Tax memory

A receipt is a written acknowledgment that a specified article or payment has been received.

A receipt records the sale of goods or provision of a service.
They contain a lot of details that are part of a certain memory – an address and name of a business, a date and time of day,
the person paying for a service and the form of payment, table number, product or dish purchased and more.
These details can definitely serve us when documenting a memory, in a very official way.

When looking to find a way of remembering events, it would be great if the system can help with everyday archiving that needs to be done anyway. I personally find it hard to keep track of my receipts for tax purposes. I find it annoying and never get around to it, though I know I should. But if I look at receipts as documents that archive memories, It could be a way of doing my mandatory receipt archiving and not add another “task” to my personal life logging chores.

When traveling, I tend to keep stubs and receipts from places. The purpose of that is to remind me of a specific experience, time and place. These papers pile up, collect dust and I hardly look at them again.

Money takes a big part of our lives yet it is not a part of the memory we like to look back on.
Most of us prefer to recall our enjoyment rather than how much it cost us.

This is how the system currently works:

Receipt – – > iPhone camera – – > Dropbox – – > Tesseract OCR – – > txt file – – > wordpress blog

Week 1 – Archive Fever

When thinking of a way to archive my activity in this class, I want to tackle several issues;
The first of them is my fear of posting. I tend to get shy and overly judgemental of myself and don’t make the final publish.
For this reason I consider making a tool that would help me overcome this barrier.

My idea was to carry a Raspberry Pi + camera with me and trigger it every time that I want to capture something – text / image / thought. This will automatically be posted online and that way eliminating the editing and publishing barrier. I am still figuring out some technical issued but here is the system diagram Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 10.48.14 AM


Until this system is ready, I will be posting my class activity in this blog, as I do with all classes at ITP.


A visit to the Chinese American Museum


  • Your impressions of the look and feel of the whole place.
    The museum has a permanent exhibit about the history of Chinese community in the US.
    There is also a temporary exhibit space, that is currently devoted to oil and ink paintings by contemporary Chinese artists that moved to the US.
    There is a clear difference between the white clear walls of the temporary exhibition and the busy dark walls of the permanent exhibition.
  • Do you feel welcomed, is the place intimidating or comfortable, what’s the atmosphere?Although the lobby is not small, the initial feeling when coming into the museum was pretty cosy and warm.
    The museum felt welcoming. We were the only ones there on Sunday 4pm.
    The people at the front desk were very nice and gave us restaurant tips.
  • A word (or two)for its personality?
    subdued and well intentioned but slightly scattered.
  • A memorable object, exhibit, hall or interaction (person-to-person)
  • Hospitality: how hard to find the bathrooms, how nice are the guards, can you find your way around.
    The guard was very nice and directed us without we asked. The museum is fairly small and they pointed us to the bathrooms as well. If we were trying to find it from further inside the museum, it might be a little more difficult but wouldn’t take long.
  • Who’s there? No one was at the museum except for us, the people at the front desk and the security guard.
  • Notice if there are any interactive technology exhibits. Are they working? How do people interact with them?
  • Spend a few minutes of the museum’s website.


The website is a bit too generic and has a different vibe than the museum itself. Before getting to the museum, a man on the street offered me an “Art Reading”. He felt my pulse with his eyes closed and told me I was short on Yin. The Yin is the bright and positive in Yin Yang. Yang is the dark colored, passive. Although his “reading” was mostly just influenced by the fact that I am a female and there for traditionally considered as “Yang”, where the male is the “Yin”, I would like to use this as a metaphor for the museum. The museum feels very Yang, but the website feels very Yin but not in a good way. The layout is also very old fashioned in web terms and could use a makeover. I would go back to the website only for visiting hours.

  • Does the website ‘feel” like its specific museum? The website doesn’t
  • Would you ever go back to the website? Why?
  • How many clicks to find out the address and hours of operation? one
  • Missed Opportunities… think about what you would change or improve












P1050584 P1050582 copy P1050576 copy P1050574 P1050571 copy P1050565 copy P1050563 copy

Living on a Stream – response

Steven Levy is willing to bet that in the future, most of the video content we consume online will be streamed live rather than pre-taped.
I do agree that livestreaming is becoming more and more commonly used and is a great tool for communication on many levels.
However, I would still bet against Levy’s opinion, for two main reasons: The quality of content and people’s short attention span.

Livestreaming is great when you want to watch a live event and can’t be present.
Last year many of us ITPers tuned in from the other rooms to watch the thesis presentations so that we could continue to work while listening and not miss out on anything. However, much of the content currently consumed by many, such as TV shows and movies is a result of composed writing, directing and editing. Even reality TV goes on air after editing and I believe that without editing we would be left with masses of frames that no one would want or be able to digest and enjoy. I think that the art of good storytelling is still very valid in our times and it is very noticeable in the TV realm, that has become the new cinema. I don’t think that placing a camera in a meth lab could get a good of a story as Breaking Bad for example, because Breaking Bad is a well written, well edited story that is brought to us in a very enjoyable ~50 min video. I doubt if any of us today have time to tune into that meth lab footage in order to get the few interesting moments that might occur.

To conclude, I definitely agree that the future has a lot of live video on the web in store for us, but I doubt if it will be the majority of the video content we consume.

Summer of Drones

This summer I found myself very interested in the use of drones for the purpose of capturing aerial footage.
It started when I came up with a project I had wanted to do for Beam Camp, which didn’t happen in the end due to my traveling and my internship schedule. the concept of the project (that I hope to do next summer) is to teach kids how to program basic geometric shapes in the form of a physical game shot from top view. One team would be the programmers and the other one would be the computer. They would move on a pixel grid with some form of color and physically demonstrate the computer’s process.

In order to get that top view that I was looking for, I got to learning about Drones.
I had a brief intro with Crys Moore and took out this little toy called Parrot.
This is the footage from the first time I tried to fly it, and found out how bad it dealt with low light:

Dan and I went upstate to camp in Hurley where we took these videos with it. It performed much better outdoors, although there are quite a few issues with it, like the fact that it is opperated with an iphone app.

Next post will be about my better adventures with the dji Phantom drone.

Walk and Talk presentation

This is a very short clip that documents our presentation of the concept.
For the final presentation we had slight issues with using the two projectors, which is something we need to keep working on. Another thing is communicating to the user what they should be doing in a more coherent way.

We are happy with our accomplishments with the Kinect and OF, and hope to continue improving this piece in the future.

Walk & Talk from ziv schneider on Vimeo.

Some testing debug views from the process:

territory_expand_test from Laura Chen on Vimeo.

territory_expand_tooMany from Laura Chen on Vimeo.

Face Planets

After my final presentation in class, Aankit and me continued to work on the project for the environmental fluid dynamics lab. Trying to figure out what interaction would be best to create with passers by in the street, we decided it would be interesting to have the fluids respond to a person’s image. We decided to use the Flir thermal camera to capture the video and translated the grasycale input to different coloured particles.

The next iterations were:

  • Using the flowfield image example to create a flow field based on a person’s face
  • Importing a video from the Flir camera
  • Drawing the vehicles, in colours mapped to the luminance of the image and in the location of the relevant pixel
  • Adding Syphon to connect to Mad Mapper
  • After the 1st day of the show, we decided to add a button to let the user capture their own image when they like it.

All the portraits created by the display are in a tumblr blog with the user’s names.

These are some user interactions, with different styles we used for the graphics.


The final code is here:

Nature of Code final – turntable simulation


For this final, I want to present progress I made with two separate projects involving fluid dynamics.

This is currently where I am at with the turntable simulation:
We have a circular flowfield, two particles systems that see each other, but a lot of things to solve still:

  • Sketch needs to run faster
  • respond to hand gestures
  • more fluid like
  • closer to the aesthetic of marble paper.

I am happy with the current state of the project but intend to improve on it in the next two weeks.
Another thing I wanted to use the fluid dynamics for is an installation Ive started in a different class where the users draw each others image using hand gestures.
I wanted to make the movement more fluid like and then project the two images on top of each other in different tints. Here are some visual examples of the effect right now:


Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 7.44.29 AM