BodyPods: Designing Posture Sensing Chairs for Capturing and Sharing Implicit Interactions

In Proceedings of TEI 2015 |

Published by ACM - Association for Computing Machinery

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Today, it is not uncommon to find ourselves remote from those we care about. Despite the impact of mobile and social technologies on connectedness, recent studies suggest that it could be these very technologies that exacerbate a sense of loneliness. In attempt to help people feel more connected, we designed and created BodyPods, a remotely paired set of communicating chairs that facilitate a sense of presence by leveraging implicit actions such as sitting to communicate that someone you care about isHome. Each BodyPod consists of a flexible surface with six pressure-sensitive and light-emitting pads that adjusts its shape to the body anatomy. As a person’s body moves, limbs exert different pressure on each pad creating a live digital “bodyprint” that is mapped on the pads of other BodyPods through color and light. Findings from a 10 person user study suggest body prints may be distinctive, particularly among small groups of people with different body types.