Summary of My First FYP Presentation

22 Apr

In my first presentation I gave a brief introduction about my interested research areas and what I intended to do for my final project within these areas. Here I will summarize my research areas and how I formed my conception, followed by advises I got from the presentation.

My project is based on my interested areas as below.

New experience with technology

I’ve been thinking about how technology can better serves and participates people’s lives. At present, our most technological devices and digital products are primarily screen-based. Most visions of the future depict an environment of screen-saturation, where almost any surface is a flat touch screen. What alternatives are there for the future and what lies beyond the era of screen dominance?

Contemporary jewelry

Not only for the aesthetic need, a piece of jewelry that accompany us for a long time sometimes become part of our habitus, therefore jewelry is a symbol of self and a signifier in aspects of identity and inter-personal relationships. The practice of contemporary jewelry is made to challenge preconceptions about jewelry, its meanings about the society and what it is to be human. Under the background of ‘ubiquitous computing ‘, It is believed that in the near future more and more electronic systems will be carried by the citizen near the body, or as a part of his body in order to provide various services to him. All these contribute to more possibilities to be explored in digital jewelry.

I firstly got an inspiration from a blog of my friend.

Several months before I read a blog of my friend about her feeling that it was really hard to maintain long distance relationship. She wrote that she felt all alone although they communicated every day. Many people replied below to share their similar feelings. This made me started to think how to support the communication between couples in long distance relationship. They can hear and see each other with phone and Internet, but I think physical feeling such as touch can make them feel closer. Besides, the communication should be convenient for them at anytime.

gradually I formed my conception:

I want to design a pair of wearable devices that can transmit tactile sense between one and another. Each partner take one of it, if one person touches his device in a particular way, the other person will feel the touch instantly through the other device. I am considering some possible types of tactile senses:

  • The device is put on a hand like a glove and makes the wearer feel being held by a warm hand.
  • The device could be worn at different body area and gives the sense of rubbing with fingers.
  • More vibration motors embed into the device. It is up to the person how he presses on his device (Motion Trail and location) and the other person will feel the same.

These feeling of touch between the couple can be viewed as a way to say ‘I miss you’ and way of comfort, flirtation, and apology.

And my potential users are people in long distance relationship and some close friends.

Therefore, I went deeper to research in following areas that relate to my project.

  • Tangible Computing is built upon a notion of embodiment. The tangible computing work attempts to capitalise on our physical skills and our familiarity with real world objects. It also tries to make computation manifest to us in the world in the same way as we encounter other phenomena, both as a way of making computation fit more naturally with the everyday world and as a way of enriching our experiences with the physical.
  • Tactile Communication refers to what we communicate through the sense of touch — through touching, or not touching each other in various ways. Touch is a component of nonverbal communication in interpersonal relationships, and vital in conveying physical intimacy. Tactile messages tend to convey aspects of emotional and attitudinal states.
  • Wearable Technology refers to clothing and accessories incorporating computer and advanced electronic technologies. The designs often incorporate practical functions and features, but may also have a purely critical or aesthetic agenda. It is related to the field of ubiquitous computing, wearable technology share the vision of interweaving technology into the everyday life. E-textiles, as part of the development of wearable technology, are fabrics that enable computing, digital components, and electronics to be embedded in them.

Some readings I’ve gone through are,

  1. Dourish, P. Embodied Interaction: Exploring the Foundations of a New Approach to HCI.
  2. Weiser, M.(1993) The world is not a desktop.
  3. Wallace, J.(2007) Emotionally charged: A practice-centred enquiry of digital jewellery and personal emotional significance.
  4. McCarthy, J. Wright, P. Wallace, J. Dearden, A.(2006) The experience of enchantment in human–computer interaction
  5. Harrop, P. (2010) Fabric electronics. Energy harvesting journal.
  6. Andrea and Christoph. STELLA newsletter V. 2010.
  7. Werner, J. Wettach, R. Hornecker, E.(2008) United-Pulse : Feeling Your Partner’s Pulse.
  8. Motamedi, N.(2007) Keep in Touch: A Tactile-Vision Intimate Interface.

I also showed some similar projects in the presentation such as ‘pillow talk’, mobile lorm glove, touch memory dresses and so forth. As I mentioned all of them in my past blogs, I won’t repeat them here. I may use technologies such as electronics, LilyPad -Arduino, probably shape memory alloy, and some manufacturing techniques to build up product appearance. At last I gave a project timeline to make sure myself can finish it before September.

advices I got and things to do after that:

  • Explain my inspiration more in detail. I’d better find out that blog my friend posted and then translate it into English so that people can have a better understanding of it.
  • Consider more about the size and form of my product to make it more suitable for daily wear. It is to say that it should be small and understated, so it seems that to make it looks like a bracelet could be a better way.
  • Look for more related products to find out more possible method of carrying all electronics in quite limited space.

I feel that technology and materials are so important to this kind of interaction devices. I like my original idea much better but today’s technology can’t achieve the result I want. Hope I can solve all problems in current project and give myself a satisfying result at last. ^^



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