feelybean: Communicating Touch Over Distance

This is from a group project while I was at UCL. My team and I designed researched, and prototyped haptic feedback communications device to communicate touch over distance. We published a paper and presented at the CHI 2012 conference.


Increasingly, due to work or study reasons, many couples find themselves living apart, in different cities or even countries, experiencing the challenges of a long distancerelationship.Muchresearchhasbeen conducted into helping couples overcome the problems associated with long distance relationships (LDRs) and many steps have been made towards solving it through enabling them to keep in contact via video, audio, or visual artifacts. Our approach supplements these traditional communication mediums by exploiting “touch” – a sensation that is dominant in almost every relationship. We designed, built and tested a prototype touch device, with the intention of bringing couples closer together during a regular Skype conversation, by allowing each to feel the other’s touch. Our study showed that participants found touching each other in this way was intriguing, enabling them to feel the other person’s hand touching theirs at a distance, and in doing so bridging the distance between them. 


Problem Identification: Long Distance Relationships

Getting user requirements

Literature review

feelybean literature.png

Initial Design Ideas and Sketches

Feelybean testing.png

Initial Mockups based on feedback

 The cat loved it!!

The cat loved it!!

Physical prototyping

 The team and I creating the physical prototype

The team and I creating the physical prototype

feelybean mockups copy 2.png