A Personal Storytelling Assistant

FlipFl.app is a personal storytelling assistant application

FlipFl.app is an artistic and technological effort created in collaboration with Uttam Grandhi at the Hacking Arts Festival. This annual conference brings artists, engineers, entrepreneurs and their innovative ideas together for a two-day hackathon at the MIT Center for Art, Science, and Technology (CAST).

We had 24 hours to design, prototype and present the idea to a panel of judges. The idea was an application prototype that can help users develop their stories in a relevant and meaningful way. Original stories are experiences that could create a lasting impact on us. For a creator/or a storyteller it is often very difficult to come up with one when provided with a blank canvas or an empty page to start with. The narrator needs hooks and metaphors to bind the audience and tell a unique story.

There are a bunch of bots/AI tools out there which completely automate the process of coming up with content. But there is no human involved in the creation process which totally removes the wonderful aspect of ideating, curating and personalizing something right from the beginning.

On the other hand, there are tools that provide blank canvases and empty windows in the attempt to give all the freedom to the creator. Though such a control seemed exciting at first, it soon became a challenge for me and many of my creative friends to come up with ideas for telling a unique story.

What FlipFl.app does

FlipFl.app nicely walks the line between helping you with ideas/ giving you full freedom to create your own story. The app serves as a guide for the user by coming up with interesting interpretations of the “premise” the user begins with. Here are broad steps on how the app helps create an original story.

  1. The user inputs a keyword / uploads an image / records a sound.
  2. Then the app creatively interprets the media and comes up with suggested keywords, homonyms, metaphors, palettes, images, sounds and more premises.
  3. The user selects the images, sounds, and themes that he is interested in
  4. Then the selected media would be arranged in a storyboard style for the creator.
  5. The user can then either make a story out of the generated media in their chosen final format or just use it as a brainstorming / ideating tool to share it with collaborators and build upon the idea.

Case Study

How we built it

We designed the app on pencil and paper and mock-ed it up in Adobe XD. We also built few pages in HTML, CSS and Javascript.

Challenges we ran into
Accomplishments that we’re proud of

We made a very good use case for the product and we are very proud of it. We started with the issue of immigration, then came up with metaphor of birds to address the issue of immigration. Then we studied how birds fly and made it as one of key concepts of our interactive story. Birds flight can be studied as as sine wave and sound at a very basic level is a sine wave. So we also added a sound part to our installation which affects how the birds fly and look.