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BIG SPHERE: A CUSTOM INTERFACE FOR 360° CONTENT

Role: Interaction Designer and Engineer
Project: Interactive design, custom software build, custom hardware build
Tools: Optical Sensor, AFrame.js
Fabrication: Dave & Gabe
Timeframe: Thesis semester
Year: 2017

Big Sphere is spherical interface for spherical content. It enables multiple people to watch and navigate 360° video together on a big screen.

To make this interface, I rigged an optical sensor and placed it underneath an acid-washed crystal ball. As the ball rotates, the optical sensor tracks the balls movements. This data is sent to a custom aframe.js framework which eases the input. 

The interface thus works as a large wireless trackball mouse, so that rotating the sphere rotates the 360° video.  The inner workings of the system are invisible to the user, making the experience feel seamless. 

My design was inspired by the first computer mouse, developed by the British Royal Navy in the 1950s, which was a bowling ball placed on top gears to record X and Y rotation.  

The acid-washed crystal ball and its foundation were fabricated by Dave & Gabe