Paul Roelen

Tangible Embodied Interaction

The design ‘Pull Print’ consists of 4 components; the planning board, the tokens, the token dispenser and the scanner. The Pull Print is meant for 2 types of users; the production manager (PM) and the printer operator (PO).

In the beginning of the day, the PM comes to the printer space and pulls down the strap of the printers that should be used and scheduled for the day, these straps contain a white part and a black part, which represent the jobs for today and jobs planned for tomorrow or later respectively. The PM checks the ‘next days’ print jobs on the same straps and relocates them if they should be done by that day. A portion of the strap underneath each token will glow in a distinct color according to the duration of the task. The PM schedules the jobs while avoiding collisions between the tokens and their duration. The straps are retracted chronologically and, at the end of the straps, a set of two walls (printer) is presented to indicate the currently processed print job.

When a new printing job arrives, its token is programmed and drops from the token dispenser. The PM grabs this token and schedule it by placing on the strap of an adequate printer. If the print job is forecast by the system that it won’t make its deadline, the token and its duration glow in red. 

Then the PM relocates the token so that it stops glowing in red. Each printer has a unique pattern and the tokens are assigned to one of these patterns to display the matching of the media. However, tokens with no matching printer will have a different pattern assigned to it. Then the PM needs to strategically place it to one of the printer. The mismatch of the patterns can be observed by all users but when the non-matching print job enters between the printer, the strap of the printer moves up and down while the background changes into red. The movement of the strap and the red color will strongly request for interaction from the users, in this case the PO. The PO places his scanner on top of the token and the scanner provides the necessary details of the print job. When the PO places the fitting media to the printer, the red portion of the printing board returns to its original state but with the pattern of the new media. 

When the print job is done, the next token can enter the printer but the finished token remains on top of it so that the users can verify if the task is done properly. If yes, the token is removed from the strap and placed on top of the board where other verified tasks of the day are placed. If not, the PM relocate the token once more on the strap so that it can be reprinted. 

At the end of the day, the PM checks and collects all the verified print jobs and pour them back into the token dispenser so that they can be reset and reused for future print jobs.

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