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Trend & Design Research

Sensible Interfaces: Mobile Life

The “Impact” project allowed us to explore the concept of Experiential Communication on a mobile device. The “Impact” system focuses on speechless communication between friends with an emphasis on bodily movements.

Senders leave a “message” by moving with a phone in hand. The accelerometer in the phone reads the movement, speed and direction. Software translates this data into vibrations most closely mimicking the feelings felt by the sender. These vibrations are left at specific locations that can be found using GPS tracking on mobile devices.
When the receiver arrives at the right location, the message is delivered in the form of vibrations.

This system can be applied to a multitude of commercial and non-commercial applications such as to send reminders that are location specific, in treasure hunt games and to leave poetic marks in space, etc.

Below are three key concepts that guided the ideation and implementation process of the “Impact” project:
- Individualism - we made the system meaningful for the user by allowing a certain level of control.
- Tactility - tactile sensations are rated higher than the visuals in this project. Visuals serve as support, while tactility and sound were used as expression enhancers.
- Simplicity – think simple!