Conceptual Design

One of what we believe to be a key aspect of our system is the idea of immersion. We want to give users a sense that they are actually located in space. For this reason, we envision the system being placed within a dark curtain that has been altered on the inside (through paint, sewing, or cutting) to look as though it is covered in stars. The users would be inside the curtain with the system. This also allows the system to be placed in any number of locations (Museum lobbies, exhibits, a lounge area within a college Science Center, a classroom, etc).

The system was conceived as a tabletop touch based interface using the Microsoft Surface that would take advantage of users’ natural tendencies to touch and play. Users (and multiple users could sit around and manipulate the system at a time) would be able to manipulate both tokens of the planets and pictures and text of the planets on the screen.

We envisioned that there would be three depths of interaction, beginning with a zoomed out view of the Solar System for planets to be arranged on, and moving through two more zoomed in views of the planets (the most zoomed in of which having the user located on the planet’s surface).

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