SHAGANE BARSEGIAN LAUNEY JACKIE LEE
IFRY is a touchy, expressive and lively creature who monitors body rhyms to gives time.
SITUATION -design research from a previous project (Affective Geometry) revealed that a lot of people donâ€™t like time but have to use it -people experience pressure and anxiety to obey and function in the pace of watch or clock -users might enjoy a more sensitive device that reacts to physical and mental states TASK -make time interactive and allow users to play with time -allow object to be moved around the body -make an affective device, foresee issues and explain changes -introduce the concept in an accessible and non threatening way ACTION -material and technology research, -tinkering, writing code, debugging -brainstorming, prototyping -assembling, production RESULT -new experience around wearing time -time becomes private and affective -a digital device that gives time through touch - exhibited at SIGGRAPH 2008 - exhibited at California College of the Arts NASAD 2009
PROJECT SPONSORED BY CALIFORNIA COLLEGE OF THE ARTS (CCA) A COLLABORATION BETWEEN CCA GRAD DESIGN AND AFFECTIVE COMPUTING GROUP AT MIT MEDIA LAB
CONCEPT “In the world, there are two times. There is mechanical time and there is body time. The first is as rigid and metallic as a massive pendulum of iron that swings back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. The second squirms and wriggles like a bluefish in a bay. The first is unyielding, predetermined. The second makes up its mind as it goes along.” (P24) Alan Lightman, Einstein’s Dreams Alan Lightman spoke of strong division between body and machine time. This projected aimed at softening the border, allowing body time to change machine time. Everybody feels pressured of running out time. Can a device graph physical and emotional levels and then alter it’s response? If it measures positive or negative excitement, can it acknowledge the wearer of his condition and alter its own.
This device was to be carried around on the body all the time and the human was expected to interact with it. It was consciously decided to make the design of the object cute and non threatening. We chose to call the device a creature, assuming if this was a mass produced object there could be a family of them. Emotion through touch and tactility were the areas of investigation. Ifry formed at an idea of gentle, pleasant and cute sensations. The design of the character utilizes soft materials (craft foam) so it is comfortable and cozy to body and encourages touch toward itself. The creature’s size, 2.5x2.5 inches, is adaptable to living anywhere on the body as long as it has contact with skin and the vibrations are felt.
TOUCH + _
UNCONNECTED VIBRATION MOTORS
TIGHTLY ASSEMBLED VIBRATION MOTORS
SPREAD OUT VIBRATION MOTORS
SLOW ACCELARATION, LONG AND FEW VIBRATIONS
FAST ACCELERATION, SHORT AND MANY VIBRATIONS
Ifry is inspired by pleasure humans experience when touching and being touched. Several studies with vibration motors were made to understand the kind of vibration fit the device. Some geometric positioning was pleasant or itchy. In other cases the motors could not be individually felt and seemed like one big blur. The motors were programmed with differences in: acceleration strength of the vibration, time length of the vibration and number of vibrations.
TECHNOLOGY The completed design utilizes three vibration motors. This exact number of motors presents an interesting range of vibration, yet occupies a small surface. Conductive thread in appearance of eyelashes, measures skin conductance which increases with perspiration caused by positive or negative stress (happiness or anxiety). It is facing skin and is positioned at the center of the object for greater contact.
bluetooth arduino board
vibration motors conductive thread
TECHNOLOGY Inside the character is an accelerometer which measures movement, another way to measure positive and negative stress. The circuitry for skin conductance is on top of the microcontroller (Arduino board). Skin conductance and acceleration data flows into a Processing program on the microcontroller powered by batteries. With further development it will be possible to make Ifry a self contained object with all technology hidden inside.
circuitry for skin conductance power
covered conductive thread vibration motor accelerometer
BEHAVIOR By communicating and reacting through vibrations, Ifry mirrors human physical states and tells time. Ifry was made to be physical time and external physical representation of the body with who one can be physically playful and expect physical response. Ifryâ€™s responses or mirroring is divided into three states. Quiet, excited, and supersonic. Quiet state, is when the body exhibits little motion, acceleration and skin conductance. When the body is quiet, Ifry is quiet. In this state Ifry is just vibrating in programmed intervals of time. In this prototype the time duration between every vibration is two minuets, though it can be 5, 10, 15 and etc. Every two minutes, there is one long, softly accelerating vibration. The chosen abstract notion of time gives orientation with disregard to precise time. Ifry is in excited state, when it measures high skin conductance.
Few softly accelerating vibrations are felt. When there is high skin conductance and high acceleration, Ifry becomes supersonic. It makes many short, fast accelerating vibrations. As skin conductance or acceleration decrease, the creature will return to being quiet. Ifry is more expressive as the body gets more aroused. Ifry was tested with users , the experience revealed that people understood Ifryâ€™s quiet condition pacing. They were pleasantly surprised when Ifry would vibrate with their movement or gesture. The users experienced time through a different stimuli, touch. A few improvements were also noted. A. the type of accelerometer used had difficulty capturing data when pressed close to the body. B. to measure skin conductancy, conductive thread needed to expand over a greater area.
high arousal/time inactive low arousal/time active skin conductancy acceleration time-telling
low arousal/time active quiet
WEARABLE C. people felt strange putting Ifry’s face in contact with the skin, it seemed disrespectful. The points a and b are technical issues, where point c is interesting from a behavior perspective as the audience experienced feelings towards the device.
Ifry is worn in direct contact with body (skin) on the arm, neck, shoe, sock or pocket. It stays secret to everybody n o i s nthe e twearer, xe ro t c erevealed. jbo besides unless
The creature makes time or body time personnel as it colors it by fragments of intended and unintended interactions between Ifry and it’s wearer. Ifry references time passing so we can orient ourselves but be negligent to the preciseness of universal time. The intimate and invisible interactions draw attention of conscious and unconscious behavior to an external physical representation of the body – Ifry. Time becomes a private and physical language. Differentiating moments, making time/body affective, giving them character, the project presents an alternative way of time awareness and body expression.
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PRECISE TIME 1:00
Part of the users was very much interested knowing how Ifry could tell more precise time. Here, is a diagram of how a more precise time language could be assembled with these same motors. A range of 5 motors would allow the display of 12 hours and ten minute periods o minutes. Below are color coded vibration patters for each hour.
REFERENCES  Lightman, A. 1994. Einsteinâ€™s Dreams. New York: Random House Inc.  Zerubavel, E. 1982. The Standardization of Time: A Sociohistorical perspective, The American Journal of Sociology, 88, 1, 1-23.  Freud, S. 2003 edition. Uncanny Penguin Classics  Lippincott, K. 2000. The Story of Time. London: Merrell Holberton  Picard, R. Affective Computing, MIT Press. 1997