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Group Members


We began our brainstorm session by listing user groups we might be able to target with iPhone applications. This list of target users can be found at the bottom of this section; it was very useful when the brainstorming stalled, since we looked to the list for inspiration in a new target user group.

Below are listed the ideas we brainstormed for our User Interfaces project. We realize some of these are ideas that were not to be proposed (locators, maps, etc.), but we include these in the final list because some of them sparked better ideas down the road. These ideas are marked with "XX".

Individual Project Proposals

  1. AC Transit map, schedules, and trip planner database
  2. Karaoke: you sing into the iPhone, it shows your pitch, gives score
  3. Police/EMS: look up criminal records, emergency info, aids those working in emergency situations
  4. Berkeley campus building map for freshman
  5. Food Builder: given food input, outputs possible recipes that can be made with that food

Ideas from Brainstorm

  1. Plant/Flower recognition: for garden visitors/nature buffs: take picture of plant, view it in database
  2. Skateboard Altitude/Speedometer, trick lookup: for skateboarders wanting to see how high/fast they can go
  3. Skiing: resort info/graphics for runs/run congestion and advising
  4. Gamers: map/dungeon database
  5. Iphone Mafia/BANG! : for lovers of these games, a way to play on the phone with others: for mafia, a way to quickly assign roles
  6. Iphone trading card dbs: magic/pokemon/etc : for trading card game lovers: a way to quickly look up card statistics online: rarity, date of release, etc.
  7. Medical advice for the elderly: given an input of aches/pains/areas of concern, troubleshoots through possible reasons
  8. XX Vegetarian restaurant locator
  9. Food lookup for vegetarians: animal products in this food? recipes for this food? This could be done by isbn (barcode) in supermarkets
  10. Graphic designers: photo font recognition
  11. How much is my trash worth?: calculates worth of recycling bin
  12. XX Tourist attraction locator/guide; take a picture of a sign in another language and have it translated for you
  13. Compost guide/tracker: whenever you add something to your compost bin, suggests compost components you might need more of
  14. Carbon Footprint tracker: keeps track of your carbon footprint through activities you do throughout the day
  15. Stargazing assistant: tracks location and time and gives info on nearby nightsky sights/where to look in the sky
  16. SW Developer: app that allows quick pseudocode mockups, mobile IDE
  17. Dictation app: used for people who want to take notes with their mouth instead of soft-keyboard types
  18. Voice memo: timed and scheduled reminders: iPhone currently doesn't allow you to set a time for a voice reminder to go off
  19. Lyric database for people wanting to see lyrics to songs they are listening to on the go
  20. Authors: character brainstorming: for writers on the go who might want to mock up a certain character in their mind
  21. Madlib game across multiple iphones: for word game lovers, play madlibs online with others
  22. Car drivers: if you are speeding or swerving it will beep, for drivers concerned about safety/not wanting to get a ticket
  23. Hum a song and iphone will recognize it: for people who hear a new song but can't figure out what it is called
  24. Use iphone as a marker, draw in the air and it will display: for people who want to draw but rather not use fingers/touchpad
  25. ID verification in case you forget your ID: for people who might forget IDs. needs authentication method
  26. Business cards on phone instead of wallet, similar to bump? useful for people who want to shrink the size of their wallet + businessmen
  27. Picture of people recognition, for people who are bad with names.
  28. Tape measure for clothing measurements: for clothing shoppers who don't usually carry around tape measures
  29. Closet DB, what you should wear based on weather, buy, wash, etc. : for people concerned about what they wear/if they have worn the same clothes too many times, etc.
  30. Matchmaking: proximity based matchmaking. Fill in some attributes/personality considerations, if two people get close together, emit a beep! for singles looking to target specific potentials
  31. Personality test: exchange info, input attributes to receive potential conversation starter questions/topics. for socially awkward people.
  32. Actors: scripts and cues : for actors who might need quick mobile reminders of their cues, certain lines
  33. XX Bathroom locator
  34. XX Water fountain locator
  35. Bike gradients/hill gears: given a picture and GPS location, determines how difficult an upcoming hill/bike path may be, gives information on gear changes, advice.
  36. XX Fitness/calorie tracker
  37. Home solar panel tracker: checks weather and calculates potential energy gain for the day. Gives advice on solar panel settings.
  38. XX Internship/job/swag/free food finder
  39. XX Interview flashcard app for jobs
  40. Fake ID Generator (put in some attributes, generates fake ID, address, phone #), for people who want to drop false information to avoid contact
  41. Fake phone call application, escape awkward social situations
  42. Vision + Hearing Test, checks for changes in vision, hearing. Good for people who feel their vision/hearing is deteriorating over time but don't want to go to the doctor's office
  43. Iphone refocuses pictures to help you see them better: for farsighted people who have trouble viewing things up close
  44. Rapist alert: time + sex offender database; for people out late at night concerned about safety
  45. Emergency application: discreet trigger of alarms, punch in a certain set of hard buttons on the iPhone to trigger an emergency call.
  46. Paint palette: what combinations of colors can you make with these colors of paint? for artists limited to a certain amount of paint
  47. XX Card players: poker and blackjack probabilities;
  48. XX Mahjong application
  49. XX Iphone sudoku app: input puzzles and get hints
  50. English learners, idioms, look up english assistance, for english learners who might not be familiar with certain idioms/slang
  51. Car drivers emergency app: tracks sudden changes in speed and buzzes/calls for emergency help, for drivers wanting to be saver
  52. Applications for monitoring certain diseases: diabetes sugar levels, etc.
  53. Application to cut and mark music for dance groups; set marks in song to quickly skip to, tempo checking, 5 6 7 8 voiceover
  54. Mushroom hunters encyclopedia, edible or not? Machine learning for photo recognition.
  55. Toolkit: ruler, compass, level, tape measure, flashlight, for people who don't normally have a toolkit handy but want to take rough measurements
  56. Game to improve soft keyboard typing speed: for people who want to text faster
  57. Musical artist alert for concert goers: whenever a band posts info on tour dates, user is alerted
  58. In-office location tracker: while in office building, sends location info to server, for others to look at.
  59. UPS/Fedex/USPS delivery tracker with push notifications, for businesses/people who order time-sensitive material
  60. For teachers, tracking class participation, attendance, lab checkoffs
  61. Baton twirlers: uses iphone accelerometer to gain statistics on baton/iphone twirling :D
  62. Exercise routine creator: specify muscle groups and generate workout plan, for people wishing to tone a certain part of their body
  63. Autoscrolling/voice reader for people on treadmills (eliminates need for touch page turns)
  64. Storyboard builder: instantly create characters, plot outlines, etc. for writers/animators on the go; this could be organized by chapter and use a landscape view to let one visually manipulate character connections, hierarchies, or where someone is located in the plot or world one has created
  65. Periodic appointment tracker: keeps track of your last dental, haircut, doctor, vision, etc. appointments
  66. Visualization for music on iPod/iPhone (music runs independently of apps, so this might be able to be done)
  67. iCAD, quick design for architechs & engineers, being able to roughly sketch out a room or arch with either finger or movement of the iPhone from an accelerometer
  68. Barcode scanner + quick price lookup and comparison to common online vendors, good for savvy shoppers

Target User Groups Brainstormed for Inspiration

  1. Hikers, bikers, campers
  2. Nature buffs
  3. Gamers
  4. Local/organic food buffs
  5. Elderly concerns
  6. Activists
  7. SF shoppers/travellers
  8. Tourists
  9. Vegetarians
  10. Silicon Valley developers
  11. Tahoe: snow people
  12. Bay: boating and sailing
  13. Older students (GSIs?)
  14. Toddlers
  15. Yoga people
  16. Drivers
  17. Boy/Girl Scouts & Youth Groups
  18. Musicians : composers, different instruments
  19. Astronomy: stargazing
  20. Theatres/moviegoers
  21. Religious people
  22. Restaurants/foodies
  23. Athletes, fitness oriented
  24. Researchers, people gathering statistical info
  25. Writers
  26. Graphic designers/artists/photogs
  27. Hobos
  28. Dance groups
  29. Engineers/architects
  30. Nurses/Doctors

Idea Selection

Our group elected to pursue the idea of a music splicer and marker specifically targeted towards dancers and dance groups. We felt that dancers could benefit from an user interface that allows them to easily skip to certain parts of a song, to easily play/splice selected portions of songs, to overlay counted beats, tempos, choreography, and utilize many more audio enhancement features. We felt that dancers and dance groups made a very targeted and precise user group, with specific needs and actions performed on a frequent basis. This group is also accessible: we can perform field studies with Arts and Theater Performance majors and various dance groups in the local area. Since dance environments (studios, outside) often lack easy access to relevant music software, we feel that the mobility offered by the iPhone/iPod Touch (and its audio jack!) would be extremely useful. At the same time, the massive potential for different uses on this app lends itself to an interesting problem in interface design for the varied demographic of people.

We selected this idea from our pool by first running an informal vote where each member could anonymously place votes next to ideas they felt were worth pursuing. Afterward, we went through each idea individually and discussed their merits and flaws, and ran approval voting. This shrank the pool down to 15 candidates, and we asked each member to nominate 2 ideas they felt were the best candidates for the project. This left us with 5 ideas, which we discussed in great detail, before settling as a group on our music splicer/marker choice.

Top 15 Ideas

  1. Karaoke
  2. Police
  3. Skateboard
  4. Vegetarian
  5. Star-gazing
  6. The iPhone as a marker
  7. Matchmaking
  8. Actor cues
  9. Fake Phone call
  10. Vision & hearing tests
  11. Cut & marking music
  12. Toolkit
  13. Storyboard builder
  14. Barcode

Top 6 Ideas

  1. Storyboard/story builder: instantly create characters, plot outlines, etc. for writers/animators on the go; this could be organized by chapter and use a landscape view to let one visually manipulate character connections, hierarchies, or where someone is located in the plot or world one has created.
    1. Good: highly targeted user group. Very open ended allows for lots of possibilities and innovation.
    2. Bad: very open ended, perhaps hard to know when we'd be finished implementing
  2. iMusicPro -> cutting/marking music: application to cut and mark music for dance groups; set marks in song to quickly skip to, tempo checking, 5 6 7 8 voiceover, other basic audio editing features targeted at dance groups
    1. Good: highly targeted user group, easy to access in Bay Area. App features are highly relevant and immediately useful for user group.
    2. Bad: audio editing might be difficult to implement.
  3. Vision and Hearing Test: checks for changes in vision, hearing. Good for people who feel their vision/hearing is deteriorating over time but don't want to go to the doctor's office. Also combined with aid for farsighted people (the app could read a picture taken with the iPhone, and refocus it for farsighted people).
  4. Fake phone call: certain sequence of keystrokes triggers a fake phone call, useful for avoiding social situations.
  5. Skateboarding application: tracks acceleration, altitude gain from tricks, gives trick advice.
  6. Karaoke: input is user voice, tracks pitch and singing aptitude, gives score back, perhaps a game interface?

Target Users

Dancers and choreographers are those interested in the art and practice of dance, ranging from recreational interest to professional commitment. This can include practicing by oneself every now and again, or joining a dance group and practicing a choreographed routine with other dancers. They are often very active people who are not constrained to areas with easily accessible technology. Dancing's popularity has also seen a resurgence lately with shows such as America's Best Dance Crew, So You Think You Can Dance, etc., so many new people have become interested in dance beyond the urban art centers of Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. Although dancers do practice many different genres of dance, such as contemporary, hip-hop, ballet, and ballroom, they are all united in their physical interpretation of music. Dancers want to get their routine down as precisely as possible, and any distraction from that - like having to rewind and fast-forward to the appropriate section of a song one wishes to dance to, or having to find a laptop or home computer to re-encode an mp3 because a choreographer no longer likes the arrangement - just becomes an inconvenience that slows down that process of mastering a dance. With new amateurs becoming interested in dance everyday, a choreographer who puts out a digital package with marked sections, a music track, and video accompaniment may ease the learning curve just enough for new dancers to carry on in their passion.

Problem Description

We identified three major problems that occur when dancers and dance groups attempt to choreograph outside of locations with abundant technology or when they attempt to practice. When a group of dancers get together to rehearse dance routines, they want to maximize their time practicing together. The last thing they should have to worry about is having to configure different pieces of music for each of the dancer's parts. The problem is that, currently, arranging dance music for rehearsals is mostly a tedious, manual task involving repeatedly finding, playing, and then rewinding a section of music. Especially tedious is trying to get to the exact location in the music that the choreography was at before. This takes away so much time from the actual rehearsing that it breaks the flow of the dancing, thereby inhibiting optimal performance.

The repetitive nature of practices also requires dancers to listen to certain sections of their audio repeatedly with defined start and end times. It is incredibly tedious to locate such a precise moment in the music every time using the touch capabilities of the iPhone/iPod Touch. Also, the sections usually do not span the entire song and therefore stopping at a precise moment is critical. Also organizing the choreography of a lengthy piece of music with multiple dancers and choreographers is not an easy task using the current interface and requires keeping track of sections, names of choreographers, videos of the dances, and various other details outside of the iPhone itself.

The last major problem we found was that the majority of dancers today have to pre-record sections of music, and may have to do so repeatedly for different parts of the music. Then they would need to compile these onto a CD or music player, and shuffle through to look for them. Doing this also doesn't allow the dancers to transition between the music parts as easily and put everything together. A much more effective method of doing this would be to coalesce all the sections and be able to pick them out individually. At the same time, if needed, they could run an entirety of a section instantly. These were only some of the problems that we were able to identify with initial observation of a dance practice, but we anticipate uncovering more problems after interviewing potential users.

Why Mobile

Because of the range of movement and physicality of dancing, dance practice often takes place in large open spaces such as studios, gyms, or outdoor areas. These places often do not have computers immediately at hand, let alone the software one may need. The locations also usually do not have access to to the internet outside of 3G capabilities, yet a large portion of organizing dance practices, choreography, and other details pertinent to dance groups takes place on location without an easy way of recording this information. Also, the tedious nature of some of the tasks like marking up sections and cutting music suggests that these tasks can be performed while away from a dedicated location and rather while on the go. Furthermore, the multi-touch interface on a mobile device such as the iPhone offers a natural interface to splicing music and overlaying effects. An iPhone or iPod touch is also much smaller than having to bring in a separate mp3 player or other music device. Choreographers could also potentially share routines and choreography much easier if the application allowed the routines to be distributed digitally.


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