TaskCams recreate the proven Cultural Probe technique of relabelling disposable cameras with requests for pictures. The Paper TaskCam is housed in a casing made from paper or light card, allowing it to appear as playful or elegant as required. TaskCam Paper is available in both left and right-handed configurations.
The Paper TaskCam has a small screen on the back that shows a scrollable list of requests for pictures. Researchers can load their own list of requests onto the camera to prepare for a study. When users take a picture, the image is tagged with the current request, and stored on a standard flash drive that can be removed for downloading.
The casing for the Paper TaskCam is constructed from two A4 sheets of card or paper, cut out according to the template we provide. The device requires a custom Arduino shield, buy online at cost price, or follow the open-source plans to make yourself. Smart power management means that two AA batteries provide more than enough power for an entire user study.
TaskCam Version 2.0
Camera Dimensions 115 x 42 x 62mm
Image resolution 1024 x 768pixel
List of all the components to assemble the TaskCam
TaskCam Arduino shield available here
Arduino Uno or compatible
2 sheets of A4 paper or card to lasercut or cut by hand
Micro SD card
2 x AA batteries
4 x M3 10mm machine screws available here and other component suppliers
4 x M3 nuts available here and other component suppliers
2 x M3 10mm standoffs available here and other component suppliers
Camera and battery leads (supplied with the TaskCam Arduino shield)
List of handy equipment
Small Phillips screwdriver (cross head)
Lasercutter or paper cutting scalpel and rule
Double-sided tape or glue
Step 8 Place electrical over the Arduino's USB port to prevent accidental contact with the batteries later on
Step 12 Your camera needs some questions. For advice on how to write good Probe questions, please read here. Insert the micro SD card into your computer. Write your questions in the text box below, giving each question a new line. Once you're done, click "Download questions file". Your browser will download a file called "q.txt". Place that file into the SD card. Eject it and unplug it from your computer.
Step 13 Insert the SD card into the SD card holder on the camera module. Add two AA batteries into the battery holders
Step 16 Progressively begin to stick tabs in place as shown in the following sequence of photographs
Step 21 Progressively begin to stick tabs in place as shown in the following sequence of photographs
How to use
- Turn camera on by pressing and holding the shutter / power button.
- Select a task with the left and right button next to the display
- Use the viewfinder to frame your picture, press the shutter button to take a picture that answers the task. The display graphic changes when a picture is taken
- Select your next task
- The camera with switch off automatically or by pressing and holding the shutter / power button.