Good Morning centers on two objects essential to the 21st century morning experience: the coffee mug, and the smartphone. The former is calming and static; the latter, stimulating and dynamic.
The coffee mug, designed to sit comfortably in the physical human hand, presents novel challenges when represented in virtual space. Good Morning's dry, spacious ambience encourages meditation on the complexity of replicating a comforting, physical act (holding a coffee cup) in the future environment of AR/VR.
Meanwhile, notifications pour out of the adjacent smartphone, provoking the user to abstract their current-day digital reality. Will the digitally-immersive future proposed by AR/VR be stimulating, or overwhelming?
Good Morning began as an experiment in affordance. I started the process by contemplating physical forms - doorknobs, handles, railings - that are biologically intuitive to grab, touch, and hold.
My attention focused on the form of the coffee mug - an object with a soothing, simple, and relatable essence, and one designed specifically for the physical human hand. Using a digital coffee mug with Leap Motion immediately made me appreciate the importance of haptic feedback in hand-to-object interaction. Without a sense of touch, it's impossible to feel the mug "settle" in the hand.
The project also helped me recognize the importance of accurately replicating object mass in the virtual world. In Good Morning, the mug is inappropriately weighted, so its kinetic response to movement by the hand felt suprising and unsatisfying.
Surprisingly, the most satisfying experience in Good Morning can be achieved by creating an open-palmed "cupping" gesture with the hand, and "feeling" the notification tokens fall and accumulate the digital palm. This was a surprise, and made me further consider why this specific simulation was so stimulating.