TetraBIN was initially developed in response to a research project brief that investigated the use of computing technologies for encouraging positive behaviour change in the city.
Motivated by the idea of play as a way of inspiring people (especially the younger generation) to be aware of environmental sustainability issues such as the collection and management of waste in cities, we have augmented a trash bin with the latest computing technology.
TetraBIN explores how today's technologies can be used to motivate positive change in urban environments. It uses gamified approaches – making use of game mechanics and game thinking – turn an activity traditionally considered trivial, such as depositing rubbish into a bin, into a joyful event. These approaches are designed to enhance the experience of interacting with urban furniture, with the goal of encouraging more active attitudes from people formerly partaking passively in a relatively insignificant activity. In particular it tackles the problem of littering by associating the act of rubbish disposal with a fun and rewarding activity. The act of putting rubbish into a bin is turned into a game, where a piece of rubbish is mapped to an interaction within a game world displayed on a custom-computer controlled screen surrounding the bin.
Reminiscent of 8-bit era video games, (remember Super Mario Bros, anyone?) TetraBIN allows you and other players to collaboratively control light blocks on the screen. The pattern of these blocks is affected by the size and shape of your litter, as well as by the timing of your act of disposal. Custom-made sensors inside the bin are triggered every time a piece of rubbish is dropped into the bin. As the rubbish is submerged into the bin a digital building block is released from the top edge of the LED screen. This augmentation transforms the otherwise trivial act of disposing of rubbish as the participant must drop their rubbish at the right moment to advance further in the game. Once an entire row is filled with building blocks it disappears, making room for more blocks. The game mechanics are intentionally loose to allow participants making up their own game rules. For instance, participants can collaborate to create a vertical stack, which restarts the game, or compete by each creating their own vertical stacks. Beyond reducing litter, TetraBIN invites passers-by into brief social interactions and to consider environmental issues in the city, specifically the collection and management of waste.
Steven Bai designed the initial concept of TetraBIN before implementing two high fidelity prototypes with his friends and research partners in 2014. Steven and his team are currently innovating a newer version of TetraBIN.
Pictures by Steven Bai, Martin Tomitsch. Video by Steven Bai.
Project partner: Vivid Sydney 2014
Media release archives of TetraBIN: http://stevenbai.com/media/
TetraBIN webpage: www.tetrabin.com
Contact us to learn about TetraBIN's future development and more: email@example.com