Arduino, Objects
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Twin Objects – Devices for long-distance relationships

Created by Elise Migraine at ECAL, Twin Objects is a collection of devices (Tits Me, Pianoze, and Dual Drums) designed to act as a ‘hotline’ in attempt to nurture intimacy and telepresence that long-distance relationships need.

“Nowadays, everyone is only a couple of clicks away from each other. Communicating over long distance with text, video, images has never been so easy, and as mobility has become ever easier, many of us live apart from our relatives or close friends. This makes instant messaging (IM) app valuable actors in our relationships. However, the sensory experience of these messages is the same whether it’s a message from a stranger or a close friend. Receiving an IM becomes a banal experience.”  

Twin Objects is a playful solution to enhance the experience of instant messaging using the possibilities of the Internet of Things (IoT). It comprises two buttons which react to each other’s positions. When one button is pressed down, it causes the other twin button to move up. It’s only possible for the user to reply to a message once.

Elise describes Twin Objects in complete opposition with current IM solutions. To begin with, for her it was important that the devices are physical, not virtual, experience which conveys a stronger feeling of telepresence. It is a device which cannot be carried but is left in the personal space of the user. This allows users to better connect and project themselves in each other’s intimacy. The devices can currently send images, gifs, videos, drawings and text altogether on one single device but can also do other things.

“With a minimalist approach, it offers freedom for friends to express their own personal stories in their own way, allowing their complicity to blossom. And as AI starts to provide ready-made answers to our instant messaging, Twin Objects offers an opportunity to take back control on your communications with a personal coded language.”

Tits Me is comprised of two buttons which react to each other’s positions. When one button is pressed down, it causes the other twin button to move up. It’s only possible for the user to reply to a message once. Pianoze is formed by two keys, each ring a different bell. When one melody is played, it will be repeated on the other twin objects. When it is repeating the keys are moving respecting the same rhythm. Dual Drums includes rotary button that acts on the other’s arrow. Turning the button on the square will move the arrow of the other object on this same shape.

Software and hardware used includes Arduino, Firebase, Adafruit Feather, nodeMCU ESP8266 and 3D printing, laser cutting, thermoforming for prototyping.

Project Pageecal.ch | ECAL – Bachelor Media&Interaction Design

Project by Elise Migraine and supported by Alain Bellet, Cyril Diagne, Gaël Hugo, Christophe Guignard, Cédric Duchêne (Tutors) and Laura Perrenoud, Tibor Udvari, Romain Cazier, Marc Dubois (Assistants). Filmed and edited by Elise Migraine.

See also SmallConnection by Hideaki Ogawa (circa 200-2004 / thanks Mar Canet)