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  • Writer's pictureKJ Ha

Don't Push Panda's Nose & Observation

Don't Push Panda's Nose

I created a simple circuit using the force sensitive resistor and red LED light. The way this device works is that if the panda's nose is pressed hard enough, the red LED turns on and the message "I Was Just Kidding. Be Gentle with Me!" appears on the serial monitor. The force-sensitive resistor underneath the panda's nose enables this mechanism to work.

Circuit Schematic. Input on pin A0 (force-sensitive resistor), output on pin 2 (LED).

Observation: Virtual Artist Kiosk, Sephora in Columbus Circle.

Sephora's Virtual Artist is an interactive display that allows customers to see how products look on their face without having to try them on directly. Mimicking a look of the mirror, it has a size of the iPad (or slightly bigger) with the camera on the top. The purpose of the kiosk, offering customers an interactive virtual try-on interface, may sound wonderful at first; however, it didn't seem like it has a great appeal to the majority of people in the store. I stayed there for about twenty minutes but I observed only four people came up to the kiosk interacting with it. All four were women: three of them were in their late teens to mid-twenties, and the other is in her fifties. All interaction time was less than eight minutes and one girl stayed there for less than thirty seconds.

Although the transaction itself was pretty much intuitive and very straightforward, people seemed to have a strong preference for sale's associates over the virtual kiosk. Many people had asked sales associates what products they recommend or what is the best way to use them and the more people simply grabbed the test products and tried them directly on their faces. I believe one of the purposes to visit the store is to see how the actual products look on their face; therefore, it might not be suitable to have such kiosk in the store where almost all the products are available for try-out. I realized that there is also a mobile app for the same interface. The mobile app or the virtual artist itself would be ideal for online shopping where physical products are not available.

Before I read "The Art of Interactive Design" by Chris Crawford, I readily thought many of the technologies in public are interactive. Giving much thought into that, I realized that most of them are mere reactive without having any true interactive elements. The kiosk at Sephora has slight interactive factors but it still exhibits a low level of interactivity. 

For this specific case of Sephora's virtual artist, I believe a more detailed analysis of customers' needs and the development of interfaces that are more suitable to its original purpose are required to increase its interactivity.


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