Research

The chosen target audience I have for the Jurassic Coast is workers on corporate events. This was chosen because of the fact they have a busy schedule and would only get weekends off to enjoy themselves alongside the occasional corporate ‘work do’. The Jurassic Coast would also not be a hotspot for corporate events so I thought it would be an interesting audience to choose.

Typical corporate events include team-building exercises and activity days. I work at a Go Kart track and see a lot of events hosted there so this gave me the idea that I would do something similar and equally as popular to attract the audience to the coast. I also had to think of something that could be made interactive.

This has caused me a problem due to not knowing what is already at the Jurassic Coast. Luckily we have a trip planned to go down and see what is there. This will help me a lot with viewing the scenery and inspiring me for ideas.

Here are the photos I took on the research trip:

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This trip has shown me that there is a lot of open space and grassy areas and not a lot of big buildings. This has enabled me to narrow down my corporate event type from inside activities to outside. Something like go-karting would be out of place here and would not take advantage of the scenery.

As the photos display, I noticed there are a lot of areas with stone, especially Portland. This led me to think that I could incorporate this into my idea somehow.

I was inspired by the stone and begun to do some research.

Portland is famous for it’s stone and quarrying. There are lots of unused quarries around Portland so I have contacted the MD of Albion Stone (the only company quarrying in Portland) and asked for permission to do further research at one of the quarries.

I have been granted permission to enter one of the unused quarries in Portland and will conduct my research there.

Here are the photos I took on my trip:

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As you can see by the photos, there is a lot of confined and open space. This has lead me to the thought of using paint balling. The space is effectively sound proof due to it being so low down, so it wouldn’t affect residents nearby. It is also a huge area, with many more unused mines around, meaning there could be multiple ‘maps’ the paint ballers could play in.

This has lead me onto who the client would be in order to make this happen.

I have decided my chosen client is Delta Force. Delta Force is the largest paintball company in the UK with over 600,000 people playing at their centers yearly. They host birthday parties, stag events and most importantly and relevant to me, corporate events.

Delta Force are constantly expanding by adding more centers and employing more people. They currently employ over 1000 people.

The fact they are constantly growing means they are the perfect client for me as they could be interested in having a new site down in Portland. They are also constantly investing in new equipment and facilities, meaning they could very well be interested in my new interactive paint balling ideas.

Delta Force are also very much into health and safety, and pride themselves upon the fact they have a 32 person health and safety committee that meet quarterly. They also have insurance for their customers who play, meaning you can enjoy your experience with them more knowing you are completely covered if an accident happened. Delta Force also host charity events and raise thousands of pounds during them, their latest charity being ‘Help for Heroes’.

Delta Force are constantly aware of the latest paintball technology out there. Recently they have upgraded their guns to M16 (machine gun) replicas and rolled out all new full head goggles, meaning even more protection. They have also upgrade their protective armour to the latest with battle pack ammo magazine holders. This is relevant to me because they will likely be interested in what I will offer.

Now I have decided on a location, idea and client, I now need to think of how I will make it interactive. I will conduct more research on what is already out there and what I could create.

After being paint balling myself, it is quite apparent how when running about, the only thing in your hand is your gun and it would be awkward carrying something else. This has ruled out the option of using something like an interactive app or map. A mobile device would not be suitable to use in a paintball centre.

After this thought I have looked at what you do have on you when paint balling – your gun, armour and mask/goggles. The mask would definitely be a good idea to make interactive. I will therefore do some further research into paintball masks.

After looking into paintball masks, I have noticed they have a large similarity to ski goggles with their look and feel. I have found that Oakley produce a product called the ‘Oakley Airwave 1.5’. This is a pair of ski goggles that have a built in HUD on the outside.

Oakley Airwave 1.5

This is the Airwave and it looks just like any other normal pair of ski goggles. (Oakley.com, 2013).

This is what you can see from the inside though:

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As you can see, there is a little HUD in the corner of the right side of the goggles. This screen, when up close to the face looks like a 14″ screen, 2 feet away from the user. Perfect! This is what it looks like for the user:

This image displays how the HUD looks when you wear the goggles, displaying the speed the skier is travelling, time, battery of the goggles and what run they are on.

Here, I prepared a video (with clips from other YouTube videos I watched) that demonstrates my thought process so far. This was for a presentation I gave on the progress of my Idea so far. The clips I used do not belong to me, they are just for demonstration purposes.

As you can see from the video, it pauses on the skier’s face with the mask on. There are icons that display ‘phone’, ‘music’, ‘navigation’ and ‘buddy tracking’. This has been of particular interest to me due to how I could integrate this into a paintball mask.

My current thoughts are:

The phone integration could be used for communication between players in teams when running around.

There could be a navigation menu displaying players’ locations and buddy tracking showing what direction the players are in relation to your head. I believe this would be of great interest to the players as this has not been done before with paintball masks.

This is the example from the video displaying the location services offered by the goggles:

Location Services Image

The feedback I got from my presentation was that the Idea was nice, simple and could be seen working. It would definitely attract the target audience and therefore succeed. I was also suggested to go back to the quarries to gain extra footage but unfortunately this is not feasible. I will therefore further demonstrate my ideas through the use of images and animation.

There is a lot of technology involved with developing the interactive paintball mask, which will involve more research into how it will all work.

In order for the location of each player to be determined and displayed on the HUD, GPS would need to be used. This can be easily integrated into an app, especially if the goggles are running an android operating system.

Integrating a timer and clock will also be very easy to do.

Seeing as the quarry would have indoor parts as well as outdoor, using GPS Signals could create potential problems due to lack of signal. This is where I need to do further research in order to find a solution to this problem.

After browsing around for indoor GPS solutions, I stumbled across a company called ‘Wifarer’. Wifarer use wifi signals indoors to locate your smartphone and navigate you around places like hospitals and shopping malls. This technology is called WPS (Wifi Positioning System) and works very well. This will allow me to have the paintball masks indoors and outdoors with uninterrupted signalling.

Another technology that I need to further research is the use of the telephone during the paint balling. Players on the same team can communicate to each other through the masks. After researching this technology, it is apparent that using VOIP (Voice over internet protocol) would be the best option. As the masks are already connected to the wifi around the quarry for location services, they could also be connected with voip, allowing them to all communicate for free with no interruptions due to signal loss.

After researching more about the paintball guns as well, there would be the need for an electric hopper instead of the standard gravity ones. “Your average gravity fed hopper can only feed around 5 balls or less per second.” whereas “Electronic hoppers can feed all the way up to 50 balls per second.” (voices.yahoo.com, 2008). I could also integrate a counter in this, counting how many times the trigger has been fired compared to how many paintballs have been put inside the hopper, thus showing the player how many shots they have left before needing to reload. This could also be fed into the paintball mask HUD, all adding to the players’ experience.

I feel like I have done enough research for this project now so will continue on to developing my ideas and demonstrating them more graphically.

The project will now continue onto the Development page.

References:

Uk.oakley.com. 2013. Oakley Airwave Goggles | Official Oakley Store | UK. [online] Available at: http://uk.oakley.com/airwave [Accessed: 6 Dec 2013].

Unuth, N. n.d. VoIP – What is VoIP? VoIP Explained. [online] Available at: http://voip.about.com/od/voipbasics/a/whatisvoip.htm [Accessed: 7 Dec 2013].

Van Riel, T. 2013. Interactive Paintball Presentation. [online] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1-ElSrP_Us [Accessed: 2 Dec 2013].

Wifarer.com. 2013. Wifarer • Indoor Positioning | Indoor GPS | Location Analytics. [online] Available at: http://www.wifarer.com [Accessed: 7 Dec 2013].

Yahoo Contributor Network. 2008. Paintball: The Advantages of an Electric Hopper. [online] Available at: http://voices.yahoo.com/paintball-advantages-electric-hopper-1350717.html [Accessed: 7 Dec 2013].

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