We decided to focus on love relationships because sharing your emotions is very intimate and at the same time you have you have many misunderstandings and bad communication. There are also couples which are doing similar stuff like sharing the current location through mobile phones.
Each partner has a bracelet on the wrist sharing the emotion of their partner whenever they want to know it. They are connected to their mobile phones through Bluetooth LE and so connected to each other through the internet. By raising the wrist and turning it that the color LED faces the face of the wearer, the emotion of the partner will be displayed in two colors chosen by the partners themselves. Choosing the colors enables them to encrypt their emotions from an outside audience.
The closer the partners are to each other, the faster the immediate the color will change on the bracelet. In contrary, far distance to each other gives them a more like a summary of the last minutes or hours to prevent confusion if it’s not caused by partner i.e. at work.
The device should never replace something but emphasize the emotions.
Encourage conversation and prevent misunderstandings
- Encourage couples to talk about their feelings. If they don’t like the current situation or not.
- Emphasize the emotion of people while they are speaking
- Share emotions together
- Have something that connects them together throughout the day.
- Show the partner that you are comfortable and enjoy
Is probably the most accurate sensor to measure some kind of emotions after awkward brainwave sensors.
When we are stressed, When we are stressed, we sweat more – increasing our skin’s electrical conductivity.
PGG Sensor (Heart rate):
Is a good combination to the EDA sensor. We all know, when you are stressed or in discomfort, your heart rate rises.
Shift of concepts
What was special in this module was that we shifted our concepts for many times until we finally established the idea the bracelet. But beside that it was a hard way to our idea, we learned a lot and we think that it matured our concept. We changed our mind quite often after long discussion and new insights we gathered.
We started to do our field research at the skatepark and so we also had our first ideas for the skatepark. To be honest the ideas weren’t very concrete. But we focused on the unwritten rules and the nonverbal communication.
We encountered the problem that many different people are on the skatepark and so there were many arguments. We thought about many ways how we can decrease the fights such as visualizing the unwritten rules in many ways. But it all went into the direction of manifesting rules and from our observations, in the interviews we’ve made skate people appreciate the freedom they have. Also, the impact in the world is quite restricted to the skatepark which was not the idea of the module.
Feedback forcing device & commute collision prevention
Our next ideas had a big impact of the skatepark.
We noticed that the communication between different parties like the parents of the kids and the teenager skaters was broken. They did not really say what they wanted to say and often they just communicated when it already was too late.
So we made a quick concept of a device which exposes if you are uncomfortable while you were talking. We imagined to be used at team meetings and or in family dinner. The aim of this would be that people make it normal to show critique and to communicate before it’s too late.
The second device focused on what we thought about in the beginning of the module. We all experienced situations in public spaces where people share limited space. We thought about several AR possibilities to i.e. prevent pumps that people are more caring and aware of each other.
Again after great feedback, we decided to focus on displaying emotions. Funny enough, we initially focused on a bracelet just to make a quick prototype. The bracelet should show as many emotions as possible. But after the feedback, we recognized that it’s so hard to track, distinguish, interpret and display all emotions. We also wanted to leave the concept open to all people.
We noticed that we need to focus a bit more on our user group. We decided to define which people should use the bracelet. Because it’s something such intimate we settled to love couples very fast. Also, we shrunk the range of emotions to comfort and discomfort which is doable with technology nowadays.
We had many ideas of a medium to display emotions such as glowing tattoos, holograms and implants. We wrote down properties which the bracelet should have:
- Independent from seasons and fashion
- Easy to hide or remove
- Not distracting
It excluded most of our ideas but the main reason was the sensor. We really wanted to use the EDA sensor for our concept. Besides the brainwave sensor it’s the most accurate yet and at the same time it’s not as embarrassing as connected cables on your head. But the sensor could only be applied at the finger or at the wrist.
Usually, the better you are prepared for an interview, the better the results will be. We first defined what we wanted to find out with the interview, with whom we want to talk and finally the questions we want to ask. Before the interview we did a very short introduction what is happening the next few minutes and what the basic concept of the bracelet is.
Questions to be answered
- See if there are problems in communication where the bracelet can help
- Find out where the current concept can led them to problem and what we would need to fix.
- Find out how much people are willing to share and what is to much so they feel controlled.
It’s one thing to ask the right questions. But it’s also important how you ask them. By asking a question and also when we ask it can influence the outcome a lot. That’s why we put some extra effort formulate a few good questions and reduce it so our interview partners won’t be bored. As you can see in the following questions they are often very open and also encourage a conversation between the participants.
- Where could it help you to communicate?
- Where do you think it would bring you into trouble?
- When would you feel observed/controlled?
- How can you compare it to other methods like location sharing with smartphone apps?
- How could it strengthen your togetherness?
- What would you change about the bracelet to make it more usable (general question in the end)
- Would you be willing to wear a bracelet, if you knew your partner could see your emotions at any time? (at the end, very implicit)
Selection of interview partners
We wanted to have a range of different couples in a matter of the time they are together. So we looked for couples which are together for less than two years, around ten years and more than twenty years. We expected it to be hard but it was even harder to find participants.
Learnings of Interviews
We learned that many couples indeed have communication problems and it’s normal. Often times they would love to know more what their partner is thinking but at the same time, there are thoughts and feelings they don’t want to share.
Although it could bring them into arguments four of five couples said that it could help them in their relationship.
Half of our couples would rather share their emotions instead of their location, the other the total opposite. But all of them, of course, were a bit concerned and would probably not share the emotions all the time throughout the day. Maybe only for a short period of time and as one couple suggested, for people who participate a couple therapy.
I case of strengthening the togetherness only two couples thought it could help.
Especially the appearance of the bracelet was always a reason to criticize. It probably could be too big, disturb while wearing a watch or needs to look fancier to be worn at any occasion. Every couple told us that they’re afraid that people from outside could see their emotions. It’s such an intimate thing. So they suggested it should be only visible when they look at their wrist and one couple suggested to encrypt the output by the selection of custom colors.
For the prototype, we 3D printed a wrist strap with flexible filament and a transparent lamp in the middle. The IAD lab gave us an RGB NeoPixel, an Adafruit Feather which compatible to Arduino and a matching battery. Michael quickly made a working code to demonstrate how the bracelet could work.
As we finally decided to make a bit more abstract video we first started to listen to our interviews again and create a storyboard for the two interviews we selected. This was extremely helpful in the following steps of the production.
We wanted to have a bit more abstract video which displays the experience of our concept. Instead of filming, we were shooting pictures of the movie because then the shooting was way simpler and we were able to make animations in post production. With this, we did not have to hide cables of the prototype.