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Esense

E-Sense is a kinetic game platform that helps to translate biometric data into visual and tactile forms of communication for people with disabilities.

Harvard Graduate School of Design

Open Project

2018 Spring

Professor: John May

E-Sense is made of a lightweight electronic textile that connects sensors and microprocessors to collect biological data such as heart-rate, body temperature, or body movements and visualizes them through the color, and texture of the smart fabric. E-sense helps people to communicate and understand others more accurately by visualizing sensory information on the wearers’ emotions and feelings. Sensors such as an accelerometer, a temp sensor, infrared sensor, light sensor, and pulse sensor are connected to Wifi and a microcontroller that enables a sensor network to be connected to your smart devices and records your activity. E-Sense is designed to provide a service to people who may need additional help communicating: people who communicate with physical or mental disabilities such as children with autism spectrum disorder, and infants whose abilities to speak aren’t yet developed will be a part of the case group.

For example, blind people and hearing-impaired are extremely limited in communication. I want to explore the possibility of how these two groups can communicate effectively and design e-Sense as a platform that helps them to connect through translating their emotional signal to the form that can understand. For blind people, e-Sense can translate a sign language into a tactile or auditory form, while it translates voice into a visual form for hearing-impaired. 

First, I would like to build a toolkit that consists of various sensors to measure their body changes and design how to translate them into other forms of sensory information. In order to gather specific user cases to test, I reached out to a few local welfare centers for the Disabled. After the user research and application, the final outcome will be a series of sensory wearable sets for different scenarios.
 

Inspiration

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Tadoma is a method of communication used by deafblind individuals, in which the deafblind person places their thumb on the speaker's lips and their fingers along the jawline. The middle three fingers often fall along the speaker's cheeks with the little finger picking up the vibrations of the speaker's throat.

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Hand clapping game

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Initial experiment

Blindbox

A group project for Design Across Scales at MIT Media Lab 2017 Spring.. A construction game for a couple, using a sense of touch and verbal communication between players to build up the relationship.

MIT Media lab

Design Across Scales

2017 Spring

Professor: Neri Oxman

Inspiration

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Puzzel 

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Blind date

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what's in the box?

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Design process

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I/O devices: 
Input - Output
Touch - Heat
Touch - Wind
Heart rate - Motor
Proximity - Motor

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Kit 1

I/O device:

Input (bending) - output (wind)
Body gesture - tactile

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Kit 2

I/O device: Input (press) - output (heat)
Body gesture - tactile

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Kit 2

I/O device: Input (sound) - output (motion)

Sound - tactile

Component

Box + Joint + Puzzle

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Box + Joint + Puzzle

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Box + Joint + Puzzle

How to play

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# of players: 2
Type: a construction game
Components: Playbox, Joint, Puzzle
Rule: Construct a tower higher than 1 ft through collaborating with your player.

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End game product

Towers we built together

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