Caroline Sinders

21st Century Store

A store that exists in the future that sells whimsical and useful products and wearables.

n/a (for now)

Design for Editions,The Temporary Expert: Research-based Art and Design Practice

Future 21st Century store is a store set in an apocalpytic future (where there are zombies). I am creating projects you would find in the future- so a a bag printed with twitter data, tights with a data visualization infection is spread (related to the zombie game) but printed using thermo-chromic ink, and a prototype of a watch that blinks using the user's google calendar events.

This store also exists to provide information (and healing stamps) to a zombie game that is another project I've submitted.

In the temporary expert, I spent the semester researching time, haptic communication, wearables, and ambient display and design. I dove into further research by looking at gesture, and communicative anthropology and manners. Essentially, I wanted to create a polite reminder system that you can wear but that does not distract from social interaction. You can steal a glance at your watch but pulling a phone out to check for notifications is rude adn distracting.

in product and interaction design, visual style is considered incredibly important for generating user experiences, along with temporal and sensual features, i.e. how it feels to press a button and what manual actions one can perform. These are important aspects of interaction design and I really focused on that while creating project- how this watch will look.

I then play tested a concept on 5 different people.

From one of the play testers-"I can't think of anying that wouldn't not become annoying in all contexts. among those- your phone vibrates all of the time, on one hand we are used to it but we are also dependent upon it, it provides us value to have that vibration. if the wearable was providing me some value, that would be fine. if it had different modes of providing me input, if you could alter that, modify it to what you would prefer, that would be plus" 

This really justified the need and existence of my project. You set the data and information yourself and the notifiaction is very....peripheral and minimal.

Forgetful people, and people into wearables that have nothing to do with the quantified self.

User Scenario
Someone comes up to my table and I explain the fake project to people playing the zombie game and the real project- the watch- to anyone and everyone interested in wearables and peripheral display notifications.

So far, it's a rough prototype in the terminal (but it's reading my google calendar data!) I will be creating a processing sketch and a little lamp (a beautiful paper mache triangle on a wodden stand) that lights up using an arduino related to my google calendar data.

I discovered a lot about social interaction, wearables, mannerism, gesture, and politeness. Wearables hide and real data, so what does that data say about the user and how does the revealing affect people around the user? It can be distracting.

worn by the user in many different physical and social settings, a wearable communication device has the potential to distract not only the user, but also anyone nearby (a pheneonmon that we know only too well from our experience with cell phones) quiet peripheral display, then, can be particularly valuable for wearable devices

I looked at self willed objects , robots in the home, smart objects.

people already anthrompormize objects- stuffed animals- we become attached to the things we use everyday- our phones. what if we could form that type of attachment to our clothing? kaho abe pointed out in our talk that clothing is incredibly intimate, we put it on our skin, we wear it against our bodies. we form attachment to our "favorite pieces of clothing" as things but what if we were attached to them like our how we were to our phones? and how would we form that? would our clothing need a function beyond wear, would it need to quantify something, provide some feedback beyond the visual, would it need a function that is greater than it's form? So then i looked at ambient media and passive notifications.

I really thought: what could a device that I wear but only engage with peripherally tell me? and what would it notify to other users? How do we hide and reveal information with a wearable? and what cues can we create that minimally, peripherally notify only the user and not the surrounding audience of the user?

Minimal interaction but maximum engagement is what i am going for.