Image of my head.

Design and code
Jelmer de Maat

I am an inventor of physical and digital stuff. These are my works of design and code, made for all kinds of different purposes throughout the past, mostly related to education, work and/or fun. I am @jelmerdemaat on Twitter, the same person on GitHub and if you whish you can e-mail me at post [at] jelmerdemaat [dot] nl.

Selected projects

Wyzer

How do you teach analog time telling to children and adults struggling with the concept of time in a circle?

Disabilities like dyslexia, dyscalculia or a difficulty with understanding time can leave people unable to tell analog time for a long period of their life. A feeling of shame and the ubiquitous presence of digital time prevents people with these difficulties from learning to read analog watches.

One of the watch faces

An evolving time telling system

Wyzer is a new watch concept that teaches analog time reading in an unhurried pace via a system of evolving watch faces. Slowly the face of the watch evolves from digital to analog, adding or removing important parts step by step.

Each next step is initiated when the user has shown understanding of the current phase: the user has to hold the watch to see the time. The faster the user knows what time it is, the sooner the watch switches to a new face.

Philosophy

With its well designed appearance and lack of visible “special needs” features Wyzer takes away the shame in learning to tell the time. The philosophy of the Wyzer project puts the user back in society by not advocating to learn a different, special time system, but teaching exactly the analog time system that is already present all over the world.

The watch in two states: on and off The watch in two states: on and off. Watch faces, light version The different faces of the watch, from phase one to ten. Playfull wooden prototypes for testing purposes Playfull wooden prototypes for testing purposes. A sample from the project report A sample from the project report.

De Jongens van de TU

Since 2011 I have been a founding member of De Jongens van de TU, a web design, development and branding bureau consisting of Eindhoven’s brightest students.

Logo De Jongens van de TU

Executing our combined powers in both technical and design fields, we develop websites, applications and branding material for technical companies in and around Eindhoven.

The area of Eindhoven houses a lot of technical companies that know a lot about science, but little about design, marketing and websites. This is where De Jongens van de TU comes in. We can give shape to the thoughts and intentions of these technical companies and express these in their website and marketing material. We translate science to make it understandable for the anybody visiting the website, and thus build up important online audience for these clients.

My work in De Jongens involves heaps of front-end programming, WordPress theme buillding, website management and client communication on a daily basis. Since January 2013 I have been Chief Development at De Jongens van de TU.

Examples of projects including my work:

TEDx Baghdad

In 2012 I was asked to attend the TEDx conference in Baghdad, Iraq, to create interactive installations for the audience. These installations were meant to entertain the audience and show new technology that related to the rebuilding of Baghdad an Iraq, as the conference was there to explore the future of this country.

Me explaining at TEDx

Having experience with interactive programming through Microsoft’s Kinect, I accepted the challenge and built five interactive installations throughout the conference building. This meant writing different five pieces of software (using the Java-based language Processing and suitable OpenNI Kinect drivers), and setting up all these programs on the different installations with their own computers, Kinect sensors and beamers. The operation was in joint execution with my fellow design student Josef Al Abdeli.

This journey was an almost unrealistic travel experience. I met dozens of interesting people from all over the world, sharing interest on all kinds of fields like technology, innovation, design and politics. It was most interesting to see Baghdad, a city normally so far away from Dutch society, and its people surviving in complicated circumstances. Being there gave me a unique insight in an area formerly controlled by war, trying to crawl out of practical boundaries like devastation and corruption by envisioning a better Iraqi society. A truly meaningful lesson.

TEDx letters installation TEDx balloons installation TEDx Baghdad stage

Superhero Island

While studying Industrial Design (ID) at the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e) I joined Waag Society for my internship project.

Waag Society is an institute for art, science and technology, which develops creative technology for social innovation. “The foundation researches, develops concepts, pilots and prototypes and acts as an intermediate between the arts, science and the media.”

For half a year I investigated how embodied learning, a way of learning that involves movement of the whole body, could be applied to Dutch school classrooms in a useful manner. The goal was to teach maths and (Dutch) language with this new system.

The internship involved concept design by creating new interactive ideas that appealed to primary school children, and that were executable in a classroom using the Microsoft Kinect gaming sensor. I created a complete concept of a Superhero Island where heroes are prepared for the real world. This story allowed for various different interactive levels which addressed many kinds of school topics.

On top of that I created a working demo with which I tested the concept in real classroom situations. To achieve this I wrote a piece of software using the Java-based language Processing and suitable OpenNI Kinect drivers to create the interactive demo, and a web interface which interacted with this demo and allowed teachers to change game content.

SPRINT

One of the volunteer projects I continuously contribute to is the athletics club SPRINT in Breda. For them I maintain the website technically, amongst other things. The website is a WordPress based custom theme built with a build system of Grunt and SASS. It uses plugins for things such as calendar functionality with custom themes attached to it.

My history with this club goes back many years, which is why I will continue to work voluntarily for this project with enthusiasm and passion.

SPRINT website screenshot

Waterflow

Waterflow is an interactive projection that enables users to explore a wall by moving in front of it to reveal hidden spots.

Waterflow is the result of one of my projects at Industrial Design (ID) at the Eindhoven University of Technology. The installation aims to create a fun and distressing moment in the work environment. Workers passing the installation can hide objects behind the water, and others can explore and find these clues.

Another option is to project the other side of a wall as a background behind the waterfall. This creates a type of “digital curtain” that allows users to look through a wall.

The installations recognizes users using Microsoft’s Kinect sensor, and puts the silhouettes of users programmatically under the waterfall. The appplication is programmed in the Java-based language Processing. Users can then move around and influence the path of the falling water. The installation uses a computer and a beamer to project this image somewhere on a wall.

The uses of the system are versatile and meant to have fun when you move away from your work position. It was developed in assignment of Dutch artist Joep van Lieshout.

Copyright © 2014 Jelmer de Maat

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