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Research Abstracts

Students in the Master of Digital Media program have the option of completing a Major Research Paper or a Major Research Project.  The following abstracts are from their MRP milestone and provide a concise summary of the concerns addressed in their final deliverable.

Master of Digital Media research papers are available through the Ryerson University Library & Archives website.

The Social Psychology of YouTube: How to Become a Successful YouTuber?

This paper examines why certain YouTubers are successful and the factors that make YouTube videos gain success. Through content analysis and research into existing literature on online behaviour, this paper has narrowed the success of a YouTuber to six qualities. The first factor, authenticity, refers to the YouTuber’s ability to appear genuine. The second quality is relatability, which allows viewers to identify with the YouTuber. Having consistency in the theme, tone of voice, and branding is found to help with the overall image. Engaging with viewers helps to create a bond and sense of community. This analysis also finds that creating shareable content helps to increase the success of the YouTuber. Finally, research suggests that viewers want to be like the YouTubers. From these six qualities, videos were produced with real examples from YouTube that explain in an informative and educational way.

Brand Tune Up: Building Value for Brands Through Strategic Sonic Planning

While often overlooked, sound and music play an important role in marketing communications strategies. To stand out in today’s competitive marketplace, top companies are investing in strategic sonic planning to build value for their brands. This paper will investigate the role of sonic branding in marketing communications, and how brands can authentically and cost effectively integrate music and sound into their overall communications strategy. Looking at the history and future of sonic branding and the impact of sound and music on brands and consumers, this paper will seek to define a practical guideline for marketers and practitioners of sonic branding. The paper concludes that although it is difficult to quantify the impact of a sonic strategy, brands that embrace the principles of sonic branding can more effectively reach customers across all touch points. Moreover, the paper asserts that best practices for creating customized audio solutions differ from culture to culture.

Dynamic Data Visualization Approaches Using Video Game Engines

One of the biggest challenges of collecting research data is to find a way to logically visualize it and discover meaningful patterns and relevant information within it. The complexity of the data, along with the multiple output possibilities within it, can often cause a disengagement between the viewer and the information presented. A major obstacle in the analysis of the data is to depict the information in a manner that is easily understood by the viewing audience. The presentation of the data has to be done in a visually engaging style that conveys clearly the essence of the findings in a logical and concise manner. The aim of this project is to explore the option of creating a 3D-based visual platform that will allow the datasets analyzed to be presented and evaluated by using the current generation of video game engines.

Project Wraith: Systematizing Transmedia Through the Horizontal Reading Spectrum

Project Wraith is a transmedia experience conceptualized as a vehicle for exploring the affordances that separate this medium from traditional forms of storytelling. Beginning with a fake dating app, Project Wraith thrusts users into a storyworld where every match serves as a rabbit hole, the beginning of a distinct narrative thread that stretches across multiple channels and platforms. As a narrative mosaic in itself, the making of Project Wraith served as an opportunity to systematize various forms of transmedia storytelling. The result of this systematization is the Horizontal Reading Spectrum (HRS), a taxonomical framework comprised of four distinct classifications, each one distinguishable by the level of control and mobility users are afforded as they move from channel to channel in a given transmedia experience.

Don't Hate the Player: An Educational Card Game

Teenagers use social media as their main form of communication, allowing them to communicate and collaborate with distant friends and build new skills. However, they may also encounter danger in public shaming, cyber-bullying or sexual harassment. Don’t Hate the Player is an educational card game in which teens create narratives using the cards they have been dealt. Games present players with an artificial problem within fixed parameters. They are free to take risks without actual consequences. Don’t Hate the Player was created after examining and playing existing card games. Once a working prototype for the game was created, it was tested on teenagers (three sessions) and adults (two sessions). Suggestions made by test players led to modifications which improved game play and clarity. The results indicate that the game is an effective tool for educating teens about social media when played in an educational environment with an educator present.

A Strategic Foray into Multi-Dimensional Data Visualization in Immersive Environments

Turning large volumes of data into truly revolutionary market insights and strategies continues to make the analysis and visualization of data a core technology initiative within organizations and the basis of competitive advantage, organizational growth and system wide change. This requires deep analysis, exploration and logical depiction of the relationships and patterns that exist within data. To drive value from data to both domain experts and non-experts, information and data visualization tools and environments need to be intuitive, understandable and efficient. Our approach to visualization takes users into a multi-dimensional immersive experience by creating procedurally generated relational data environments using game engines. We believe such an approach helps augment the cognitive capacity of the user by providing logic, immersion and narrative; hence enhancing the user’s decision making capabilities, and resulting in strategic, actionable insights for the organization.

How UX & UI Affects the Teleoperation of a Robot by a Novice User

The investigation of User Experience (UX) and User Interaction (UI), telepresence and robotics came as the result of prolonged work on a project known as the BUSA Dig. The objective was to create a robot that archeologists could use to effectively search and navigate looter tunnels in el-Hibeh, Egypt. The end goal was to have an archeologist, who is most likely a novice user, teleoperate the robot. The first phase of the project was a proof of concept. Six robots were created that were able to search and discover artifacts in a simulated site. In all cases, the UI of these robots was not intuitive and was created as an afterthought. Designs were varied and not easily replicable. The focus of the project was to research and discover how UX & UI principles could be applied to create a robot designed for a novice user.

What Gender Do You Think This Robot Is: Exploring Gender in the World of Human-Robot Interaction

This major research project will explore gender in human-robot interactions by using a physical robot that was created by the author. The research question posed in this project was: Do humans associate gender with robots innately or do we need external cues in order to determine this? In order to test this theory, the author built a mechanical robot that was entirely gender-neutral, showed it to a user group, and asked them to determine what gender it was after watching it perform a predetermined function. The two main data collection methods used in this experiment were verbal interviews and questionnaires. The author’s goal for this project was to continue the conversation in the world of human-robot interaction, and to elaborate on findings that have already been made.

Virtual Aamjiwnaang: Indigenous Interactive Storytelling

Stories shape how we understand ourselves and the world around us. They inform our sense of belonging, and connect us to our past. Stories are our lives. And we are our stories. Given their undeniable weight, we ought to question what their form and content teaches us. Increasingly, stories are shared as interactive digital experiences; a reshaping that impacts their configuration, their reach and their outcome. For Indigenous peoples, who continue to resist the colonial paradigm, digital storytelling can represent a weapon of subtle yet pervasive colonialism or be a tool to talk back. Virtual Aamjiwnaang is an interactive platform that integrates Indigenous storytelling practices in recounting the lived realities of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation online. Inspired by the Two-Eyed Seeing approach, which encourages embracing multiple perspectives, and building on previous digital experiences, Virtual Aamjiwnaang proposes methods for creating digital territories that honour Indigenous ways of knowing.

Alice Through the Looking Glass: Augmented Reality Storytelling

This Major Research Project will focus on interactive storytelling using augmented reality technology. We will be researching and developing an interactive book and will specifically examine the development, design, animation, and user experience. Essentially, we would like to enhance the traditional book reading experience using augmented reality technology. We want to provide additional content that will elevate the user’s experience. Our artistic goal for this project is to make stories come to life similar to a cinematic experience. We will be exploring the possibilities of AR technology in the print realm. Through the Looking Glass was designed for both the physical and digital design-space. Both the print book and AR technology created were taken into account as two separate entities in both of these spaces. We wanted to focus on the print book as much as we did on the AR part as most of the books already on the market focus predominantly on AR and we wanted to make sure that the user sees and experiences both of these worlds as one.

From Fine Art to Digital: A Framework for Exploring Web Design & Digital Communications

This Major Research Project (MRP) is focused on the exploration of a digital communications toolset, primarily within the field of web design, from the perspective of an artist/creative with the goal of developing a strong skill set in the field. Throughout the course of this project I have had the opportunity to work on both passion projects and complete client work throughout a wide range of industries. By carefully documenting an approach to this often daunting and difficult to navigate field, this project aims to inform other like-minded, talented and creative individuals with a framework to design for the web with an audience in mind.


Art-repreneur: An Examination of the Role of Entrepreneurial Self-Identification and Technique in the Success of Creative Ventures

The following paper positions independent, creative producers and businesses in the creative sector as entrepreneurial. It also assesses how prior knowledge of entrepreneurship may contribute to the success of creative ventures. Through a sample of nine interviews with creative producers in the visual arts (namely digital art, multimedia production, painting, photography and new media art), this papers assesses 1) current conceptions of creative process and creative personalities 2) how entrepreneurial orientation and entrepreneurial intention has helped them achieve social or capital gain. While some artists have used bootstrapping and lean methodologies to increase their incidences of success, they were not exposed to these methodologies prior to embarking on a career in the arts. Knowledge of bootstrapping can give artists ways to maximize the social and economic resources available to them. Knowledge of lean methodology can help artists decrease the inherent risk of creating artistic products while letting them better understand their value within a marketplace.

SmallTalk: An E-therapy Program Assisting Those with Bipolar Disorders

SmallTalk is a program that assists those with bipolar disorder or a mental health care need to record, communicate and track stressful situations, moments or events. Traditional cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) asks that one chronicles their thought processes in a journal so one can learn how to change. However, contemporaneously, more and more online therapies, group discussions, and outreach hotlines have become the new arena for discussing mental health issues and care with trained professionals or people living with similar conditions. I’ve been creating a program prototype, for those diagnosed with bipolar disorder, to improve their therapy outcomes. This has been done by combining the strengths of face-to-face therapy with emerging e-therapy tools. E-mental health technologies address the systematic failures of systematic limitations. The designed prototype, SmallTalk, will serve as an essential tool to assist with therapeutic outcomes for outcomes for individuals with bipolar disorders.

3 Minutes to Midnight: Speculative Game Design for Nuclear Disarmament

This paper proposes a digital game concept designed to increase the millennial generation’s level of engagement with the campaign for nuclear disarmament. It discusses four key research findings that support the need for the development of this game, and provides helpful information to enable better understanding of the relatively specialized inspiring concepts. The paper argues that activist campaigns should design nuanced communication plans that consider the complexities of the issue and leverage the digital media tools whose affordances best match the goals of the campaign. In the case of nuclear disarmament, I propose a campaign communication strategy in the form of a pervasive social impact game, called 3 Minutes to Midnight, as an effective way to ignite widespread public support in the 21st century.

The Alexa Impact Factor: Measuring Social Media Impact from Instameets

The growth of Instagram as a lucrative advertising platform has driven marketers to engage in influencer marketing strategies. Marketers are identifying online influencers through online engagement in terms of likes, comments and followers. This paper proposes an alternative method in measuring an Instagram user’s influence. The “Alexa Impact Factor” focuses on offline engagement and is determined by the number of Instagrammers that an influencer is able to bring together from hosting an Instameet.

Arch Play: Applications of Narrative Theory in Video Game Aesthetics

As of 2015, the incumbent international eSports paradigm centers on genre-defining systems and games that were not initially designed for mass spectatorship. As a result, would-be fans are often confronted with a high-friction onboarding process verging on hostility. With global viewership estimated to reach over 238m unique annual viewers by 2017 (Superdata, 2015), leading developers have adapted the designs of new products to prioritize audiences as well as players. The most successful among them have capitalized off of the resulting spectator virality. Lacking is a high-level framework for evaluating games based on aesthetic composition and their resulting viability as a spectator experience.This paper offers critical evaluations of dominant and lesser-known gaming spectator experiences via in-depth analyses of their constituent design affordances relating to a combined, interdisciplinary aesthetic framework centered heavily around narrative-bias. It is asserted throughout that any viewing experience with certain aesthetic factors configured to prioritize a clear and approachable classical narrative design, when evaluated aesthetically, can be considered rich in quality. Conforming to this aesthetic standard also permits games the potential to enjoy mass popularity. This paper is intended to serve as a foundation for an interdisciplinary framework of best practices in video game design.


Wayfinding, Robotics and Hospitals

This paper will give a better understanding on how complex healthcare facilities such as hospitals are using robotic technologies that incorporate superior Wayfinding systems to carry out tasks and obtain information which originally, were conducted by healthcare workers, nurses and or doctors. This paper will also address the ethical concerns that people have by incorporating these robotic technologies such as: third parties being able to hack into these technologies and collect confidential information from patients, healthcare workers and nurses possibly loosing their jobs to hospital robots and whether or not hospital robots are in fact, safe to be operating within a environment where peoples lives are on the line.

Colour and Emotion Recognition Technology: An Exploration of the Psychological Effects on ASD

This project aims to provide a basis for the development of assistive technologies for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and proposes a tool that uses emotion recognition technology and colour filters as framework for future development. Researchers suggest that colour filters may significantly improve the perception of emotions exhibited in facial expressions and this project explores both psychological and technological components of a proposed tool. The psychological aspects of colour filters and ASD are explored in this paper. The technological intricacies and design hypothesis of the proposed tool is outlined in the paper written by Elizabeth Wood, “Emotive Pal and Emotion Recognition Technology and ASD: A design hypothesis for an emotion to colour mapping system”. As emotions have both mental and physical components, the primary focus is on facial expressions. The combined research suggests that colour filters enhance the ability to perceive facial expressions when used with electronic devices.


Multimedia Learning: Creating Engaging Online Tutorials Through Instructional Design

This Major Research Project will focus on designing an online course, influenced by Mayer’s Principles of Multimedia Learning Theory, active learning, and the SAM model of instructional design. After taking this course, students will have an understanding of not only how an Arduino works, but why-- so that rather than just following instructions, students may quickly begin applying this tool in their own projects. These learning modules are geared to young adult learners from a non-technical background and were produced for used by the Digital Media Experience (DME), a teaching digital fabrication laboratory at Ryerson University. The main goal of this MRP is to analyze and fill a needs gap for the non-tech beginning and intermediate Arduino learner audience which is not currently being met in the market. By non-tech, I refer to those who have not received formal training in electronics, circuitry, or programming.


Foodmat: A Personal Internet of Things Add-on Device for Domestic Fridges

This Master's Thesis Project researches the application of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology on the home refrigerator. The project examines three challenges regarding food waste and inventory, the fridge lifecycle and current product design approaches. The project created a minimum viable product (MVP) called Foodmat, as a new design approach to applying smart technology to the traditional fridge. This final proposed product provides alternative design thinking: augmenting everyday objects with new technology rather than replacing them with a new unit. The future development of the Foodmat will continue to progress with user testing.


Storytelling in Virtual Reality from an Animation Director’s Perspective

The explosion of consumer level virtual reality (VR) hardware and the gaming engines that have powered and enabled real-time interaction within a virtual 3D environment, has moved the production and use of VR from fiction, Gene Rodenberry’s Star Trek Holodeck, into reality. “Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction...the future is coming and we have a chance to build it together” (Zuckerberg, 2014, para. 9). This research reflexively explores the design, development and production of VR content from a traditional Animation Director’s perspective. Using twenty (20) years of experience, in script, storyboard, modeling and animation production, I will explore the notion of participant controlled autonomy within an immersive 360-degree virtual environment and how that changes the need to control the narrative through traditional directorial techniques.


Alice Through the Looking Glass: Augmented Reality Storytelling

This Major Research Project will focus on interactive storytelling using augmented reality technology. We will be researching and developing an interactive book and will specifically examine the development, design, animation, and user experience. Essentially, we would like to enhance the traditional book reading experience using the augmented reality technology. We want to provide additional content that will elevate the user’s experience. Our artistic goal for this project is to make stories come to life similar to a cinematic experience. We will be exploring the possibilities of the AR technology in the print realm. Our book will transport the readers into an alternate universe by combining pictures on the pages of the book with multimedia content seen on the screen. We want to create a way to combine analog and digital content. The main objective of this MRP is to understand how interactive storytelling works by researching both successful and unsuccessful platforms and examples. Additionally, we will be researching the market and consumer trends in digital reading, looking at how analog and digital content differ in terms of content and UI experience.

Breaking the "Fourth Wall": Virtual Reality Storytelling and a Creators' Guide for Content Creators the Creation of Dan's Solo

Dan’s Solo is a real-time rendered interactive personal narrative of a real person, represented within a virtual world. This project aims to provide participants a simulative virtual space from Dan’s point of view. The inclusion of both the prelude and the interactive scenario proliferates the viewer’s participatory level. Each viewer experiences and explores Dan’s narrative by interacting with a virtual object in his room, where she is addressed as a character that is immersed in Dan’s imaginary world and can choose her own story trajectory. This project examines both theoretical and practical methodologies to develop a personal narrative for virtual reality platforms.

Social Media for Social Change: Developing Social Media Strategies to Influence Negative Cultural Assumptions

This research explores how social media can effectively be used by community activists to influence negative cultural assumptions. This study focused on challenging stereotypical attitudes towards Muslim women who wear hijab. Ten participants responded to a pre-campaign survey, which gathered their attitudes towards head coverings, specifically people in baseball caps (non-religious headgear) and hijabs (Muslim headscarf). Participants then followed a two-week social media campaign, developed with the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (Toronto chapter), that addressed common assumptions about women in hijab, and answered a post campaign survey to assess the campaign’s impact. Seven participants said the campaign successfully challenged negative stereotypes about women who wear hijab, and five said the campaign positively influenced their ideas about this cultural group. Participants said the profiles of successful women who wear hijab were most effective, which seems to indicate that positive stories may have more impact in creating social change.

For Your Information (FYI)

As a direct result of the ever increasing use of non-traditional platform delivery of broadcast and filmed entertainment, commercial ad revenue has seen immense pressure to not only adapt to new forms of platform delivery, but for broadcasters and distributors to generate more ad revenue through ad based content. “For Your Information” (FYI) is a second screen ad revenue generating service that allows products and services referenced within broadcast or filmed entertainment to be interactively engaged with. FYI allows hungry ad-free users to be better connected to the content they are viewing. This synergistic opportunity provides an avenue for brands to reach the viewing audience in a non-commercial environment. My research focuses on why a second screen option can be a great ad revenue generating tool that engages viewers in a unique way, but also explores the various opportunities and risks of developing a second screen service.

Corporate Crises in the Digital World: What Went Wrong with Chipotle?

The practice of crisis communication has evolved since the rise of digital technologies and social media. Defined as an unexpected and non-routine event with high levels of uncertainty, crisis management plans and strategies are essential for organizations’ successes. Failure to strategically manage crises through both traditional and digital media may result in significant damages and losses. This MRP examines a recent corporate crisis - the case of Chipotle Mexican Grill during the 2015-2016 E. coli outbreak across the United-States - and looks at how the social media strategy (namely Twitter) influenced the outcome of the case. Using a combination of data analytics, company financials, and theoretical frameworks, this research brings to light the importance of measuring online data, and makes suggestions on how companies may use social media to manage various types of crises.

A Visual Representation of Numbers

This research addresses the visual representation of numeric values by uniquely addressing gaps found in current data visualization software and solutions. These gaps exist in both knowledge construction as well as dissemination. Allowing users to choose their own data sets, presenting unbiased information in a clear and understandable form, and allowing users to interact with data in a way previously underexplored are three avenues where there is potential for improvement. Problem solving and narrative building can be achieved through hacking currently available tools, once paired with a simple to use, accessible, and familiar platform. Through shifting the traditional toolset, approach, and engagement these gaps can be significantly reduced.

Can Digital Technology Help Mend a Broken Heart? Self Help Redefined for the Digital Age

From swiping right on Tinder to clicking your favourites on Plenty of Fish, the market is overflowing with digital options when it comes to searching for romance. However, when that love goes awry, digital options to help heal from the heartbreak are surprisingly limited. This project offers both academic and industry research and reflection designed to discover how digital technology can be incorporated to create a more robust reader experience, to help users heal from a romantic relationship dissolution, in a faster, more effective way. From the use of game design principles to social engagement strategies, consideration is given to which platform affordances, user experience strategies, and engagement designs can be integrated with a therapeutic process, for the most effective outcome. This project examines which specific offline protocols from the fields of positive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, unconscious cognition and thought engineering are best suited for execution with these digital tools, to create results that are more effective.

Modifying Traditional Print Workflows to Include Interactive Components

Near Field Communication (NFC), is a budding technology that is slowly gaining momentum. While there is currently a lack of mainstream awareness, technology acceptance appears imminent in the long term. NFC has potential to bridge the physical and digital platforms.. This project thoroughly examines and defines NFC technology. To deepen understanding, NFC technology has been implemented into an advertising campaign, whereby the process and workflow for using the technology is documented and its effectiveness is explored. The campaign is a real application of the technology in a consumer setting. Results of this campaign indicate there is still a lack of NFC awareness among consumers. This project offers insight on how to improve awareness through education. Overall this project presents a case as to whether NFC is an effective tool to link consumers to digital campaigns, while examining the necessary modifications required for a print workflow to include the technology.

Impact of Virtual and Augmented Reality on Theme Parks

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), provide immersive experiences that are increasingly considered for implementation within Theme Parks. This paper seeks to determine the impact of virtual technologies on the Theme Parks. The method for this paper involved interviews with industry leading experts from the Theme Park industry. The interviews were structured to determine more detailed information on how they are approaching VR/AR in Theme Park attractions. Theme Parks need to provide guests with something they can’t get at home. There are many challenges with head mounted displays (HMD) in Theme Parks, as a result, several participants pointed to Mixed Reality (MR) as a better current solution. It mixes physical spaces with digital overlays with less complicated and operationally challenging technology. New attractions using VR/AR/MR technologies need to carefully consider what content they will use, mechanics of the experience and the business case to ultimately achieve overall success.

Motion Capture and Stretchable Capacitive Sensors in the Smart Wear Industry

The purpose of this reflection paper is to provide an overview of the research process I went through for my major research project in the Masters of Digital Media program at Ryerson University during the spring/summer session of 2016. My research was done in tandem with Ghazal Taheri, and together we analyzed the online fashion retail industry and its openness to technological innovation. We identified a problem the industry faces with high return rates and low customer confidence and we came up with an innovative technological solution for it. Our MRP focused on developing a commercialization plan for a company that would operate in the virtual change room sector by developing a garment that creates a virtual avatar with dimensions that are identical to their real life ones.


Wireless Charging Using Radio Waves

The main objective of this project is to innovate on the existing idea of creating wireless electricity using Electromagnetic (EM) waves; mainly focusing on radio waves. A thorough amount of research was conducted on existing designs and advancements in wireless electricity field, and hence an idea regarding the implementation of these designs was developed. This project aims to design and build a working prototype of a piece of technology in a compact fabricated electronic chip form that could be attached to small devices that require low voltage charging. This application is mainly targeted towards devices such as cell phones, sensors that require minimal amount of battery equivalent voltage for charging. This project will make use of a radio frequency (RF) harvester chip, which will convert any incoming radio waves to battery equivalent power; furthermore converting or amplifying that voltage to higher amount to be used by bigger and complex technologies, hence completing the objective of providing wireless electricity to technologies requiring less power.


interacTABLE: Going Beyond Aesthetics with Performance Driven Design Modelling

Design is an iterative and multi-phased process involving various collaborators, tools, and variables. This paper argues that conventional design is a linear process that relies on post-design analysis, lacking structural validation feedback in its critical initial phases. The paper introduces a developed framework for performance driven design modelling. interacTABLE enables a design model to go beyond aesthetics; integrating notions of form with materiality and structural performance in the earliest stages of the design process. The system is an interactive modelling surface, which employs computer vision and augmented display technology to establish synchronicity between a physical and digital design model. With this approach, a designer is able to visualize structural analysis feedback projected directly onto the physical model, thus equipping them with early design validation and mitigating a reliance on post-design analysis.

Privacy by Design Principles as a Foundation to a More Secure Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a revolutionary concept that emerged in the late 21st century, whereby everyday objects such as household items, cars, and wearables, equipped with sensors and (Radio Frequency Identification) RFID chips, can communicate with the internet and to their physical surroundings. These chips allow the connected items to share information, and allow the user to collect information about his/her “quantified self”, measuring personal data such as habits of usage, lifestyle, and location through internet networks. IoT enabled devices are designed to collect, store, share, and analyze of highly personal data ubiquitously and in real time. However, with this new affordance of connectivity, comes a potential loss of privacy for users, as ever increasing sets of personal data are collected and tracked. As such, there is a pressing need for privacy considerations to be embedded within the early stages of design of connected devices and networks.


Collaborative Telepresence Using Mixed Mediums

Collaboration in telepresence helps reduce the cost of travel expenses and the time lost through commuting. Telepresence has taken many forms from 2D to 3D systems, from autonomous robots to augmented and virtual telepresence environments, all in an attempt to bring telepresence closer to a real life experience. With head mounted displays penetrating commercial markets, virtual telepresence systems provide new ways for collaboration. With the help of 3D scanning advancements, the exploration of integrating a hyper realistic replica of real people in a 3D environment has the opportunity to create life like avatars that function in virtual environments. This major research project presents a telepresence system that provides a virtual space for users to collaborate in real time. A user study was conducted with industry professionals to query the effectiveness of collaboration in virtual reality. Results show efficiency in simultaneous navigation and collaboration while using a virtual telepresence system.

The Photo Genome Project Building an online community for sharing images as narrative artifacts

This paper examines the prospect of building an online community focusing on sharing images as narrative anchors. Images have been typically kept as important artifacts for sharing and passing on our personal histories. This paper will look at building an online community that adapts traditional methods and practices of sharing images to the digital world. We will look at research on current sharing practices and how they have changed the way we share images. This paper will explore opportunities to share personal archived images and prints in the digital realm, as well as expand on the ways we shared these family photos before the digital era. The project aims to develop an approach to engage users in sharing their images along with the narrative and personal history that accompanies them. The practical portion of this project exists online, and lays out a foundation for this kind of image sharing, both in terms of functionality and design.

SHAPEY: Bridging the Gap between Bricks and Clicks

SHAPEY is a smart garment that solves pain points in the retail industry through innovation in the wearable tech field. Using measuring sensors and three dimensional (3D) mapping, the SHAPEY garment will allow shoppers to determine their true size across brands, create a digital avatar that accurately represents their proportions, and allow them to virtually try on a garment before making a purchase. Retailers who adopt this technology will benefit by being able to provide a more seamless experience for their consumers, increase their online sales, and decrease the cost of returns.

#BeenRapedNeverReported Reimagined: Exploring the Use of Marketing and Transmedia Storytelling Strategies to Drive Social Change

When Antonia Zerbisias and Sue Montgomery started the #BeenRapedNeverReported campaign, they employed three key components: a story, a cause for change and a digital tool. Although the campaign resulted in global reach and over 7 million tweets within days, the true impact of their effort is difficult to determine. The story is over and the cause for change has succumbed to a hashtag’s ephemeral nature. The campaign, like many of its kind, missed an opportunity to drive social change - an opportunity afforded by the interconnectivity of the digital landscape and the affective power of storytelling. This project explores the possibilities of borrowing and adapting existing frameworks in marketing and transmedia storytelling in order to maximize engagement in social change campaigns.

Emotive Pal, Emotion Recognition Technology and ASD: A Design Hypothesis for an Emotion to Colour Mapping System

As part of a larger project seeking to improve emotion recognition through colour association for persons diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), this portion of work represents the research and analysis of the pertinent technologies and should be read in tandem with “Colour and Emotion Recognition Technology: An Exploration of the Psychological Effects on ASD” by André Gizenga-Ehiwe. As such, the following explores facial and emotion recognition, and discusses the application of facial expression analysis within assistive tools that are developed for those diagnosed with ASD. This research provides the context and basis for the proposed tool, Emotive Pal, which involves an emotion to colour mapping system. The design hypothesis and prototype creation process are detailed, including the different aspects of building an Android application that utilizes an API called Affectiva. Finally, the learning objectives of this project are reviewed as well as its potential influence and impact.

PROJECT AETHOS: Emotional Interactivity in Virtual Reality

Biometric feedback is a technique that utilizes electrical sensors to collect information on an individual’s psychophysiology, and relay sensory output to help regulate their functions. Heart rate variability (HRV) measures the deviation of heart rate from constancy with an estimated variation of interbeat intervals. HRV reflects an individual’s physiological, psychological and neurological conditions among many other dynamics. Studies consistently demonstrate a significant correlation between HRV with emotional experiences and emotional reactivity. Project Aethos combines HRV biometric feedback with the medium of virtual reality to create a unique environment that enables an interactive experience of emotional management.

An Investigation into the Feasibility of Delivering Online Education to Remote Communities

At the turn of the 21st century, many online collaborative models have helped global students in the process of collaborating and getting education online. Such collaborative platforms are found in various pockets globally. However, there is still a need to lay an infrastructure that could combine all those global efforts or platforms to provide online education, especially in the remote areas where even brick and mortar schooling system is a luxury. My paper will evaluate the feasibility of providing online education to remote communities, thus helping them get enlightened and empowered through education, and be a more productive part of the economy.


The Impact of the Digital Order on
Sensemaking and Being

The digital order signifies an era that profoundly embodies digital technologies. The interconnectedness and anetworked environment are the preconditions for the digital order. It provides for an ever-evolving space as the new becomes familiar and then banal each altering the perception of the public in some way. The digital order is reshaping the way we comprehend and communicate with signals as we adapt ourselves to the affordances of those tools. The digital order is in an obscure moment of evolution. It is crucial that our society is to have an awareness of it and is able to envision its impacts. To survive in such a moment of evolution, it is essential to navigate one’s own position in the digital space. This paper examines the authority of individual empowerment within this space, restate the significance of human will and discuss the ideal method to utilize this technology in a beneficial way.


Web Platform and Social Network for IoT (Internet Of Things)

Cerial builds on an approach of IoT development in a user friendly manner. It does this by utilizing graphical user interfaces (GUI) to simplify the coding process and offering methods of documenting IoT sensors. Cerial distinguishes itself not just as a framework, but also as a social network that allows users to share their own IoT applications. Through these features Cerial extends IoT development comprehensively. However, at its current stage it requires implementation of new features that can optimize its performance and its purpose.


Digital Queue Management Platform

Q’er is a queue management platform that allows customers to line up without being physically present. Customers can either join a line with their smartphone before arriving, or sign in with a receptionist upon arrival to get a digital ticket. The platform will provide useful information like how many people are in line, customer’s position in line, and estimated wait time. Office administrators will have access to all queue information on the platform. They can also pull up visitor information to speed up service process. Administrators can see who is in line and modify lineups when necessary. The system will record app usage data for offi ce use so that they will be able to improve on business workflow and management.


Advancing Live-Action Room Escape Games

A live-action room escape game is a type of physical game in which a group of players are locked in a room, or a series of rooms, for a set period of time, often an hour, and they must solve puzzles in order to free themselves before the time runs out. Over the past several years the game has gained global popularity.
As a creative working in the digital media industry, and as a former Ryerson film student, I think that the rise in popularity of live-action room escape games provide a unique opportunity to tell interactive stories in new ways. My research into these games has revealed that, while they offer unique collective experiences, their current design has some limitations and its full potential has not been realized. For this project I chose to create the initial plans for a live-action room escape game that overcomes the following limitations:
I. Replay Value: Currently, live-action room escape games have no replay value, even if you do not solve all the puzzles you cannot replay the game.
II. Limited Use of Narrative: The use of narrative techniques is very limited and the games often lack a cohesive story.


Introducing Social Connectivity To The
Toronto International Film Festival

The purpose of this project is to showcase how the creation of a digital component, such as the People’s Choice app, would enhance the experience of attending a major film festival by providing more social connectivity to the festival and other attendees. My analysis found that the use of mobile technology heightens our perceived relationships with brands, events and individuals to the point where it could be considered destructive to not offer some form of digital component to sustain new relationships and build upon current relationships with visitors of the festival.


Digital Media and Design Thinking, a catalyst for social innovation

Design Thinking is a human centred approach and methodology to creating products, solutions, systems and business models. Throughout the 12-month MDM program, I was a project lead on three key initiatives in the areas of social ventures, mobile applications and video production. While different in approach; each project had the core intention of empowering a community and its people through digital media. Design Thinking was used throughout the ideation process and prototyping stage of development. I aim to use each project as a case study and extrapolate the journey behind developing the ideas and prototypes while identifying successes and areas for improvement. My core intention is to highlight how Digital Media can be a channel for Social Innovation and Community Empowerment by way of Design Thinking.


The Invitation
Niche Audiences, Participatory Culture and The Hype Machine

Lawrence Lessig offers an interpretation of read / write culture, or remix culture, as it relates to the social realm. “It gives the audience something more,” he says. “Or better, it asks something more of the audience. It is offered as a draft. It invites a response (Remix, 85). With participatory culture and niche audiences in mind, my research looked to explore the problem of information overload inherent in music discovery. Whereas Hodson & Wilkes looked at textual patterns and sentiment in discourse, the objective of my research was to apply their “social media listening” techniques within the context of identifying trends in electronic music discourse. In gathering data from the music blog aggregator The Hype Machine, which employs crowdsourcing and content curation, I was able to pre-fi lter a sample of popular music blog posts to then create a dataset from which to identify correlations in both audio properties and blog influence. The research was driven largely by an exploration of technology and cultural change, as well as examinations of why and how audiences consume music.


Exploring Digital Toolsets for the Operating Room

Hospital operating rooms are, by nature, inefficient. There are unexpected delays and emergencies that arise during the day. Wasted time leads to frustration among staff, and wasted funds from empty operating rooms concern hospital administrators. Operating room efficiency has been well studied, and optimal flow continues to be a major issue among hospitals worldwide. This project explores the design and development of “TagTeam”, an Operating Room Relay Messaging service. TagTeam is a SMS system that originates from within the Operating Room to waiting surgical teams to let them know when they’re running behind. This gives the waiting teams the freedom to go about their day, without having to waste time “waiting in the halls” when the current procedure goes over time, or the ability to be ready when a procedure finishes early. A fluid scheduling system and relay notification system allows surgical teams to do more with their time – and still be reachable.


Cross-Platform Social Media Strategy
Developing Branded Communities

Network science has evolved greatly since The Seven Bridges of Königsberg was fi rst published in 1736 by Leonhard Euler, reducing the physical pathways of bridges into abstract graphable nodes. The pathways are now digital and the information we can derive from their relationships is immensely valuable. Network science has been applied to numerous studies over the years and it is now fi nally focused rightfully on social media; this has huge implications for marketers of all kinds, enabling better understanding of successful network characteristics. Using social network analysis and graph theory from Netlytic, we can begin to asses successful social media strategy across platform and develop a model for building a branded community.

Isaac, The Mountain & The Moon.
Blended Materiality: Making a Hybrid Picture-book

Innovations in tangible interaction, computer vision and emerging trends in digital reading offer novel opportunities in integrating physical and digital graphic storytelling. Isaac,The Mountain and The Moon is a hybrid physical-digital picture-book that maintains a singular story-world across media, while still allowing affordances specific to each. Reviewing research findings identified design opportunities in blended materiality that when applied to picture-books, would likely have readers perceiving the hybrid whole as more valuable than the sum of its parts. Isaac, The Mountain & The Moon acts as a model that: integrates considerate enhancements and affordances of both physical and digital objects; explores strategies that further engage reader communities in digital craft and social editions; encourages learning, curiosity and new media literacy through storytelling and the interactive experience.
Pivoting towards KahootsHQ’s first sale

Kahoots is an online platform for post secondary institutions. It allows students, alumni, and faculty to build multidisciplinary teams for projects. Outlined below is an overview of buiness development for the major research project, KahootsHQ. Included below is the opportunity that exists and our planned course of action in pursuing it. Also outlined are the pivots that were made over the course of the project period, the reasons why we made them, and ultimately what led to our first sale.


NFC Aided User Curation and Narrative for Exhibits
Using Customizeable Artifacts for a More Personal Experience

The museum-going experience has evolved from tour guides and information booklets to the addition of smart screens that are more informative and engaging. My project looks into an alternative manner of creating a more immersive user experience for museum goers. I talk about using radio technologies to help users curate their own narrative, whilst also using these objects as a portal beyond the displayed collection. The process, I propose, is best defined in threesteps. By using existing technologies to act as better signifi ers, we have the opportunity to get more use out of smart screens. Secondly, by 3D printing these smart objects, we are able to customize and make them relatable at a fairly low cost. Lastly, allowing the users to relate to these objects and take them home allows for a better relation to the museum and thus creating more loyalty to the institution or brand.


Hot Potato
Edit a Video & Pass it along

Say a user is watching a Harvard University lecture on YouTube, they may be intrigued enough to share it. However, if the video is 20 minutes long, the reason for sharing may be unclear; which part appealed to the sharer of the video? Was it the topic overview, or the case study example? A viewer most likely finds one or more specific moments appealing. Memorable moments within a video can be shared using Hot Potato. Hot Potatoe lets a user select, edit and share video content with a user-friendly, no-frills interface. Hot Potato lets you make spuds.


Data Visualization
Slow Trance Dance, A Conceptual Art Piece

I have created an art piece to explore new ways of communicating data to audiences. The standard way of perceiving data is visual, either directly in tables or through fi gures and charts which express visual content. I explore how people respond to visual information emotionally and understand conceptual information. With Canadian Public Health data, I explore issues around sexuality, touch, and sexually transmitted diseases/infections. My project is concerned with the extent to which people could perceive data through touch (i.e. feel vibrations) or hearing sound based on numerical inputs. My research report discusses only the technical issues involved in creating a prototype for this project. I explore methods I examined and implemented to develop the work into a tangible experience that viewers can potentially fully immerse themselves in. However, I do not assess the nature of people’s responses to data visualisation through touch or hearing.

The Disaster and Emergency Management Network

DEMHUB makes it easy for Disaster and Emergency Management professionals to find information that keeps them informed and up-to-date while offering them the opportunity to share their knowledge and experience with others in the industry.


An exploratory study of online influencer: using digital media platform(s) to create a business or break into an industry

The objective of this study is to investigate whether or not a business can be created through one’s chosen digital media platform (i.e., blogs, YouTube channel, Instagram accounts, etc.) and its audiences. This is achieved by reviewing the power of online infl uencers and blogging as a profession; providing an in-depth examination of secondary case studies of successful influencers who have created businesses through their digital media platforms; discussing common strategies used by influencers to become effective in their businesses; and discussing the new wave of online influencers.
The results of the present study clearly reveal the advantages of using digital media platforms as a way for influencers to use their personal brand and audiences to launch successful businesses. Since influencers have tremendous sway over their audiences’ behaviours due to their unique point of views and personal branding, they are able to leverage their audiences to create lucrative opportunities (both monetary and social) for themselves.

Barriers to Entry of Digital Technology in the Real Estate Industry
An Exploration of Opportunities and Solutions

The real estate industry has been a laggard in the adoption of digital technology. The industry has been slow to use digital tools to improve the current business model and approach to every day business. However, recently several efforts have been made to change this. The industry is recognizing the need to keep up with an ever-changing consumer market.
Real estate agents have begun to recognize the importance of customer satisfaction, especially in the buyers market. With a predominantly younger, more tech-savvy group of consumers taking the reins, the industry has no option other than to adopt. Real Estate Feedback System is a response to an opportunity identified within the above observation. It is an application designed for real estate agents and their home buyer clients.


Colour Acquisition and Controlled Lighting 3D Photogrammetry (3D scanning)
Removing surface reflections to reveal true colour

The purpose of this project was to build a modular 3D photogrammetry capture environment for capturing small to medium sized static objects (up to 3 feet in height), with computer controlled lighting and shutter actuations and while implementing the use of colour management for the purpose of digital archival of physical objects of cultural importance. The methods used to do this are all adapted and extrapolated from other existing workflows and solutions from photographic lighting and camera adjustment, to colour management used in graphic design and 2D printing workflows.
Digital photogrammetry is the process of taking multiple digital photos of a subject, and processing them through a point-matching algorithm that assists in recreating a 3D digital representation of the physical object (by “connecting the dots”, in this case the matched points).
The primary factors to consider for capturing a high quality reconstruction
are the lighting conditions at capture time, and light interaction.

Misogyny and Gaming
The Maintenance of a Male-Gendered Gamer Culture

The construction of the gamer identity as one that is naturally male originates from culturally embedded societal gender roles and technomasculinity, and the industry as a male-dominated space. Despite these associations being solely derivative of cultural norms, each posits female gamers as inferior to their male counterparts. However, the mainstream popularization of gaming, and increase in the accessibility of videogames, has facilitated a diversification of the gaming population and its associated practices, posing a threat to the traditional gamer identity. The result is a cultural shift that could restructure a cultural landscape that was once highly exclusive, initiating a number of operations that alienate female gamers, as a means of preserving an illusion of male ownership. These operations are apparent in literature and gamer discourse. An original survey and participant-observer discourse analysis were used to collect data on the pervasiveness of misogyny in the community.

Interactive Performance
The Digital Age of Theatre

Maslow refers to Peak Experiences as the combined response of the emotions, senses, intellect and imagination. These encounters are often experienced by people who have achieved self -actualization, in other words, the desire for a human being to become everything that they are capable of becoming. This MRP explores the similarities that exist between the digital realm and the theatre, both as environments that create meaning and fulfillment based on their own unique factors. By exploring the relationship between theatrical experiences and digital media experiences, the goal is to determine how engagement practices between both mediums can function in harmony, in order to produce the hedonic experiences that Maslow describes. This is done by comparing various immersive theatre companies and interactive design companies who are pushing the boundaries of their fields, and attempting to produce infectious and enlightening experiences in their areas of expertise. The paper is a series of case studies and analyses different immersive forms of theatrical experience.

Education and Startup Success
Finding a Correlation

This study is concerned with the relationship between entrepreneurship education and startup success. Its goal is to determine whether or not, a certain type of education and the level of it can increase the likelihood of the creation of a successful company. This study will be performed using a quantitative approach. The population of this study will consist of startup company founders and co-founders. The founders will be gathered by collecting data on startups that have been founded from 2008 - 2015 Their educational backgrounds will then be gathered using online platforms such as Facebook, company biographies, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. This study will fulfil the gap of correlating if certain degrees and what levels of education has the biggest impact on startup success.

The Atid Project
Teaching the Holocaust through Digital Storytelling

Through an investigation of the current resource landscape, in particular the major web presence of Yad Vashem and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, this paper aims to develop an education protocol with the goals of maximizing student engagement, enhancing the student experience, boosting retention of information, and facilitating the individuals identification with the historical events of the Holocaust.
This paper describes a conceptual protocol on three basic dimensions: Holocaust content (academic resources, testimony, evidence), Learning Sequencing (importance of timing and sequencing of the learning experience) and Digital Media (the use of modern day digital technology in all its forms). These dimensions interact with each other to in the proposed protocol.

Feeling Culture & Glass Divides
Museums in a Digital Age

The current architectural paradigm presents itself through digital and physical mediums separately, and this disconnect is often evident through the overall experience. Digital media has changed the complexity of what we can build, but we are just starting to see small changes in how it impacts form on a social and human level. This project outlines the application of physical/digital co-design into an architectural mindset, placing research on a digital urbanism into context with the design of a museum installation centered on 16th century boxwood prayer beads. The prototypes presented use multisensory embodied design, translating a digital experience and extending it into the design of the physical space, to create opportunities for visitors to connect with the phenomenological aspects of culture. Overall, this project provides a rebuttal to contemporary architectural thinking, positing that ‘Form Follows Narrative’.

The Soliloquies of Santiago
The Process and Prospects of Monetizing a Web Series

While those working in the web series industry appear to be struggling to create profitable productions, the medium offers a number of opportunities that are worth exploring. This major research project follows the creation process of a scripted web series, The Soliloquies of Santiago, and the decisions taken involving the project’s funding, marketing and monetization. The reasoning for a number of these decisions, including the use of self-funding, the separation of the story into multiple arcs and crowdfunding of future episodes, is elaborated upon and the implications are explored. Potential avenues for future projects are also examined. Preliminary data from the series’ launch and its social media platforms are included to define the early progress of the series.

Pamela Livingstone


Why My Avatar Looks Like Me
A study on identity in Dungeons & Dragons

The purpose of this paper is to study the effects of premade characters and visual aids on character connection in the analog roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons. Four participants gathered together to play the game of Dungeons & Dragons once a week for one month in May 2015. After the in-game research in-person interviews were conducted and the data was then coded in NVivo for major themes in relation to character connection. Research was also pulled from autoethnographic reflections to round out the data. The results of the data suggest that the participants felt that character customization, narrative, character backstory, as well as visuals played an important role in their ability to build a strong connection to their gaming avatar. Join the journey of four warriors building connection to their characters as they look to close the rift in the Shadowfell of the Keep.


Seeing Through the Master’s Eyes
Experience the Creation of Masterpieces in Virtual Reality

Museums are challenged for a long time to engage their visitors. Many forms of technologies have been adapted for propose of engaging people by providing more information. Virtual reality has been studied for in museums for cultural propose for several years. The technology promises to offer a vivid environment for users to interact within in a first-person perspective. This project is proposing a virtual reality experience based on the statue of St. Longinus in St. Peter’s Basilica by Bernini. Extending from previous projects, this project will let users to experience how the piece was made from the artist’s perspective using a 3D touch controller. Users will experience the process of the birth of a masterpiece in first person perspective with the feeling of sculpting objects that is provided by the 3D touch controller.

Exploration of Affordances in Subscription–Based Digital Magazines

This study analyzed 128 digital magazines through the lens of affordance theory in order to analyze the current state of digital publishing and establish a framework for the design and development of digital magazines. Twenty affordances were identified and categorized into four distinct groups: extend content, community involvement, utility, and entertainment. Overall, a nonlinear relationship between the number of digital subscriptions and the variety of affordances implemented in a magazine was identified. Additionally, the 20 affordances identified were analyzed against three previously established frameworks, including Gibson’s original categorization of perceived, hidden, and false affordances. This study provides valuable information for the media industry regarding the application of the theory of affordance and how it applies to digital magazines. In order for a digital magazine to be perceived as a successful adaptation of the print issue, it must provide the end user with a unique and immersive experience (Kon et al, 2011).

Brand influence online
Enabling effective brand communities through social media

This paper aims to provide an analytical method for online brand community assessment across multiple social networking platforms. Analysis of influential brands was conducted utilizing a social network analysis perspective. Brand communities were scored based
on network properties and content analysis.

Background research provided a framework of recommended community enablement strategies to determine what type of content and approach is most conducive to brand community proliferation.

Based on network analysis and on congruency of following academically suggested community enablement behaviour, it was determined that the most effective brand at enabling community across all platforms within the study was Yeti Coolers. Instagram was the focal platform providing engaging content to be shared across networks.\

New Canucks
5 Immigrants searching for the Canadian Dream

In October of 2013, eight years after applying to immigrate to Canada, I received an email from the Canadian Embassy in Cairo informing me that my application had finally been approved. Those few sentences signaled the beginning of my journey and meant I could move to Canada and start the process of becoming a Canadian citizen. As I read the email, many emotions went through my head. Flashbacks and memories of everything that happened in my life during the past eight years since I applied came flooding back. I was a different person than the young man who first applied to immigrate to Canada. At that time, I was in my 20s and with nothing to risk, no responsibility, no firm career plans, no dependents, and nothing holding me back. But since I applied, my life changed significantly. I had a career, a home, and a family. Nevertheless, I decided it was a risk worth taking. With the political turmoil and instability in the Middle East, I was unsure what the future would hold if I stayed in Egypt. I decided it was worth the risk to try to build a new life in a country known for being safe and democratic.

A couple of months later I sold my apartment and car, got my things in order and boarded a plane for Toronto. The only thing bigger than the jumbo jet plane I was on, was the enthusiasm and optimism that I came with, and the belief that I was about to start a new life in a new land of opportunities. I knew it would not be easy, but if I worked hard, I thought I could secure a good job and built a good life for myself.

Almost as soon as I landed I started facing problems, couldn’t find an apartment because no one wanted to rent to a new immigrant with no credit history, couldn’t find a job in my field because no one wanted to hire someone who didnt have Canadian experience, and many such problems. My first break was applying and getting into graduate school. For one of my classes I did some research about immigrants, I discovered that there are over 250,000 new immigrants coming to Canada every year, I also started interviewing some immigrants and learning about their stories and the challenges they faced since coming here. i felt it might be appropriate to do a documentary about some of themand help share the challenges that new immigrants face. New Canucks is a video documentary that follows the story of five different immigrants from different parts of the world who came to Canada in search for a better life and the “Canadian Dream”.

Accessibility and Digital Media
Economic and Social Opportunities for Inclusive Design

While there is strong evidence supporting the inclusion of people with disabilities within the digital space, this segment of the market continues to be ignored, both by governmental agencies and large corporations responsible for the production and selling of digital media products and services. The following will examine such gaps in the market, utilizing existing academic research and data, infused with ethnographic accounts of my experiences while working on AccessNow, a digital service targeted at people with physical impairments.

3D printed, multimodal, biomimetic medical phantoms

Medical phantoms and model aids are expensive and laborious to produce. As readymades, their uses are modally constrained and their properties inflexible. Using open-source 3D printing, experimental materials, and streamlined data conversion workflows, a proof of concept is presented to address market needs: Revenants are fully customizable anthropomorphic medical models that are derived from real patient scan data, are produced rapidly and inexpensively, and have the potential to function across diagnostic modalities with relevance to many preclinical and clinical contexts, including quality assurance, training, and treatment delivery. The prototypes demonstrate promising features analogous to hard and soft tissues found in human long bones.

Wearable Technology and Positive Online Culture

GLOW is digital jewellery that aims to promote positivity online. GLOW, a wearable technology which lights up when your tweet is positive. Using Twitter as the pilot platform and positivity as the chosen emotion, GLOW uses a sentiment analysis algorithm to give the user real-timefeedback on the sentiment of their tweet. The ultimate goal is for the wearable to act as a tool for positive reinforcement and a symbol for positive online culture. Social media can function both as a medium to harm others, as well as be a means to inspire. The goal for GLOW is that it can act as inspiration to share positivity online.

On Using Social Media To Predict Elections
A meta-analysis

As of late there's been great interest in social media’s ability to predict elections. Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, owing to their cultural ubiquity, offer a plethora of data and an opportunity to track public perception at a granular level in real time.
The ability to passively analyze public opinion is a massive step forward in the realm of political prediction, and has the potential to redene the field of campaign strategy.
In this piece of research I analyzed the current state of social media based electoral prediction. I examined the methods and techniques used to collect and analyze data, and compared their results against both each other and other methods of prediction such as telephone polling.

In this I found a field that is still in its infancy. Much work remains to be done until a set of best practices surrounding social media based electoral prediction are accumulated.

Bean to Cup:
The Narrative Behind Specialty Coffee  

Coffee is one of the world’s most consumed foods. The raw commodity is the second highest traded in the world, after crude oil. During the early 1700’s European colonies started the export of coffee varietals from Yemen to across the equator belt. Two schools of thought arise from the mass growing of coffee; production on a commodity level and at a specialty level also known as ‘thirdwave’ coffee.
Growth Hacking & Data Based Decisions

This research looks at growth hacking techniques that can be implemented by a software as a service (SAAS) platform to grow it’s user base. The topic of this paper is the acquisition and activation of new users for the SAAS platform This has been done by examining the current state of the website, proposing a hypothesis to be tested and reporting on the quantitative results of these experiments. The goal of this data based decision making is to optimize the marketing channels that bring users to in order to improve conversion rates and increase lead generation. The research highlights the importance of data tracking and notes that initiatives should always be revisited in order to maintain optimization and constantly improve a business’ growth hacking engine.

The Commercial Survival of ARGs
A Framework for Profi tability and Scalability

Alternate reality games utilize the real world as a platform for storytelling. These experiences deliver real world stories that may be altered by a players decisions and actions through the integration of game mechanics. In their heyday ARGs drew tens of thousands of active participants from around the world that acted in unison to solve complex transmedia puzzles. However, these experiences were largely developed to function as onetime use marketing tools for particular products or services. Consequently, ARGs evolved very little insofar as developing sustainable and profitable revenue models or any degree of scalability. As such, this paper will seek to coalesce existent research in the fields of ARG scalability and revenue modelling in order to generate a novel and theoretically sound framework for creating profitable and reusable alternate reality games in order to ensure their longterm survival.

Furthering the Energy Disaggregation Workflow: Improving accuracy through context awareness

The goal of energy disaggregation is to educate consumers on their energy usage. Additional benefits in automation, security, and energy auditing can be realized through disaggregation. Through the use of statistical analysis, it provides specific device consumption information that can be actioned to conserve energy in a directed and methodical manner. The current landscape of disaggregation is a complex workflow involving algorithms that analyze and reveal consumption patterns. Disaggregation workflows involve the acquisition of energy signals for an entire building, refining readings, detecting events, extracting features, and classification. Each step in the workflow impacts the accuracy in which individual devices are detected. Disaggregation workflows may incorporate device usage and weather patterns to improve accuracy, but crowd-sourcing signatures and the incorporation of datasets for context awareness are strategies yet to be adopted.

On-Screen Digital Marketing & Usability Elements For engaging mobile video app users

Mobile video consumption is growing astoundingly and TV broadcasters now see more than half of their content views on mobile (Ooyola, 2015). According to a report from online video technology company Ooyala (2015), during the first quarter of 2015, the growth of video playing on smartphones has been extraordinary: 34% of all plays occurring on smartphones and 8% on tablets. This statistical information means that there is a new need, the need to take a human-centred approach in the mobile design and its adoption becomes even more important.

The primary goal of this project is first and foremost, to theorize and experimentally validate the most relevant elements to engage mobile app users who are interested in creating and sharing video clips, how to make them loyal, while enjoying a really easy to use and well designed app. The aim is to provide benefit for the user and the company that runs the app. There are two main elements that were taken into consideration to accomplish the purpose of this project: on-screen digital marketing strategies and mobile usability.

Personal Living Wall: An Exploration into Modular Green Facades Automation System

The term Vertical Garden is used to describe vegetated architecture wall surface. It is a medium that foster vertical plant growth. The benefit of green wall includes improved indoor air quality, health and well-being of the residence, aesthetic stimulation and reduction of Urban Heat. As the digital invasion penetrates into people’s daily life, environmental health has became a critical concern for nowday’s shrinkg living space and heavy urbanization. This project aims to bring the green wall to regular household with easy and simplifi ed installation, modularity and mobility, as well as fully integrated digital system control.

AccessNow: Pin-pointing Accessibility Worldwide

AccessNow, external link, opens in new window is an interactive map that uses crowdsourcing to collect and share accessibility information. Search for specific places or browse the map to see what is nearby with the accessibility features desired. Every new pin added contributes to the AccessNow community, creating access worldwide.

The Role of a Blog in a Community of Practice

Materialyze is an online marketplace for 3D printable designs. One of the crucial challenges currently facing Materialyze is the lack of visitors coming to the website. Our slow traffic can be attributed to the lack of content being produced on our platform. The purpose of the website is for designers to be able to share their works with consumers. But in order to stimulate the initial growth, other methods would need to be employed to attract a larger audience.  In this paper, I will explain why a blog incorporated into the Materialyze platform would be the best way to solve this problem. Blogs are a communication tool that allow people sharing similar interests to collaborate and explore different ideas amongst the readers. I plan on outlining ways that various learning systems can be incorporated into blogs to help educate the masses about 3D printing while also growing our community. This will not only teach the public about 3D printing but it also has the potential to convert some of our readers into customers. I will also outline various social media tactics we can use to increase our viewership through those platforms. Ultimately, The Role of a Blog in a Community of Practice will be a guideline on how to use various blogging methods to grow and sustain online communities while educating its members.

Foody Call

Foody Call is an online community connecting home, student and professional chefs with food lovers or ‘foodies’ in the city of Toronto, with the potential to expand globally over time. An overview of the Canadian Foodservice Industry shows that there is a flaw in the system. Using this information in conjunction with various food trends in Canada and around the world, it is clear that Foody Call can be a solution these shortcomings. The following document will outline these trends and use primary and secondary research to prove the feasibility of Foody Call as a sustainable online community, both from a legal background as well as from a design background.

Geornal Mobile Application Prototype

In-person communications has been decreasing since mid 20th century. That doesn’t mean that our need for communication changed or disappeared. We are filling our communications need with digital media and various tools that help us to ‘spread the message’.

Geornal is an account of the city powered by augmented reality and gamification while involved with the platform. Users share their interests through transmedia storytelling, which is geo-linked to specific places. By showcasing and connecting these multimedia compositions to locations, audiences will get a more intimate sense of the city, thus enhancing the community.

This MRP tackles the hypothesis of how the Web 2.0, the gaming experience, and features like augmented reality in social media will improve the user engagement and the attraction of the critical mass in Geosocial media.

A New Business Model based on Crowdsourcing: The CrowdLiving Community

In this paper we investigate the concept of crowdsourcing and its application within local communities.  Specifically, the paper addresses how crowdsourcing can benefit local businesses within a community; how individual homeowners can use bargaining power to source deals for contract work; and outlines the challenges of connecting quality contractors to the local community for the efficient deployment of their goods and services.

Research will identify the issues and limitations of crowdsourcing, a comparison and evaluation of similar business methods and proposes a new business model crowdsourcing in the context of local communities. The content will examine the opportunities crowdsourcing provides and problems that need to be solved through a comparative analysis of the market. The new business model plan will develop a platform to connect customers and local contractors (C2C). A mutual benefit to both parties is that the platform provides a secure and safe forum to conduct business in. Both the customers and contractors will benefit from the time saved using this more efficient search method. 

Integrated Marketing Communications Strategy: The Kingston Prize

Canada’s national prize for portraiture, The Kingston Prize (TKP), is looking to introduce digital marketing communication aspects into their overall strategy. The integration is aimed to increase the brand’s reach and awareness, public engagement and enhance the bi-annual competition’s exhibit. The following is an integrated marketing communications strategy outlining both online and offline marketing initiatives to successfully integrate digital aspects into the 2015 competition. As this is the first year introducing digital aspects into their exhibit and marketing efforts, it will be considered small scale integration, with the expectation it will grow each competition year and eventually become large scale with increased funding, increased brand awareness and finding a permanent gallery. The 2015 marketing strategy is scheduled to launch in November 2014 and run through May of 2016. The total financial commitment for the marketing initiatives is $71,075.00 (CAD) for the 18-month long strategy. 

The Affects of Social Media on the Financial Success of films

This research study is aimed at determining how low budget filmmakers can overcome the financial limitations they face in the industry by leveraging the influences of social media in order to (a) increase market reach, (b) uncover consumer insights, (c) enhance audience engagement and (d) assist in generating partnerships, sales and profits for filmmakers. This study analyzes the impacts that digital and social media has had on the film industry in the past decade, and focuses on Toronto, Ontario specifically as a use case to outline these trends. The underlying issue brought forth in this research is that the box office caters mainly – up to 80% - to big budget films, especially in terms of screening selection for theatres, investing in distribution, and securing partnerships with producers. This has caused an unsustainable job market for lower budget filmmakers in Toronto, despite the financial investments and support system the city has in place. By conducting a series of comparisons between 18 box office films and 18 lower budget Canadian films, we can determine the added value social media has on film campaigns, and conclude with best practices of using social media to improve the success of films, regardless of the allocate budget.

Predictive Data Analytics with Context: Context-Aware Data Mining for Efficiency Gains in Clinical Trials

This research paper lays out a context-aware business process framework for subgroup identification of enhanced treatment effect in clinical trial data using the data mining algorithms called SIDES and SIDEScreen. 

The already significant and increasing costs of research and development for new drugs, combined with the phenomena of the “patent-cliff” will continue to increase competition, strain profit margins and put upward pressure on end user drug pricing in the pharmaceutical industry.  Several “block-buster” drugs are scheduled to come off patent protection, driving the demand for increased efficiency in the clinical trial process. 

Using SIDES and SIDEScreen in the data mining phase of a semi-automated business process framework for knowledge discovery attempts to address the need for faster, more accurate and more cost efficient clinical trial protocol design, risk management, and business decision tools applied to subgroup identification across disparate data sets.  


This major research project seeks to address the emerging issues surrounding copyright infringement, original authorship, and digital rights management in the 3D printing industry. As a technology capable of revolutionizing a wide-array of current practices, 3D printing is experiencing exponential growth across both the commercial and consumer spectrums. For this project, the team at Materialyze is focusing on developing a proprietary method to allow individual designers and corporations alike to safely and securely monetize their 3D intellectual property for consumer use.

The project will test and determine the viability of a wide range of digital rights management methodologies.  Upon evaluation, Materialyze will implement one of these processes on a fully-functional online marketplace for 3D printable design files. A variety of methods will be tested, including a process to stream a file from a cloud server directly to a 3D printer through an in-browser extension, and an embedded secure slicing program downloaded to a desktop.

In addition to the development of a proprietary digital rights management process, user testing will be conducted on the web platform to ensure a seamless browsing and purchase experience is offered to our users. From the data acquired in this testing phase, optimizations and revisions will be conducted to the platform in an effort to maximize usability and promote a user-experience that is unparalleled to anything currently in the market.

Upon finalization of the purchasing platform, extensive research will be conducted into which industries and designs are most susceptible to copyright infringement and illegal redistribution. The data acquired from this research will build the base of which corporate customers would be ideal candidates for a safe and secure method of design distribution. When a database of illegally curated designs has been created, research will be conducted into what monetary value these companies may be losing from this copyright infringement. The number of downloads on certain sites like PirateBay will need to be monitored and addressed to determine if this loss of revenue is high enough to warrant a response and a drive to action by these organizations.

A Handshake: Worth 1000 Texts

A Handshake; Worth 1000 Texts is a Major Research Project where a reflection piece and market analysis investigative piece will be submitted. This paper will make the case for why Project Nectar (the tentative project/company name) exhibits a number of significant and disruptive benefits over existing solutions, such as LinkedIn and traditional real world networking events. The core of the paper is built upon sources from Douglas Rushkoff, Sherry Turkle and Clay Shirky.

The ROI Puzzle: Putting the Marketing Pieces Together

Marketers frequently struggle to back their initiatives with measurable results. With the advent of Digital Media, a variety of supposedly accurate new metrics were created to gauge each online marketing channel, such as display advertising and social media, but along came questions of the effectiveness of these platforms, due to often poor numeric results.

This paper will look in-depth into the issue of Marketing Return on Investment (ROI), from its various definitions, to why it can be challenging to demonstrate the effectiveness of marketing – with a particular look at social media, including suggestions on alternative approaches to tackle its ROI.

Lastly, this paper will analyse ROI in a multichannel environment. Evidence suggests that marketing channels have synergies and shouldn’t be measured in isolation. Marketing campaigns should be multichannel to reflect the current marketplace and therefore so should Marketing ROI analysis. 

Geornal: Geolocation-Enabled Online Journaling Platform

Prototype of Digital Mobile Application

The creation on an online geosocial journaling platform to the enhance sense of community by having people share personal experiences and stories of the city. . The objective is to discern whether citizens would gain a deeper appreciation of their metropolis better by learning its story through the locative narratives provided by the people who live in it. 

Materialyze: 3D Print Design Marketplace Site Redesign & Implementation

With the 3D printing industry in the cusp of commercialization, startups like Materialyze want establish itself as the go-to 3D printing marketplace before the market becomes saturated. As a new startup, they must quickly build a working and presentable platform that can compete with the existing ones in the industry. By examining usability issues with the top competitors and looking into the psychology of 3D print buyers, I came up with a redesign of the site that is more functional and presentable. Due to the limitation of time and resource, more important functionalities like community-based feedback could have been implemented. With the most viable product completed, Materialyze can focus on the next phase of development.

Product/Market Fit of a 3D Printing Marketplace

Product / Market Fit of a 3D Printing Marketplace reflects upon the trials and tribulations of a start-up’s path in pursuit of its fit within an industry.  The growth of 3D printers will be discussed to validate the customer need for an online repository of 3D printable designs.  Furthermore, this paper will review the thought process behind the original idea and will continue to evaluate the decisions made by the start-up team.  Major decisions, and their justification will be explored along with the negative and/or positive impacts of those decisions.  In addition to the decisions made by the start-up team, an in depth analysis of the team’s skills will be highlighted in accordance to proven skills required in a typical technology focused start-up.  This written reflection is in accompaniment to the product itself - an online marketplace for 3D printable designs -, external link, opens in new window.

Canon Competitive Tracker Application

This reflection paper explores the process undertaken by the author to research, develop, and modify the Canon Competitive Tracker Application. This paper includes research on the global success of gamification techniques in advertising as well as the ways in which these techniques were utilized to improve upon the author’s original concept. It also explores the challenges of application building, including the ways in which the app had to be modified to incorporate the unique needs of client. This paper concludes with ideas for potential changes and additions to be made to the application in the future in order to allow the client to stay on the cutting-edge of customer relationship management technology. This reflection paper is a component of the MRP required for the Masters of Digital Media Program for the Yeates School of Graduate Studies at Ryerson University.

The Power and Influence of Personalized Mobile Marketing

Solving a problem, or mitigating one, is ultimately the primary mission for a startup business. It’s what justifies the decision to embark on the long and windy, uphill and downhill road that is the entrepreneurial path. After all, a common problem among a particular demographic potentially presents a lucrative opportunity. Being an individual that is passionate about the science and power of marketing, I wanted to explore increasing its engagement and effectiveness on a mobile level, through interactive branded experiences. SC∞P is a context-aware mobile marketing platform that converts brand representations, such as traditional advertisements (TV commercials. Radio ads, print media, etc), into personalized and relevant branded content in real time, depending on the user’s experiential instances. It is a proposed solution to help mobile marketing content become more accepted, and therefore, more effective.

Digital Activism to Educate & Enlighten

The Project Paper “Digital Activism to Educate & Enlighten” is an in-depth, analytical and tangible research based input with development approach to tackle extremism. It is a dovetail & synchronization of tablet for educating youth and steer them to counter negative practices on social media. It conceptualizes usage of low cost tablets for education, and to promote purposeful usage of social media, simultaneously. The Project’s aim is to contribute towards quality education, so that the negative and vicious practices of digital media’s tools like cellular texting/sms, Facebook, twitter etc. are countered which are distracting youth from their aims and objectives. This research can also be helpful to develop a mechanism ensuring focused, constructive and congenial utilization of smart tablets in classroom learning and brainstorming based research. This can also be supportive to the governments facing terrorism menace, to combat radicalism related issues and build an egalitarian society on sustainable basis. 

Traditional Animation Design Process vs. Augmented/Mixed Reality

Augmented reality is a technology that is here to stay and increasingly has become a part of our life.  This new and advanced technology among other fields, also applies to the field of animation.  There are similarities and differences between traditional animation design process and the type of animation that is used for mixed/ augmented reality. Using this technology in designing and constructing of the Time Tablet application by Augmented World Engines (AWE), to some degree, is similar to the elements of the design process that are mainly used in traditional animation.  However, on the skills side novice and even the most experienced artists most often find the new technology challenging.  Therefore more training in this field is needed. 

Encouraging Adoption of 3D Printing Technologies

Encouraging Adoption of 3D Printing Technologies looks to examine the decline in the adoption of 3D printing technology and create a comprehensive guideline to generate growth in a slowing market. This topic will be explored through the reviewing of contemporary theory on consumer adoption behavior, as well as examine innovative companies and how they encourage adoption. This written MRP is meant to accompany the Materialyze start-up and act as a source of information and guidance for the acquisition of new users.