ROY Week 3: Digital Footprint

What I’ve decided to do is to create a machine that can induce empathy. Typically, empathy is shared using motor mimicry. However, it’s been recently shown that sharing autonomous mimicry can also “allow humans to recognize emotions and empathize with others.”

Examples of Motor Mimicry:

  • Facial Expressions
  • Body Postures
  • Vocal Characteristics
  • Contagious Yawning
  • Speech Gestures
  • Laughter

Examples of Autonomic/Automatic Mimicry:

  • Synchrony in Heart Rate
  • Breathing Rhythm
  • Pupil Diameter
  • Hormonal Level


What my machine does is to ask people to synchronize their breath together.

Since measuring breath in a non-invasive way is difficult, I will be using the Adafruit Time of Flight Distance sensor. Instead of measuring the actual breath, I will be measuring the distance that a person’s chest moves when breathing. Adafruit VL53L0X Time of Flight Distance Sensor - ~30 to 1000mm

Unfortunately, my parts came in a bit late & so I wasn’t able to actually test things this week, but I’m looking forward to expanding this next week. 

ROY Week 2: Memes, Cultural Continuity, & Email Analysis

For this week’s HW assignment, we were asked to collect a bit of our digital footprint. I decided to look at the networks with my email using an off-the-shelf tool made by the MIT Media Lab called Immersion.

Immersion is a design experiment that centers the email interface on people and the networks that people form.

In this experiment, I compared the networks of my two primary email accounts: School + Private. Here are their respective visualizations. 

NYU Email Address

Personal Email Address

In my school email, I found three main groups of people: Work, ITP classmates, & ITP Campers. 

In my personal email, I found seven main groups of people: Family, Work Friends, Tango friends, Zouk friends, Art friends, & Camping friends.

For the future, I’m interested in exploring how memes carry ideas within cultures. Can physical movements be memes? How is it possible for us to continue creating sustainable dynamic cultures?

ROY Week 1: The Brain, Thinking Fast & Slow

There are many illusions that we live with. In this class, Rest of You, I’m interested in exploring the illusion of consciousness & agency. In Incognito: Secret Lives of the Brain,  it states:

Most of what we do and think and feel is not under our conscious control. 

In Thinking Fast and Slow, an example is given of this concept. They go through how the concept of hard work or agency can be physiologically measured through eye pupil dilation. The harder one mentally works, the bigger the pupils dilate. 

Work & Productivity is something that we, as a digital generation, are constantly trying to optimize. In a search for “Self Help” books on Amazon, there are over 60,000 results. 

The sheer number of books dedicated in this top-down approach seems to signify that people want to control their unconscious thoughts, actions, & desires through their conscious mind.

In the next coming weeks, I’m interested in designing an experiment around the words that we use & how that can affect perceived agency. How can we leverage our actions into understanding more about ourselves? Is it possible for us to use tracked data to improve who we are & how we are perceived?