Hello everyone and welcome back to the blog! This past week my fellow colleagues and I have further explored creativity concepts, this time in specific relation to the creative industries.

Particularly, we have had a look at assistive technologies for a possible project with Barnet Independent Living Service (BILS). We have also begun analysing the business side of the creative industries. Finally, we have participated, together with Imogen Heap, to a briefing session in which we collaborated with her on a new Glove Project for her upcoming tour.

Solving a specific industry problem

We are now entering the third week of this new term, and of the ‘Working with the Creative Industries’ module with Producer Mixer Engineer Gigi Piscitelli.

This week, using a tool for managing group analysis of a problem (down below), we tried to solve a specific industry problem. Incidentally,
it reminded me very much of the Six Thinking Hats system by
Edward De Bono we discovered during the very first weeks of this academic year.

We also used sketching and mind mapping, to solve the specific problem of “How can Creative Technology help humans evolve?” Our answer, as you can see from the image at the top of this section, was “by enhancing human senses”, through mixed reality and other technologies.

Working with assistive technologies

The Barnet Independent Living Service is an organisation that offers specialist support to adults with a range of physical and sensory impairments.

A partnership with Middlesex University and BILS will allow us student to work together with disabled people and to develop a design that will aid them with their particular disability. More on this in the upcoming weeks.

During the last session, we explored assistive technologies aimed at people with hearing impediments. In particular, we tested the Google Translate speech recognition software, the Voice To Text one on Windows and the
Google Docs Speech-To-Text feature.

It was an interesting insight into how people with disabilities can navigate the world through technology, and I’m looking forward to delving further into this topic and project.

Product Design with Imogen Heap

As many of you will know, Imogen Heap is a singer, songwriter, record producer and audio engineer. She is known, among other things, for being a prolific tech innovator as well as an and award-winning recording artist.

Imogen had recently her first world tour in eight years, and came to Middlesex this week to brainstorm with us creative technology students an alternative version of her Mi.Mu Gloves for her upcoming tour.

The brief for the new gloves explained we had to create “a new gestural-tech based, led light-reactive glove-shaped product to be sold at concerts during the US leg of the tour.” Price point < $50.

It was an extremely interesting experience. Having to deal with an actual real-world problem to solve felt thrilling and challenging. Many of the elements of the process were quite similar to when trying to work with hypothetical scenarios (audience, technology, deadlines etc), but others like the price per item, the limitations of a venue or dealing with long-term fans’ expectations, for example, were quite new.

All in all, it was an interesting week. I feel we’re slowly starting to apply our hard-earned skills to the real world, and this is just so exciting.

Next week, we will go through business-related concepts and how to pitch an idea. We will also get started on a locative app and test new assistive technologies!

Thanks for reading!

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