On touch

March 2nd, 2009

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What are essential characteristics of touch we need to be able to replicate to synthesise touch? Warmth? Pressure? Heartbeat?

Hugshirt at the Wired expo

In 2005 Cute Circuit presented the hug shirt, shirts that you could wear in pairs that would relay hugs over a cell network by means of a java applet for your phone. I’m not actually sure what their actuators actually are, but they say they sense hug location, hug pressure and heartbeat when you try to send a hug.

early testing version

Under my skin also tried to pair touch and physical intimacy. One suit would sense the proximity of the environment around it by means of infrared and relay it to both the wearer and another suit connected over radio. The suits used vibrating motors, which proved to be very disruptive even though they were tuned. The suits were not precise enough to give a good sense of the surrounding environment, and also jammed the senses that you otherwise might use with a tactile feedback overload.

the e-stressed shirt

e-Stressed was a project done at the Mediamatic designing hybrid wearables workshop. The shirt would sense the wearer’s stress levels and light up pressure points for passerbys to press. The location of touch is also very situation dependent, how do we address this?

where we think we want to be touched

The touch part of the Fleshmap project maps where women would like to be touched intimately on average as well as where men think women would like to be touched, as well as vice versa. Then again, we probably don’t immediately want to start with networking intimate touch?

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