projects / instruments of politeness

MOVEMENT CLOACKER: Object to put context aware devices in various situations

The project ‘Instruments of Politeness’ is about our possible relations to context-aware devices in the near future and how they might change our behavior. These devices will be able to guess our current activity by evaluating sensor feedback.

Right now we are able to lie about our current context while talking to another person on the phone. The only transmitted information is verbal content which is produced by our voice and bits of background noise. According to that the dialogue partner has to trust the person who is offering information. Small everyday lies help us to care for our relations to other people. We look after them by not offering the whole truth, all available informations. Trends show at the moment a forthrightness in social networks. People are offering private details about their life, mostly to create an interesting personality in the virtual world. What if the guessed context also becomes a part of this dense set of personal information? What if the dialogue partner is able to access our context behavior, how would we be polite?

Predefined usage rhythms and patterns through personal training will allow mobile phones and other portable gadgets to guess what the person is doing at the moment and what he or she is perhaps going to do next. Research actually aims in the direction to figure out the emotional state by comparing different sensor inputs and merging them into a bigger picture. Therefore the context aware apparat identifies in which pocket the person has placed it to interpret the sensed information from specific perspectives. The state of things like the coat, if it is open–closed or something in-between, are implications based on the fact that the device has more than just a microphone.

CAM WHEELS: inactive, walking, running, cycling, nervous, drunk at the bus stop (from left to right)

FIRST PROTOTYPES: Mechanical movement simulation, walking (left) dancing (right)