Project: The Sensory Extension Embodied Wearable
Creative Fields: Interaction Design, UX, Information Architecture
The Sensory Extension is a conceptual project derived from the exlporation of human-computer interaction in the context of embodied wearables. It was inspired by the research of tactile technology. The project explores the possibilities of saving the sensory experience data, retrieving the data, and re-experiencing the data, via gestural interactions. The question was posted: What if we could see, hear, smell, and taste via fingers? Imagine a world where we could feel other each other’s perceptions, and immerse ourselves with exciting sensations.
Through research, experiments and rapid prototyping, the project was created as a design proposal of a new kind of technology, with new gestural interactions, new sensory experiences, and new social dynamics.
The Sensory Extension would allow users to save, share, and receive sensory data, even have multiple sensory impacts simultaneously. Rather than experiencing virtual reality, users could compose the real in different ways.
Instead of external commands, we designed various gestures to do multiple functions, since the feelings are more internal and intimate than speaking. The subtle gestures of fingers allow users to interact with computers secretly and privately. People are able to experience poetic sensations when they use fingers to caress the surfaces of objects, and even feel things they miss through the collaboration of imagination and technology. The experience is poetic, sensitive and intimate.
We speculate that people can use fingers to perceive, save and share moments to others in the future.
In terms of sharing, the interesting part is that each person has divergent perception depending on how the person receives information translated by own perspective and experience, as a result, users can appreciate and learn from the pieces which others create. With sharing personal moments, viewing and experiencing things from other people’s positions is no longer an impossible thing.
When the functions of computers become more and more complicate and personal.
- How would emotions and memory be more involved in our conversations with computers?
- How would the relationship between human and computers be?
- Who would have more power in that relationship?
- Rather than mimicking the real world in virtual reality, can we compose the "real" differently or in a poetic way? Anthropologist Mary Bateson said that “poetry is important for finding out about the world,…” which is able to bring us a new perspective to our life.
We speculate the future of human senses. Besides fingers, the sensory extension chips also have chance to be implanted in other parts of bodies.What if we can create an aspiring experience by a poetic composition of senses? This question is what we also want to explore in the future research. For instance, we can let participants see a yellow chair, hear water boiling, taste milk, and smell lavender at the same time.
- How would people perceive the simultaneous stimulations?
- How much could this technology lead human to be sensitive in their life?
- How often it might cause people to be distracted from current experience?