Idea Implementation Attempt


In this sketch I have tried to implement an draft for the way of coding my idea from their mockups. Using the initial question as the example, i have split the canvas into 3 equal parts, starting with section one; from 0 pixels to 425 pixels (1/3rd) section two; from 425px-855px and so on to total the dimensions of my project: 1280×720 (anything higher would unfortunately decrease frame rate performance drastically).

The face detection’s box ‘y’ coordinate would be recorded in realtime and compared to the three pixel ranges mentioned above (ie left ‘Male’, middle ‘Neutral’ and right ‘Female’)

Once the face detection box entered the left or right pixel range, the alpha image overlayed on the live camera footage would change to its respective side. For example if the user moved to the left, the overlay would change from ‘neutral.png’ to ‘left.png’ where left.png is the same image, only with an underscore (as shown in my mockups)

This idea of using ranges based on the amount of answers possible, for example 8 ranges for 8 answers (and 8 seperate .png’s with the only unique thing being an underscore under each answer) will be used for each of the 3 main questions.

With my basic knowledge in Face Detection and in Java, i tried what i though was the most basic way to do this in code

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 12.47.49

But it threw a lot of errors


Face Detection

The foundations of my idea rely on the face detection feature set included in the ‘OpenCV’ library. I had to use online help to aid me in making it work correctlyScreen Shot 2015-01-26 at 09.50.42

Once working correctly, we had tracking!


Idea Planning, Interaction & Space

In order to keep the user engaged in the installation, the questionnaire will consist of a catchy idle screen, then 3 main questions once initiated, and then a final results screen.
The idle screen will ask ‘Are you drinking too much?’ followed by, ‘Stand in the centre of the screen to find out’

Once a user has engaged by stopping and standing still infront of the screen, I will use the face detection library to lock on to the user and initiate the first question.

From here on, all questions will be interactively chosen through movement. The user can stay in the centre to decide on their answer and then move left or right as many paces as needed to stand under their answer. While moving the answer will underline in realtime. Once the user has stood under their answer for a few seconds, it will be chosen and saved, and the next question will display.

The first question will ask ‘Are you male or female?’ this is important as the recommended maximum daily drinking amount differentiates between the two significantly.

The second question will ask ‘How many days a week do you go out and drink? The final question being ‘How many units do you drink on a night out?

Using simple math, processing will work out weather you are drinking over the recommended daily allowance and how much you drink a month.

The next step was deciding on the location for the installation, there are two to choose from, one by the entrance (right image) and one around the corner in the main foyer (left image)


It quite quickly became clear that the main foyer would not be easily usable due to the flow of movement, people walking in the cameras direction would confuse the face detection causing random facial lock ons. On the other hand, the entrance space has a flow of sideways traffic, meaning a lock on would only be triggered if someone where to notice the screen, stop and stand in front of it.

Initial Installation Idea

From gathering my results in my questionnaire as well as researching statistics for alcohol consumption in the UK, I felt inspired to further explore the idea of questions & results, and felt that making an interactive questionnaire would be a great idea.
Being in a university with thousands of students, whom of which the vast majority partake in nightlife, I felt that it was something many people would want to partake in if they walked past the installation. A questionnaire on its own is somewhat boring and often doesn’t give the user an output, ie its results.
Having an interactive questionnaire which in turn would give the user their tailored results and advice on their current consumption is something I think would appeal to many people, both in an informative and fun interactive way.

Drinking Awareness Questionnaire & Results

In aid of supporting and researching my idea, I put together a short questionnaire which I sent to friends online and in person, my aim was to get a general understanding of peoples knowledge on the subject, and weather or not the questionnaire would change their current drinking habits. I presented the questionnaire, online, to various friends till I had collected 20 unique completed forms. The form went as follows:

1. What is the recommended maximum intake of daily units per day for both males and females?

2. How many units are in a pint of beer, or how many units are in 1 shot of vodka?

3. How many times a week do you go out and drink alcohol?

4. How many units or drinks do you consume when you go out?

5. Do you believe you exceed the recommended daily allowance of alcohol?

After gathering my results, I worked out the average answer for each of the 5 questions to get a general idea of the results. (rounded to numbers without decimal points)

1. 6 units

2. Those who answered beer said 2 units, and those who answered a shot of vodka said 0.5 units.

3. 2 days a week

4. Those who answered units said 9 and those who answered drinks answered 5

5. 13 answered yes and 7 answered no.

From gathering the final results it became clear that many of those who partook in the questionnaire had little or incorrect knowledge on the subject. Of the 7 who answered ‘no’ on question 5, 5 did indeed exceed the the recommended intake on a night out. I then asked those 5, ‘Now knowing that your intake is over the recommended intake and considered unhealthy, will you change your habits? Of those 5, only 2 said yes.

The results of this questionnaire solidified my thoughts on the general ignorance surrounding the subject.

Media Culture & Drinking Awareness

Media culture refers to the current society that has emerged and developed in the 20th and 21st century, primarily under the influence of mass media. The term refers to the general impact and guidance portrayed by the media, primarily in television and online, but also in the press and radio, not only on public opinion but also on tastes and values.

As Bignell (2000) stated, media culture, with its declinations of advertising and public relations, is often considered as a system centered on the manipulation of society.

In this case, the advertising of alcohol on television, online and on billboards, has lead to a huge influx of alcohol over consumption. A recent study carried out by the Health & Social Care Information Centre (2014), showed that among adults who had drunk alcohol in the last week, 55 per cent of men and 53 per cent of women drank more than the recommended daily amounts, including 31 per cent of men and 24 per cent of women who drank more than twice the recommended amounts in 2012.

Although strict rules apply in the UK in regards to whom alcohol advertising can be targeted at and at what time, It still portrays its use in a largely glamorous way, giving its use the sense of a common occurrence, especially in young people.

Bignell, JB., 2000. Postmodern Media Culture. Edinburgh University Press.

Health & Social Care Information Centre, 2014. Statistics on Alcohol 2014 [online]. Available from: [Accessed 28th November 2014].