Research Internship: IDI Group 23/08/2010
Following my internship with the SUM group, I accepted an extension to work with the IDI Group. This was a chance to settle in to the group prior to starting my Ph.D. In the 4 weeks, I produced an Android app that would simulate the sensation of stroking a cat. In the beginning, I looked towards simulating hairs in OpenGL ES to give visual feedback. However, this would have been computationally intensive on a mobile device at the time. Instead, I took the advice of Kiff, a motion graphics artist, to give the impression of hairs moving by distorting the image texture. To provide the tactile experience of stroking a cat, I implemented feedback through the vibration motor. If a stroking pattern was established, then a vibration pattern would be delivered to give the sensation of a cat purring. I also added audio feedback for the purring, and a screech if the stroking became too rough. A selection of images and controls for the feedback were provided. This was a short fun project that I released on the Android Market. It was surprisingly popular, with 9850 downloads, 500 of which are still installed 4 years later. As it has not been maintained since Cupcake (Android 1.5), I decided to take it down.