Animo (Liu et al., 2019)

Animo is an application on smartwatches that allows friends or couples to share their heartbeat with each other. Animo stands probably for animated + animal (a pet). This tiny creatures have their own shape as their identity and jump on the owners' smartwatch in a rhythm of the owners' heart rate. One user can tap the smartwatch and send her/his Animo to the partner's side (on her/his smartwatch). The two Animos will meet each other and jump together.

Reference: Liu, F., Esparza, M., Pavlovskaia, M., Kaufman, G., Dabbish, L., & Monroy-Hernandez, A. (2019) Animo: Sharing Biosignals on a Smartwatch for Lightweight Social Connection. Journal Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies archive Volume 3 Issue 1.

EnhancedTouchX (Hachisu, Bourreau, & Suzuki, 2019)

EnhancedTouchX is a couple of bracelet devices that can detect interpersonal touch and identify the types of touch in four categories, no touch, handshake, four fingers, and one finger tip, and with the attribution of active or passive touch. The device is implicated in different ways. EnhancedTouchLog is a documentation application recording the user's hand touching events. EnhancedTouchGo is a game with augmented reality displayed on smartphone. One player touches the hand of another player to trigger event in the game. EnhancedTouchPlay is a setting in which the bracelets vibrate differently according to two wearers' hand touching types. EnhancedTouchCare is an application of the device for patients and their care-givers. The device can then record the social interactivity between the patients and the care-givers.



Reference: Hachisu, T., Bourreau, B., & Suzuki, K. (2019) EnhancedTouchX: Smart bracelets for augmenting interpersonal touch interactions. Proceedings of CHI 2019.

Trace (Carpenter & Overholt, 2018)

Trace is currently a design concept, shaped as a wearable jewelry. The device contains a recorder for GPS data and vibrator. It shall vibrate, when the wearer revisits a location, where the GPS data was logged onto the device, the device vibrates to remind users about her/his past journey at the other time.

Reference: Carpenter, V.J. & Overholt, D. 2018. Designing for interpersonal connections in future technologies: An annotated portfolio of jewelry devices. NordDesign.

Palco (Endo et al. 2018)

Palco is a tangible avatar object that represents remote partners' personal states. Users share their states via internet through their smartphones. Three personal data are presented on Palco: Emotional state through Palco's facial expression, activity state through Palco's body image and location through the image projected in front of Palco. The visual information are displayed on Palco's physical object by a small beamer. Users can therefore build and customize their own Palco with simple material like papers.

Reference: Endo, S. & Fujinami, K. 2018. Realizing Loose Communication with Tangible Avatar to Facilitate Recipient’s Imagination. Information 2018, 9(32).

SwitchU (Chien et al. 2017)

SwitchU is designed for couples in long-distance relationships. The device is a pair of robot arms. One guides the arm to operate a home appliance once and the arm will be able to repeat the task. When each one of the couple have set up their SwitchU, the device will always be activated synchronously - although different tasks are assigned. For example, couples may both set up SwitchU for operating water cattle. When one cooks water for her-/himself, she/he also activates the remote robot arm to cook water for the partner.

Reference: W.-C. Chien & M. Hassenzahl. 2017. Technology-Mediated Relationship
Maintenance in Romantic Long-Distance Relationships: An Autoethnographical Research through
Design. Human–Computer Interaction.

OurChannel (Chien et al., 2017)

OurChannel consists of two boxes attached to the wall of each partner’s flat. Each box has a light switch on its front. This switch is connected to the ceiling light of the room just like any other wall-mounted switch. On the back side, concealed by the box, is another switch, connected to the ceiling light in the remote place. One can slip the hand into the box to operate the concealed switch without being able to see it. The idea is to make it feel as if reaching through a hole in the wall and fumbling for the switch on the other side. All four light switches have dedicated on- and off-positions. If a switch is operated, the corresponding switch of the remote device acts synchronously – operated by a servo. In other words, if one partner switches the light on in her room, the switch concealed in the box of the other partner changes its position as well. Or if the remote partner operates the concealed switch, not only the partner’s ceiling light is turned on, but also the switch mounted on the front flips to the on-position. OurChannel required some sort of “abstracted presence” system for us to decide, whether turning on the light for the partner fits his or her situation. To this end, OurChannel’s has slits between its front side and the frame. If the light in the remote place is on, small lights in the box are lit up to create the impression of light “sipping through” from the remote place. This creates the illusion of seeing whether there is light in the partner’s room or not. While this is rather ambiguous, ambient information, it supports getting an idea of whether switching on or off the light in the remote place may be appropriate or not.

Reference: W.-C. Chien & M. Hassenzahl. 2017. Technology-Mediated Relationship
Maintenance in Romantic Long-Distance Relationships: An Autoethnographical Research through
Design. Human–Computer Interaction.

Touchomatic Arcade Game (Marshall & Tennent, 2017)

Touchomatic is a arcade game station played by two players and controlled through electric capacity generated by the players' bodies. Players have to touch each other to generate capacitive data for the game and, in the game, they are flying an airship to collect coins located close above the ground. The more players are having physical contact with each other, the more gas is given to the airship.

Reference: Marshall, J. & Tennent, P. (2017) Touchomatic: Interpersonal touch gaming in the wild. DIS 2017.


RemoteFeeder (Chien et al. 2017)

RemoteFeeder was designed for the author's relational practice with his girl friend in long-distance relationship. The device consists of two parts: an automatic food dispenser to serve food to May and a “feeding bowl”, which is an awareness system and a remote control. The dispenser is installed in Claire’s flat and, of course, needs to be loaded with food by her. The feeding bowl is kept by me. A sensor registers when May hungrily claws the food dispenser and transmits this to the feeding bowl. The bowl then vibrates and makes noises, as if May is scratching the bowl in my place. Taking the bowl up and holding it in a sloping position sends a signal to dispense food into May’s bowl.

Reference: W.-C. Chien & M. Hassenzahl. 2017. Technology-Mediated Relationship
Maintenance in Romantic Long-Distance Relationships: An Autoethnographical Research through
Design. Human–Computer Interaction.

Puzzle Space (Pan et al., 2017)

Puzzle Space is designed for couples in long-distance relationships to have playful interaction and also to have the possibilities of solving problems together. Each one of the couple has 10 pieces of the 20-piece jigsaw puzzle. These physical puzzle pieces are placed on a box in which a camera captures the puzzle pieces' positions. A display on each side shows all 20 pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that represent exact positions of all puzzle pieces on the two boxes. Couples have to move their own pieces and work together to finish the puzzle game.

Reference: R. Pan, C. Neustaedter, A.N. Antle & B. Matkin. 2017. Puzzle Space: A distributed tangible puzzle for long distance couples. In CSCW '17 Companion Companion of the 2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing.

Flex-N-Feel (Singhal et al. 2017)

Flex-N-Feel is a couple of gloves. Each partner wears one. When one bends the fingers, it signals the remote glove to vibrate.

Reference: S. Singhal, C. Neustaedter, A.N. Antle, & B. Matkin. Flex-N-Feel: Emotive gloves for physical touch over distance. In CSCW '17 Companion Companion of the 2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing

Performance Apron & Talking Bottle (Chai et al., 2017)

Performance Apron and Talking Bottle are two designed for a joint cooking experience over distance. The Talking Bottle is connected to internet and works as a information display. The Performance Apron is its remote control. The artifacts allows families in different locations to have communication (exchanging messages) during the cooking process. The Talking Bottle has different layers of light that indicate whether a voice message is recording, recorded or received. To send, to play a message or to inform the remote partner about the local situation, users operate the buttons on the apron.

Reference: M.Z. Chai, A. Soro, P. Roe & M. Brereton. 2017. In CHI EA 2017 Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

telepresence robot (Yang et al., 2017)

Beam+ is one of many robot designs for remote presence. Although they are usually designed for general situation or for office context. We found a study in which couples in long-distance relationships used the system in their daily lives.

See: L. Yang., C., Neustaedter & T. Schiphorst, 2017. Communicating through a telepresence robot: A study of long distance relationships. CHI EA 2017.

In Your Eyes (Baishya & Neustaedter, 2017)

In Your Eyes is a technology probe, designed for couples (or partners) in long-distance relationships to experience (see and hear) the partner's living world. It has a simple setup - two smartphones and the Skype app on which auto-answer mode is activated. The smartphones are then fixed in users' shirt pockets. The users experience their partners' living world through live video stream from Skype on other devices.

Reference: U. Baishya & C. Neustaedter, 2017. In Your Eyes: Anytime, anywhere video and audio streaming for couples. In Proceedings of CSCW 2017 Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing.

Sensation (Canat et al 2016)

Sensation is a game device that can detect several different touch patterns between players. According to the game task, players have to complete collaborative physical tasks and experience physical closeness together with each other.

Reference: Mert Canat, Mustafa Ozan Tezcan, Eran Tiza, Bugra Can Sefercik, Idil Bostan, Oguz Turan Buruk, Tilbe Goksun, Oguzhan Ozcan. 2016. Sensation: Measuring the Effects of a Human-to-Human Social Touch Based Controller on the Player Experience. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI'16) 3944-3955.

Ritual Machine II - coutdown timer in anticipation of a future event (Kirk et al. 2016)

The countdown timer is an application running on smartphones with a countdown machine. Couples put their smartphone together and each smartphone shows a half of a "knob." Couples rotate the knob together to set up the countdown time for their next important joint events in the future. The countdown machine than starts the countdown and displays a sand timer that flows slowly. The machine imitates the sound of flowing sand. It starts with imperceptible volume and becomes louder when the end point is coming.

Reference: Kirk et al. 2016. Ritual Machines I & II: Making Technology at Home. CHI' 2016.

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