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Epafi

Kyveli Vezani
Rory Nugent

A pair of bracelets to communicate the intimate nature of touch at a distance.

Classes Telepresence

Epafi is a pair of bracelets built to simulate the common and playful exchange of touch amongst mates, loved ones, or even close friends. Whenever either of the wearers touch the bracelet worn on their wrist, the location, pressure, and movement of the touch is replicated on other the wearer's wrist. The bracelets connect each wearer via Bluetooth wireless radio and allow for a form of communication that could be whimsical and fun, as touch often is, or it could grow to be a more intricate form of bodily communication.

Audience
Two friends. Two lovers. Two people wanting to exchange gestures coyly.

Implementation
Epafi is made of two soft bracelets paired together via a Bluetooth wireless connection. Whenever a deliberate touch is sensed along the wrist (currently force sensitive resistors, soon to be conductive felt), this information is transmitted along the Bluetooth link and simulated on the other wearer's wrist using small vibrating disk motors. A microcontroller is used to interpret the touches and even handles the structure of all wireless communication.

Conclusion
Initially we had grand plans of taking the bracelets to large wireless realms by using the global coverage of the cell network, however after our first prototype we realized that it would be too reductive in transmitting the activity of touch. We also quickly realized while wearing our early prototype that this simple way of communication was incredibly interesting and satisfying. Instead of adding complexity and features that may not be necessary, we settled on developing the simple interface further in order to make the communication more rich and intuitive and not more complicated.