This was the first week of this module and Carl Reynolds which was our module leader introduced to us about this module and went over a PowerPoint Presentation and gave us an introduction to this module and told us what the module is about. During this week Carl also went over the coursework requirements for this module and told us how we will be assessed for the coursework we complete.
In week 2 we were told to develop a blog and include in the blog what we have covered during each week of this module and give our own experiences and views of each topic we covered. In addition to that we had to include work which was completed during each week into the blog.
During the second part of the lab we had to work with Adobe Photoshop and edit a image of your choice and use different tools and effects to change the way the image looks.
During this week we used a software developed by YoYo Games called Game Maker which is a tool which allows you to build simple and complex games which are 2D based and I used this program in order to create and build my own simple 2D game and this program requires coding in order for the game to work. I used this software previously while I was in high school and college so I was already familiar with the program and knew how to use it to develop a game.
Week 4 and 5 – Smart Environments
During week 3 we looked at a PowerPoint Presentation on Smart Environments which was written by Dr. Juan Carlos Augusto. In the PowerPoint Presentation we looked at:
Smart systems are the use of various different sensors which may be used in homes and these sensors translate specific physical phenomena in the real world into a measurable quantity in analogue or digital format. We also looked at a data log of a home which was fitted with smart system and it show what data was being collected and recorded and it showed details of what room a person enters in and how many times it was visited. I found this to be interesting. Sensors can be used in cars and transportation network, Weather related prediction, manufacturing and plant automation, smart homes and entertainment in new generation toys and gaming. During that lab session we were all given an equipment which can be used in a smart system and I was given a piece of equipment called a thermistor which is a type of resistor which resistance changes when its temperature changes also the resistance changes when the resistance decreases as its temperature increases. We also covered about intelligent environments and human computer interface which is an important part of IE systems. I found this topic interesting as we learnt about various sensors which can be used in smart systems which I never knew existed and how it can be used in real life e.g. in smart homes.
Week 6 – Virtual Environments and SFIA
During this week the lab was taken by Serengul Smith who was another module leader for this course and she covered about what Virtual Environments are. A virtual environment is a computer-generated simulated environment designed to allow users to navigate and interact with objects and components in a virtual environment.
I also learned about the SFIA skills framework. The Skills Framework is a bridging tool which aims to enable students to have a better understanding their personal strengths by having different levels and choosing the appropriate level to what they are currently on.
We were also told to create an account on the British Computer Society (BCS) website. With this tool I could create my own personal development plan, there are different categories such as development goals, SFIA and activities. In the activities page I wrote down the name of the modules which I studied this year and inside I wrote down the grades which I got by doing the coursework or online tests. In the SIFA section the skills are mapped across seven standard responsibility levels. Each level has a definition to know what level your working at currently. SFIA`s aim is to provide a management tool to help those who are making decisions about the use or development of skills.
Weeks 7 and 8 – Accessibility
These 2 weeks were covered by Gill Whitney and we covered Accessibility. Gill talked about Accessibility learnt about what tools and software there is which aids a person who has a difficulty to make sure that they can use a product more conveniently and effectively.
In the 2nd week of this topic I was introduced to a program called a NVDA screen reader and we tried the software during the lab. A screen reader is a software application that enables people with severe visual impairments to use a computer by using audio description. Screen readers work closely with the computer’s Operating System to provide information about icons, menus, dialogue boxes, files and folders. A screen reader provides access to the entire OS that it can work with many applications. I found using this program quite fascinating as I understood that this kind of software can be used by a person who is visually impaired or blind and this can help them use a computer.
Embedded Systems and Physical Computing
In this lab we covered what Embedded Systems were and we went through a PowerPoint which was on Hardware systems. Embedded systems serve a single purpose and utilise a Microcontroller to carry out the instructions and they are located in devices where any computing is taking place. I also learned about Microcontroller which are programmed and its used where the programming may need to be flexible and the code is put on a removable chip or memory card.
Physical Computing is the use of Hardware and Software to build devices that can interact with the real world and this involves electronic input and output devices and a Microcontroller with appropriate software.
This lab was taken by Gill and we covered about Artificial Intelligence. Intelligent environment depends on the user’s requirements and technical capabilities they may be able to interact with a graphical interface. Some users may also require alternative ways of communication. A person with mobility or speech problems can take advantage from a more powerful language to request services from the system.
This lab was covered by Carl and we looked at Futurology. Futurology is systematic forecasting of the future based on present trends which have happened in the past. Futurology can be predicted to gain a long-term business advantage, flexibility in thinking about how to make the most of opportunity and awareness of how current technologies might become obsolete in the future. The ways to predict the future is look at trends and extrapolate to the future and it is also possible to look at emerging technologies and see how they might impact on other areas.
For our 3rd coursework we had to create an Arduino Project and we had to work in groups in order to do this. Our group decided to create an Arduino which is dependent on sound and we had different colored LED`s on a circuit and we connected a sound sensor which detects sound. When sound plays the LED`s light up and when the music gets louder the LED`s glow brighter and when the music volume is lower the LED`s glow less we used the Arduino Software program for the coding using the C Language.
Big Bang Data at Somerset House
For this module we had to go and visit the Big Bang Exhibition at Somerset House in Central London. This exhibition had information about different technologies which were created through different time periods and who the artists and creator of the invention were and how data influences all of these things. The exhibition has lots of interesting things to see such and it provided me information on how data and privacy affects us and social media and I found this area to be interesting as I found out what information is being recorded when you visit social media and what were the concerns about how much data was actually being revealed about people such as private photos of people which they never gave permission for it to be leaked for the whole world to see.
There was also a video which explained how much oils, gas and fossil fuels was being extracted in real time and the figures were rising every second and I was surprised to see the figures which being displayed and the speed it was rising at as I thought that the figures would rise lower that what was being shown. There were also storage devices which were invented through the years such as a USB, Floppy disk, CD and DVD`s and each displayed the date when they were invented and how much storage it could hold and as the years passed the amount of storage which could be stored on increased.
Media Marketing and Literacy
This lab was taught by Gill Whitney and we covered about Media Marketing and Literacy. During the lab we did lab exercises such as define what Amazon actually was and we had to use reliable sources in order to answer the question properly. I found out that Amazon was a database which were a online company which held different types of products that a customer may want that they use in their homes or at work.
We also learned about why businesses use media marketing and this was a form of internet marketing that uses social networking websites as a marketing tool. The aim of this is to produce content that users will share with their social network to help a company increase their brand and broaden the customer`s reach in order to interest them and convince them to buy from them.
Recommender Systems are software agents that elicit the interests and preferences of individual consumers and make recommendations accordingly. They have the potential to support and improve the quality of the decisions consumers make while searching for and selecting products online. Recommender systems increase sales at online stores substantially. There are two basic approaches to recommending Collaborative Filtering and Content-based. Recommender Systems can be found on any website online which people use to shop.
Coursework 2 – Short Story Assignment
James was crazy about his smartphone, he used his phone all day that he could not resist to take his eyes of the screen for even a second. He said to himself “I don’t know what I`ll do if I did not have my phone on me”. One day James was at the Cinema watching a movie and the movie was just about to end and suddenly there was a small fire started at the back of the cinema hall. James panicked and in a rush to get out he forgot his phone on the seat next to him. After the fire was put out James was told that the area he was seating was completely burnt out, just them James reached in to this pocket and said “Where`s my phone” and he realised that he left it in the cinema hall which has half damaged due to the fire.
A few days later James was in his bedroom still thinking about how his smartphone was destroyed by the fire and how his life was half complete without having a smartphone. James said “By staying home and thinking about my destroyed smartphone will not help pass time” so he decided to go for a walk.
While he was walking along a busy road he saw an advertisement on a bus showing a new solar powered smartphone called “Solar Phone P1” which is an ordinary smartphone powered by light and how you never need to waste electricity to charge a phone again which will also save power and won’t harm the climate. James noted down the name of the store which sold this type of product and he rushed to the shop. When he entered the shop he went to the new advertised solar powered smartphone exactly the one he was on the ad on the side of a bus.
A sales adviser approached James and said “Are you interested in this amazing product” and the sales adviser explained more about this product, the solar powered smartphone instead of having a rechargeable battery it was fitted with a special solar panel which can charge your phone whenever you want and what’s special about this phone is that it can charge your phone by natural light and artificial light such as a light bulb inside your house. This means that you don’t need to constantly need to waste electricity and also help you save power and money.
James said to himself “I am also a heavy user of a smartphone and I have to constantly charge my phone and sometimes the battery runs out when I most need to use it”. James bought the Solar Phone P1 and he instantly fell in love with it as he could charge his phone with a flick of a button anytime and the phone will start charging. James said “I am glad my old smartphone was destroyed by the fire as I would have never discovered this amazing product which is useful to anyone who uses their smartphone constantly and needs to charge it every so often and also saves electricity at the same time”.