Yoo Kyoung Noh
Art Center College of Design
The Graduate Media Design Program
Useless Networks
Assignment - Design a project that assumes a massively networked and sensored world. But take an ironic perspective on this future world, and design a project that either makes fun of it, comments on the dangers, is a humorous take, is completely dumb, or is otherwise a completely useless application. Set up complementary sensors at least 20 feet apart from each other.

Concept - Recently, I have been concerned about my diet and health, and have been inclined to calculate calories of food whenever I ate to manage my weight. However, the temptation of junk food is really hard to resist. After eating high-calorie food, I always regret eating and think "how long do I have to walk on the running machine to burn these calories?" Based on my experience, I came up with the Diet Vending Machine that helps the user to burn calories before eating the high-calorie food. In a massively networked and sensored world, everything will be connected to each other remotely and wirelessly, and the remote effect will be the strong point of ubiquitous computing society. However, for this useless network project, I wanted to make this strong point of remote effect to a useless thing. To get food from the Diet Vending Machine, users have to burn the calories of the food that s/he chose by going back and forth between the vending machine and the place 20 feet away, where the food is located at, repeatedly in a limited time. Although this machine sound reasonable at first, the mechanism behind it makes the machine useless, for the machine defeats the purpose of a convenient vending machine and makes the user to perform mission-impossible to get food.

How it works


1. First, the user inserts money, and chooses one of the food items that s/he likes.

2. Once the user presses one of the buttons, the user has to go to a machine 20 ft away from the vending machine. This separate machine has a screen and provides food in the pick up place. Once the user arrives at this location, he/she has to press the button on the machine. After this, the machine calculates the calories and distance that s/he has walked so far. The screen shows the calories that the user has burnt, the distance to run, and the remaining time left to finish running.

3. S/he has to go back to the vending machine, and press the food button s/he has already chosen. Then, s/he has to go back to the pick-up machine and press the button again to refresh the information on one's exercise. In a limited amount of time, the user has to go back and forth until the exercise is completed in order to get the food.

Technical specs - Make controller, Push button, Flash action script2.o, NetLabWidgets 2.0b3

Instructor: Phil Van Allen