Emotions Responsive Skin

Reshape'15 | Wearable Technology Competition

Project Description

Project Detail


Wearable technology is a fast growing field of design that has embedded as a condition within the culture of our society. Human desire to measure, check, indicate personal performance is reflected perfectly through these, new, edgy, wearable devices. In our attempt to measure the state of our body, we connect and integrate via technology each part of our life. From wearable watches connecting directly to our phone and informing us faster about our on-line activity, through to wristbands measuring our daily performance, shoes indicating our fitness levels to health wearables and body embedded electronics- a novel aesthetic begins to unravel. Visuals and colourful interfaces predominantly dominate and highly focus only one of the senses. Therefore we have experienced an increasing division between personal contact with people as we experience difficulties in communication. Technology ironically has the ability to create a greater sense of connection, whilst simultaneously taking us further away from the people close to us. What if technology could translate our emotions, and allow us to directly transmit more personal responses? Emotion Responsive Skin is a new, technologically enhanced layer of skin which has the ability to communicate through distance the intuitive emotions of humans that are naturally close to one another, however are physically distant. Through sense of touch and temperature change, the wearable skin piece indicates emotional states of the person who is in a different location. It allows for empathetic responses, where basic gestures of caressing the device, allows for the other person wearing the piece to experience a personal reaction through a temperature change and a comforting warm arousal of the neck collar. In this way, the Emotion Responsive Skin brings a contemporary genre to the group of Wearable Technologies. Its predominant aim is to create a much more personal and sensual performance. It positions itself as an instrument to reconnect people through its design as a second layer of skin, enhanced with technology, augmenting the human body with the sixth sense.


The Emotion Responsive skin utilises technology as a form of body augmentation and enhancement of human senses, taking advantage of cutting edge technologies. It employs a primary sensor: galvanic skin response sensor known as a stress sensor and a touch sensor. The sensor has the ability to measure xyz levels and as they increase it typically signifies an arousal or stressful state. Emotion Responsive Skin is a device worn by two partners, allowing for them to communicate between themselves as they experience emotional arousal. The sensor measurement data from one neck piece is processed through a custom made circuit board, and transmitted across with the aid of bluetooth beacon to a mobile phone device which directly send the information to the other partner’s neck piece. Data received in processed through the activation of the embedded digital heating pad, manifesting effects through a relaxing warmth located around the central part of the necklace. The user has the ability to input and respond through a delicate caress of the topographical surface of the silicone, which in turn activates a touch sensor transferring data is a similar way to the other partner. In this way the collar becomes a digital empathy.


Liv Pearson