Sylvia, enters All Hands Active and uses one of the many tablet interfaces available throughout the space to access the system’s recording functionality. She starts working and sets the system to take photos of her automatically as she works on a project. Once she has completed her work, she puts down the tablet and walks away. A second user, Jeff, enters, and after some deliberation about what to work on—a common problem at All Hands Active—uses another tablet interface to find projects associated with different physical spaces inside All Hands Active. He settles on Sylvia’s project, is able to get basic information about her project via the tablet interface, and is also able to access Sylvia’s maker profile. Soon after, Sylvia reenters the scene. Armed with information about her from her profile, Jeff introduces himself and the two quickly are able to start working together on a project.
Final Report Executive Summary
All Hands Active is a unique, productive makerspace that is ripe for digital augmentation. The space is a group-run, ever-changing, and imperfect, but it is an effective place for its members to create all manner of projects. One of the space’s best characteristics is that members often help each other by sharing their expertise and contributing to others’ projects. By sharing knowledge, members are able to complete better projects than they could alone, even if they did have access to the shared space, tools, and materials that All Hands Active provides.
Our system, All Hands Augmented, directly addresses two of All Hand Active’s most pressing needs: better, easier documentation as well as better, easier social facilitation between members. By improving both of these facets, our system contributes directly to improving what makes the space such a unique and special environment. Our proposal uses near-future technology that would intelligently and accurately capture physical data about members within the space, location data, data from chips embedded in tools and materials, photos, videos, and audio. This data would be combined and collated to create accurate and usable project profiles. These profiles would create an institutional memory that could be accessible by all members. Project profiles would also be linked to personal member profiles, which would be accessible via location-aware tablet touch interfaces, and would enable members to find interesting projects, and to connect with people who could help them with their projects. All of these technologies should be available within the next five to ten years, and even implementing some pieces of our system would go a long way towards improving All Hands Active, or most makerspaces around the world.