Final project: Concept

Erasing Maps: technology to stay in touch

Design a new solution to an existing problem


It is hard to live away from your home. Back in 80s my parents have experienced the same situation. They have moved to other city to proceed with their studies. Writing letters was the widely used channel of communication. Living in the 21st century, it is hard to imagine how they overcame the homesickness.

Nowadays we have so many options to stay connected to our loved ones. For example, Skype lets you see, listen and talk to a person on the other end. What is missing is the actual physical presence. Given current technology development, we could revolutionize so many aspects in out lives, including erasing maps for better ways of long-distance communication.

From observations, I have encountered that there are two main development phases:

  1. Using accessible and intuitive platforms (software) to communicate in real time
  2. Align! Feeling the presence of loved ones (making it interactive,  creating physical contact)

Possible game changers: VR and AR -> Mixed Reality (Microsoft’s HoloLens)

There are many options to simulate physical presence. I have narrowed my focus down to two ideas:

  1. Building a cute robot(use Ultrasonic sensor as eyes like in the Scary box project) to replicate different movements, follow you to different rooms and cheer you up!
  2. Collaborate with Katya to make Moving and Sound emitting pair read external input(touch, pressure, etc.) and respond vie visual and sound effects. 

This week I have been reading Making Things Talk by Tom Igoe. Chapter 6 is devoted to Wireless Communication, which is a necessary part in both above mentioned projects. And there are so many ways to implement it. I am feeling excited to start project planning!