plant because plants involve physical growth and love involves emotional growth”.

In the EMOTIONS ARE PLANTS metaphor, different stages of emotion development correlate with the stages of plant growth. The stages of plant growth that are mapped onto the stages of emotion development are: seed, germination, budding, flowering, fruition and withering.

To call forth an emotion is to sow a seed. One thing we know about seeds is that they do not germinate immediately after they have been sown but they undergo a dormant period. This period continues until there are favorable environmental conditions for plant growth (appropriate soil temperature, oxygen, water etc). Similar with the emotion development, with certain conditions (communication, environment, time,events etc) , emotions gradually develop.

Therefore,  using the image of plant to act as the emotional link bteween people and using it to project and visualize the dynamic relationships among people are meaningful.


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Current plan and idea for my FYP

Today, people’s ways of living, working and thinking have been greatly transformed. Just by making a phone call or sending a message we can communicate with our friends, located in areas all around the world. However, interactions between people separated in the long term are still largely limited by distance. What we want is to see, to feel, to touch and to show the information and the emotions.

My plan is to create an Interactive Digital Plant that can help and support close family members or friends living apart to better interact and communicate with each other, where tangible interaction, co-participation, emotional design and embodiment interaction are considered.

This Interactive Digital Plant is an interactive artifact which is embedded with electronic controls, sensors, actuators and is a visualization and embodiment of some application or service. It offers the possibility of keeping in touch with someone we find special in a more interesting and less intrusive way. It consists of a pair of interactive potted plants for two people sentimentally connected, each can react to user actions, display some information and synchronize the information and states with distant end user’s device, creating a real-time connection, a physical link between people separated by distance.

Possible scenario and quick sketch:


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Reflective Level (Part3: Class interaction)

During my speech, I set a small competitive game which you can see described in the following picture. And we divided people into groups of 2. The group which is first to write down the right answer would be the winner of the game, and for the winner group, we would take a photo of them to keep their moment!

P.S. After this task, I asked a question ,”How many of you would like to buy a watch like this?”, it was so suprising and great to see that most of our classmates raised their hands, including our teacher. ^^ Guess most of our class like thinking and reasoning.


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The Fun Theory

The fun theory is based on the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the litter. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.

The task is to utilize “The Fun Theory” to raise awareness and potentially prevent littering on campus. Our group decided to achieve this by projecting a scene from the hit 80’s game ‘Super Mario Bros.’ onto a projectiong screen, located behind a bin. When the user pllaces an item of rubbish into the bin, it triggers an image/sound event. By doing this, we have created an interactive installation which will hopefully add an element of fun to the normally mundane task.


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One demo software I developed before

The software is called magical diary. Beside the basic functions involved in the ordinary notepad software, this software contains a voice recorder, a music play module and a calendar control.

Main Interface:

1.    System: has 3 sub-menu selections, which are new file, save and quit.

2.    Help: has 2 sub-menu selections, which are help and about. It is used to show the version information and give users guidance.

3.    Function: currently provides one function module that is recording module. Click the sub-menu (Recording Module) can call the recording dialog.

4.    Font: provides a font change system.

5.    View: enables users to check the history diary files. Click the sub-menu (History) will call the history management dialog.

6.    Shortcut Toolbar: includes create new files, save files, open files and help.

7.    Calendar Control:  provides an easy way to mark the date.

8.    Climate Additional Information: Users can freely choose the climate description of each day.

9.    Week Additional Information: Users can select the week information of the day.

10.  Text Edit Area: This is where users can write new files and view the specific contents of the history.

11.  Music Control: This module is just like a small simple music player.

Recording Module:

1.    Audio device: Select the audio device

2.    Visual Window: The window to show spectrogram

3.    Sound tracks : Select sound tracks: Monophony, Stereo, Alone (Left, Right)

4.    Save File: File format selection when saved : Wave or Mp3

5.    Record: To record a new audio file

6.    Stop: Stop recording and save automatically

7.    Audio signal input modes selection: Microphone or Line Input

8.    Close: Close the dialog and quit the application

9.    Play: Play the audio files

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