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EMO. Investigating Non-Verbal Communication and Social Interaction through Wearable Media Technology

EMO.  Investigating Non-Verbal Communication and Social Interaction through Wearable Media Technology

“Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.”, says Marcus Tullius Cicero says. The quote illustrates that audio speech or visual language are not the only means humans use to communicate with one another. There are many several ways to deliver messages, for example, gestures, symbols or colours. In fact, humans may communicate or interact with the environment without uttering a single word, sometimes, we do not even realise that we have expressions. send another message. While we are sending or receiving messages, we also use hand gestures or express your feelings In terms of speech, we also use tone to differentiate the meaning of the message, although, there are exactly the same word or sentence. The medium that we employ in communication can change the messages or alter responses when they are received. Albert Mehrabian [1967]came up with the “7%-38%-55%” rule suggesting that, in communication, humans use tone and body language to accompany speech to convey the meaning we wish to express. Tone of voice may serve a minor differentiation to word meanings, but it represents the messenger’s purposes or feelings.

Human are able to perceive and understand the other’s feelings without uttered speech. Emotions and feelings are principles of human beings and communication; however, they are hard to define. What we ‘think’ we feel and what we actually feel are not the same. Due to this, EMO project is born. The purpose of EMO project is to create the extension of emotional feelings which communicates or sends messages to the social environment. We communicate or send messages in several different ways, depending on what medium we use to send the messages. The medium may also change the magnitudes of the network. Thus, the ways to reform human relationships may depend on the medium and the feedbacks from the environment.

The EMO wearable, is an emotive and responsive communication medium that critiques human’s emotional feelings in the form of Intra-personal and Inter-personal feedback loops. Often, we do not realise that we are stressful due to the environment we are in, or that we subconsciously smile when walking through a park. What is the real message from our physical body and mind? The wearable will make it possible to transfer that message and makes it visible in colours and light through bio-sensing technology. So, we could conceive the message from our body using the wearable. It may change the ways we present our feelings and gain different feedbacks from the social environment. This medium is able to condition people in communication. Towards new senses of communication, human behaviours and relationships can change depending on the communication media we use. Then, it would affect others in the social environment, and once they present themselves to their surroundings, they will reshape the relationships in the communication system.

1 Media for Communication System

Communication is the spreading of information, stories, a piece of art work, colours of clothing or even a hairstyle, as long as there is a message in there. ‘Social interaction through messages’ [Fiske, 1990]A general definition of communication is a transmission of messages. During the transmission, the process matters, as the efficiency and the accuracy of the messages sent rely on the type of the medium employed. For example, people use different methods to apologise: one might say sorry face-to-face while another might send an email or give a present. The decision will also may depend on their relationship and status. Even Though the main message is the same to apologise, each medium signifies a different level of intensities in the meaning.

  • Communication theory; Communication as the transmission of messages.

In the communication studies conducted by Shannon and Weaver in 1994, their model [Figure 1]illustrate a linear process. In terms of communication studies, it is essential to understand the principle before concern about its connotation or evaluation. The characteristic of each section (source, transmitter, and receiver) contains messages and meanings. The first meaning of the information from the source might change when it is delivered to the destination. We should be aware of any factor that could affect them. Shannon and Weaver also define the problems in communication studies in three levels:Level A (technical problems), Level B (semantic problems) and Level C (effectiveness problems). By understanding these the three levels, it would be easy to understand which factors or which part of the process often affects the efficiency and accuracy. A desired message from the source might be changed during the transmission depending on how the medium transfers and represents the message to a receiver.

 Figure 1: Shannom and Weaver’s model of communication [John Fiske, 1990]

The idea of transmutation of message addresses how senders and receivers deliver and perceive the messages through communication channels and media. The transmission might change the meaning from the messages. Therefore, the comprehension of communicative media of the sender may improve the accuracy of the messages. To avoid distortion, senders should know how to use medium to represent the desired message.  Thus, based on Shannon and Weaver research, the focus of the communication theory will be only transmitters, how accurately can the message be transmitted (Level A) and how precisely do the transmitted messages convey the desire meaning (Level B). Level A is about how accurately to transmit symbols of communication, using communication symbols. I this level, the medium itself should be able to represent the meaning of the message. This concept will be employed in the aesthetic design of the wearable. The medium itself already convey a message through the use of geometric shapes as symbolic message and extraordinary materials to show the main function of the wearable which is not for clothing. If we could solve level A problem, it would be easily to transfer a desired message. Level B is about how to precisely deliver the message with its intended meaning. The desired messages should be really clear and precise when sent through this medium.

“In the telephone message for instance, my mouth transmits a signal to the handset which is at this moment a receiver, and which instantly becomes a transmitter to send the signal to your handset, which receives it and then transmits it via the air to your ear.”[Fiske, 1990] Weall use some type of a medium to communicate to others.It shows that the transmitter is crucial in the process and such transmitter (media) can operate more than one function. This concept would be useful for designing the main function of the wearable: to reveal personal data or privacy information. The wearable should have application and implication which give users choices: they can choose to display or disclose the implicated message from the wearable.

1.2. Medium theory; role of medium in feedback loop system

1.2.1 Media in communication system

Introduction to Communication Studies [Fiske, 1990] divides media in three main categories which is the presentational media (the voice, the face or the body), the representational media (book, painting, architecture, etc) and the mechanical media (television radio, telephone). It is interesting to note that mechanical media is a transmitter of category 1 and 2. The distinction between category 2 and 3 is that category 3 is the medium that has better technological conditions. Meanwhile, it would likely to be affected by level A (technical problems) or symbols of communication. In The EMO project, the medium which is the wearable is designed as a mechanical media (category 3), using colours and light through bio-sensing technology as the representational media (category 2) and our body and brain as the presentational media (category 1).

The system is created to intimate the relationship between senders and receivers in a particular situation. What is equally important is the fact that it might either have undesirable implications in the media as a message. There are also media interrelationships, each category blend into each other. People use a different media for different purposes but should also consider the similarities between media and advantage from those diversities or similarities to send messages efficiently.

1.2.2 Medium and its contents

Medium possess the ability to control the direction of the meaning of the messages. A sender should discern the non-linear dynamic transmitters because a sender may let the medium influence the messages. Misunderstood or ineffective messages might occur during the transmutation. The contents of the medium could lead us to a genuine meaning of the message but could also mislead to another message.

“The effect of the medium is made strong and intense just because it is given another medium as “content”.” [McLuhan, 1964] Onemedium could also be a content of another medium, all media could affect or support one another, in other words, interfere with one another. For instance, the content of a musical is a fiction or a cartoon or a play. The impact to the musical characters is not mainly involved with its program content. On the other hand, its contents sometimes blind us from a pure desire of medium. It can control the scale of communication and sculpt action and reaction from human. Creating supportive contents is significantly essential for this project.Because it works as an extension of emotional feelings, the content of the wearable should be relative to the main message which is emotional feelings. For example, using different colours to define each emotion; colours can either be a content of the wearable or a representational media of the user’s body.

1.2.3 Medium and its culture

Any language has their own culture, a method to present the message with the same meaning may not mean employing the same sentence or words.This can be supported by the fact that the ways of greeting differ in different countries. People use a different type of presentational media to express their attention, relationship or social status.  Meaning of each medium could be different, depending on its cultural context. “The compass, moving from one culture to another, became something else”[Ihde, 2000] There are many types of audio and visual language that became internationally recognised communication media: emergency alarm, emoji icon, and sign language, to name a few.

The EMO wearable takes inspiration from multicultural visual languages including emojis[Figure 3],the tiny, emotive characters that represent emotional messages in the digital world. “In the future, as the world becomes increasingly digital and increasingly globalized, emoji will become important tools translation and communication, a lingua franca for the digital age”[The wired guide to Emoji, 2018] It is a great example of communication medium constantlyevolves across cultures. The wearable design should be understandable for everyone andcomprehensively defines each emotional feeling.

 Figure 2: EMOJI Icons

1.3 Emotional feelings and Communication

Definitions of emotions and feelings are based on Antonio Damasio’s research. As he mentions in “The Feeling of What Happens” that “Emotions and feelings are closely related but separable phenomena; their elucidation, at long last, is now proceeding in earnest.”. He defines emotions are as outwardly direct and public meanwhile feelings are inwardly directed and private awareness of qualia (the simple sensory qualities to be found). Feelings can unconsciously occur, but it can become consciousness when we start to be aware of them. Most of the time, we do not experience emotions but feelings. What is our body telling us and how can we transfer the message to others?

Daniel Goleman says: “Emotional Intelligence is more than understanding your own feelings. It also entails skill is expressing your feelings constructively.” Can emotional feelings communicate? “I am happy” “I feel sad” these sentences could only express a state of emotions, but they are abstract and ineffective for communication. The receiver cannot be clear what the messenger really feels. It is so difficult to define emotions or feelings in a linear data. According to Russell’s valence-arousal emotion space (Russell, 1980), emotion needs to be identified by the two axles which are valence (positive to negative) and arousal (hyperactive to calm). We want to design the wearable which will position emotional feelings on valence-arousal emotion space. So, we could be in touch or able to critique our own feelings.

2 Communication Media in Social Environment

Human is always surrounded by things, nature and people, cannot be separated. Nothing disappears, it may change or cooperate with other. “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of continent, a part of the main…. Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore, never send to know for whom the bell tolls: it tolls for thee.” By John Donne, Meditation 17.We are affected and response to each other and converse with anything in social environment by interacting. The social environment sends messages to us in the sense that we perceive and apprehend it. They all have their own form of language dialogues that be able to perform the messages.

2.1 Social Interactive Environment

“The adjective ‘social’ designates two entirely different phenomena: it’s at once a substance, a kind of stuff, and also a movement between non-social elements.” [Latour, 2005] We, as cultural animals, human are members of society in scope of social interactions and also drive the system. Human social environment contains its physical, cultural milieus and social relationships which shape the form of the community. In every social environment has their own character. In order to reform the community, interrelationships could be an influence factor. In EMO project, the wearable works as a medium to reform human relationships in the community. It exteriorises intra personal messages to social environment.

There are some reverence theories to support EMO as a communication medium that could reform interrelationship in social environment. “With the absence of movements has come a blurring of the senses… If you persist in ingesting them, they will lead to complete paralysis.”[Latour, 2005] This is influential to reform the feeling for social connection that Bruno Latour, based on his ANT theory, resist two different methods. The first one is sociology of the social ties and freeze homogeneous together as long as possible. The other is sociology of associations ties which try to associate elements of heterogeneous together. View from this range, instead of changing or categorise elements or members in social, media could be able to change the member relationships or reshape the system toward a new sense of social.


2.2 The Representational Media as a Symbolic Message

John Fiske [1990] assume that “communication is central to the life of our culture: without it culture of any kind must die.” Receivers from different background or different culture may understand different meaning in the same Symbolic, one may be a powerful message for people in some countries while it may be meaningless for the others. To illustrate the medium theory the representational media can occur independently from the sender. It shows a powerful function as message itself, product works of communication. There is a remarkable example called Pussyhat project that made an impulsive movement on social environment.

An example of a symbolic Representational Media

 Figure 3: Pussyhat Project and Woman’s March Weekend [Jayna, 2018]

The original purpose of Pussyhat Project are compassion, participation, personal connection through open dialogue (knitted hat pattern) as a symbolic message of women’s rights and human rights. To elaborate further on this is its connotations, criticisms are part of it. There is a strong way but to interact with the society, while its mechanism is really simple that everybody can get involved. This on-going project is about to bring visibility to the invisible and voice to the voiceless which is powerful messages, sent to social environment and also obtained a significant of feedbacks. This case shows how effective of the symbolic medium itself, contain the powerful message that could influence social environment.

2.3 Conversation Theory

 “… a conversation is not, as it is not infrequently supposed to be, data communication, let alone a means whereby one participating actor control another actor’s behaviour.”[Pask, 1987]Conversation is the converse of control and interaction which bring in compromise, agreement or divergence to convergence. The concepts are exchanged and often shared in a conversation. The language that we use in a conversation as an active linguistic interaction does not need to be verbal, could be visual language of pantomime or a primitive protolanguage, like symbolic behaviour. Also, the participants do not need to be people, it could go on between people and cultures, where there are cultural values or tropical beliefs and another conversation go on between culture and culture.

Feedback Loop in Systems: It is important to have action or interaction to complete feedback loop, without any of these, it can only be an attention seeker.  In particular way, without feedback, systems will not have directions to affect their responding and it is difficult to reach convergence. With feedback, the system can efficiency achieve goals or change statement from present to intended state. “Feedback forms a circular process that moves from intention to action, to sensing the outcome of action, to comparison of outcome to intention, to adjustment of further action. This circularity is the essence of all cybernetic systems, that is systems that seek goals” [Dubberly and Pangaro, 2010] The role of feedback in the circular performance in environment is the main core of systems. Even the word feedback has become to mean any information that involved in systems, however, it actually is information which is used to commutate its state, toward to its goals.

Feedback loops in a conversation: The retroactive influence on initial causal factors is called a feedback loop and is characteristic of complex system, including human systems at all levels.” [Carter, 2011]Human relationships are nonlinear dynamic systems which is a complex causality. Especially, in social environmental systems, there are various of multiple human relationships in multi-directions of nonlinear feedback loops, everything affects and be affected by each other. Many of them only affects other subjects but does not influence the system. While some of them could dramatically drive a whole system.


3 Creation of communication media toward new senses of social interaction

In order to design the wearable, it would be useful to look at case studies or ideal of communication media in term of Intra-personal and Inter-personal feedback loops. All case studies, which will be mentioned below are related to communication and media theories, illustrate how the message is transmitted through the medium and feedback loops in social environment.

3.1 Intra-Personal feedback loops through communication media

Feelings are a part of everyday social interaction, we subconsciously or consciously express our feelings through our face, body or tone of voices. To display or keep it inside would be considered because it might affect social communication. We have our body as a main source of feelings expressions. As a social mood display to conceive body response is created toward new ways of nonverbal communication.

Fashion as a medium: Apart from covering or protecting our body, clothes or accessories that people were represent a statement. In fashion design fields, clothing is not always functional but also use fashion as a statement, wearing clothes as sending some message to social environment. To illustrate this point, fashionable running clothes, there are really functional and suitable toward acts of running and meanwhile they contain design in different ways which supposed to make a statement. Such as vivid colours are not supposed to make me relax me from tiredness, but it supposed to emphasise and draw attention to my face. Clothing is not multicultural language because it conveys different meanings in different cultures. Even clothe in the same culture also contain various of meanings. People emphasise their personality and identity through clothes. Jerome Agel says “Clothing, an extension of skin.”And indeed, they are an extension of our body and thought.

 Figure 4: oversized t-shirts [Hamnett, 1980s]

Self-expression through bio-sensing technologies: Emotive wearable isacombination of sensing technologies and cutting age materials that reveal your inner statement, offer new emotional expressions. The more advantageous of computation and electronic materials technologies, the more capabilities of the wearable.

 Figure 5: EMO Intra-Personal Feedback Loop

“Bubelle” and “Frison”, by Phillips Design, are two prototyped wearablesthat measure skin signals, use biometric sensing technologies and represent it through light emission. Bubelle [figure] has two layers, the inner layer has sensors that detect emotions of the user and display it on the outer layer. Frison [figure] is a body suit that create LED lights as an output. Both projects show the possibilities of existing technologies in order to create emotive wearable. (medium) The emotive wearable can be used as inner state display for social environment, that reflect emotional or feeling status of the user, and reform configuration of emotional expression.

 Figure 6: Bubelle and Frison [Phillips Design, 2011]

3.2 Inter-Personal feedback loops through communication media 

In Terms of communication theory, Pask say“… a conversation an active linguistic interaction between actors, namely, the participants (such as you and I) by whom personal concepts are exchanged and, in part, shared.”. [Pask,1987] People share and exchange their information, which are exteriorised from Intra-personal, together with their interrelation.

 Figure 7: EMO Inter-Personal Feedback Loop

Social media as a medium

In Eastern culture, there are a large number of traditional festival that contain representational media. For instance, Thai people using firecracker to announce that there is a funeral of a members. Fireworks represent good news or celebrations. To illustrate this point, there is a wisdom media called Sa-Noo Kite that original concept is to send messages to God of nature. The media were created as a new way to communicate with nature, it produces sound, while it is being touched by wind and approximately 200 meters flown from ground in the sky. It is clearly loud enough to spread the sound a few miles away in radiant. What is more interesting is the implications of the kite that local people automatically perceive as an announcement that harvesting have finished and winter reason is coming.

The more messages are send out, the more social interaction may occur. Social media make the conversation no longer one to one participant and turn communication into an interactive dialogue for social interaction. People nowadays have more choices to choose their communication media, to spread their message extensively. Social media become a powerful communication media, are used as the online information or messages sharing between groups of people. “Social media have the potential to fundamentally change the character of our social lives, both on an interpersonal and a community level.” (Baruah, 2012) [x] This quote illustrates how powerful of communication media that directly, immediately affect human relationships and social environment.The worldwide social media like Facebook or Twitter are used for purpose of identify the user, work as the representational media and the mechanical media. A user statement has been represented meanwhile the information are sending.

Social media for social interaction

Lighting up Gulf Tower, 2015 by Antoine Catala: This project uses an existing platform on social media to reshape human relationships, propose a new way of interaction in social environment. The tower displays the average mood of the city which determined from photos and comments in Instagram. It turns data from social media into an interaction light visibility represent through the city. The representational media associate people together by visualised date in real time, had continuous movements of social reflecting responded in real-time. People in the city and either be a sender, using their own media, or a receiver, obtain the message through the media.

 Figure 7: Lighting up Gulf tower [Catala, 2015]

Sky Ear, 2004 by Usman Haque: Sky Ear is an interactive artwork of Usman Haque who has been studied and written articles about cybernetic systems. Undoubtedly, this project shows feedback loop of people interact with the artwork through a device and environment. The media can represent togetherness of people the city.  

 Figure 9: Sky Ear [Haque, 2004]

“Feedback within the sensor network creates ripples of light reminiscent of rumbling thunder and flashes of lightning.” [Haque, 2004] A thousand of glowing helium balloons which attach miniature sensor circuits that respond to electromagnetic fields (EMF) and a lot of mobile phones. As people at ground level can use their mobile phone to listen to distant natural electromagnetic sounds of the sky. When the sensor is triggered, it illuminates ultra-bright coloured LEDs as well.

 Figure10: EMO interaction Mechanism

Form those case studies, they have inspirited the EMO project to have an interaction between the wearable and be able to expand to social interaction in Urban scale. In interaction part, the users will be able to know the feelings of another users through LEDs light. So, when any user is hyperactive, it will send signal to IR receivers and turn on LEDs light afterwards. It makes EMO become more interesting Non-verbal communication media.


4 EMO: Emotive Wearable (A Practical Investigation)

EMO is a wearable that interrogates subconscious perception and conscious awareness, according to feelings could subconsciously and consciously happen. When we post an emoji or express our feelings on your Facebook timeline, our processing of the feeling and the presentation of the feelings often diverge, we normally show our positive side on social media. The online persona does not necessarily equate the real-world persona that is presented or perceived by people around. EMO is a new type of communication wearable to project the internal state through colours with the use of bio-sensing technology. It will enable insightful understanding of our subconscious perception of our social environment.

 Figure 11: EMO

4.1 Explanation

EMO as an extension of emotional feelings: EMO is an emotive wearable that critique your representational feelings and your processional feelings, either subconsciously or consciously occur.

 Figure 12: EMO Concept

As a social mood display, EMO uses muscle sensor to detect the facial expression and then projects the representational feelings in colours. This function illustrates the stage of the feelings we want to show to our social environment. We always release our feelings through facial expressions: we smile to ley others know that we are happy, and we frown to show that we are unhappy. The wearable which also evaluated our facial muscle will project the emotional feelings closet to what we feel, and the people around us can easily receive our messages more effectively, even from a long distance.

 Figure 13:   Social Mood Display Mechanism

As a body responsive revealing tool, EMO uses GSR (Galvanic Skin Response) sensor to detect bio-data and then reveals your processing feelings through IR (Infrared) light. The human body is affected by the environment all the time. For instance, it might be noise or smell in the environment could unconsciously stress us without us realising it. GSR sensor is able to reveal stress levels in terms of hyperactive statement and calm statement. So, when you start looking at correlation with other environment factors, starts identifying what stress level might be. To illustrate this point, in cold environment, many things is happening, I am wearing GSR sensor and suddenly my stress level goes up and it might be it is really cold or something else. But if I observe it in a long period of time and always when I am cold, my stress level goes up and it never happen when I am hot, then that the cold environment could suddenly because of it. In order to identify correlations, it is not always something that you could comprehend its causality immediately with the GSR sensor. Thus, it might be a number of other things that help you conceive and critique yourself.

 Figure 14:   Body Responsive Revealing Mechanism

This function shows how our body responses to the environment in real-time and it would pave ways for us to understand our body and learn how to deal with the issues in critical time. When it comes to revealing the results, using IR light could be an option for users to choose if they want to share the processing of feelings with others. As the 940 wavelength IR light cannot be seen with human bare eyes and can only be seen through the phone camera, others will not be able to access your personal data and would need to ask for permission to access the data.

4.2 Testing

EMO as a message

Implication; messages from the wearable aesthetic. The EMO wearable is an alternative communication medium for people to show their emotional feelings. To illustrate this point, it functions similar to a Facebook status on social media which the user can selectively choose what to show to others. Since, the main function of the wearable is not to cover the body but to deliver messages, the elements of the wearable are designed to draw people’s attention and enable them to easily perceive the message.

 Figure 15:   Cable ties on EMO

In a specific social context, the design is the way of fashion piece, refer to fashion as a statement theory, which is not always functional. The shape and the coloured lights of the wearable make it stand out from its environment. The main material is cable ties which is not functional for clothes and also not comfortable to wear but this material could grab people attention. Its appearance will first catch attention and present the implication of the medium before the main message is sent.

Application; messages from the wearable light and colours. “The reasons are enough to discern technological device embedded in levels of contextual meaning, apart from which they are merely ‘objects’.”[Ihde, 2000]Base on different cultural contexts, colours cannot represent a universal set of feelings. Since the wearable is a type of a mood displays, to the owner and his social environment, the users can determine which colours would associate with which feeling. The series of wearable are using different colours changing for each wearable which are blue to green, yellow to orange and purple to red. The series of colours are set based on how the designers define their sadness and happiness. For example, a designer who grew up in Chinese culture define happiness as red colour and sadness as purple colour. Hence, the representing colours are infinite choice based on user’s content and culture background.

 Figure 16:   EMO Colours Changing

EMO had been selected for exhibition at the ARS Electronica Festival 2018, we were using series of the wearable and questionnaire to investigate the supportive theories that we have discussed above. Form the series of the wearable, the focus was on how the changing colours affect the users and his social environment. From the questionnaire, feedbacks from the social environment as well as the opinions of the massagers and receivers were collected.

The questionnaire has three sections: as a messenger, as a receiver and the social environment. The first section contains questions of how the messengers send the message and what kind of message that they would send, relying on the medium that they use. The second section studied the reactions from the receivers: how they receive the message through the medium and how the medium convinces them to perceive a certain type of the message. The last section is the feedbacks from the social environment including the reliability of the message through different types of media, social media, current wearable application, and the EMO wearable.

4.3 Results and Analysis

Feedback loop through Medium

Intra-Personal; Feedback loops in our body and thought. We can normally feel our emotional feelings, but EMO can make it visible for us. We can observe and understand more about ourselves through IR light which activated by GSR sensor. Colour changing can produce a timeline of your emotional feelings.

 Figure 17:   Portions of people who often show their representation feelings which is not the same as their actual feelings.

 Figure 18:   Portions of people who smile more often, if the wearable were to tell them that they are happy.

From the questionnaire, 23.5% and 47.1% of the subjects strongly agree and agree, respectively, that they often show their presentational feelings which is not the same as their actual feeling(diverge). While 17.6% strongly agree and 41.2% agree that they would show their positive feelings more often if the wearable were to tell them that they are happy.  From this, we can infer that the medium could significantly influence people to deliver or represent their messages. It also shows that, nowadays, people are inclined to lean on technology more than themselves.

Inter-Personal:Feedback loops from social environment and how it restructures patterns of social interdependence. The extension of the emotional feelings through light that people around could easily perceive from distance and the colours changing makes it more noticeable.

 Figure 19:   Portions of people who are attracted to the wearable aesthetic before understanding how it works.

 Figure 20: Portions of people who think that it is easier to perceive emotional feelings through the wearable.

Using dramatic shape on the wearable successfully obtains people attention with 58.8% of strongly agree that they are attracted to the aesthetics of the wearable before understanding how it works. As a receiver, 29.4% strongly agree and 41.2% agree that it is easier to perceive emotional feelings through the wearable. The medium scales up the personal information and connect it to the social environments, and towards to a new communication system.

In ARS electronica Festival, there are a majority portion of people from different counties and cultures. The series of colour changing affect the user and people around, some people see red colour as angriness while the other perceive it as happiness. Different cultures are influence the messages in different ways, colours of the wearable work as symbolic medium that represent meaning of the message.

 Figure 21: The series of EMO colours changing

4.4 Learning

In term of medium as a message, EMO achieves representing messages and could easily draw people attention. Most of participants could interpret the wearable aesthetic as fashion piece which represent the user statement. And it also should be concerned that some people might only interested in its appearance without understanding how the wearable actually works.

 Figure 21: Timeline of feelings in a long period of time.

EMO as an extension of emotional feelings, people could perceive messages from the wearable from distance, reaction on the message also happen from farther distance than it used to be. From the user’s perspectives, in terms of efficacy of the wearable, EMO is more reliable than only one angle application that can either only show your body response or only show representational feelings. Due to feelings are subconsciously and consciously happen, the emotive wearable should be able to critique from both information.

Even through, the results of the investigation show that most of participants would like to show their feelings through the wearable, but for some people it is still terrified because considering of the effects, it might be a powerful impact to social environment. Form of social environment have been changing, depending on how media shape human relationships.


The non-verbal communication and social interaction through the wearable, discussions of communication and media theories and investigation of the EMO wearable, has potential to reform human relationships in social environment toward new sense of communication. The wearable is able to present human feelings and illustrate Intra-Personal and Inter-Personal feedback loops. By medium as a message, it also achieves the goal, easily sending messages to its environment.

In terms of Intra-personal aspect, the wearable can be used as intimate data display that will help people to conceive their body and thought. The bodily responses are detected and represented through the wearable as a multimedia for emotion communication. The Inter-Personal feedback loops are affected by different types of communication medium. The emotive wearable reshapes interrelationships between human and human. The ways they send and perceive messages have been change through the wearable. EMO could exteriorise Intra-personal to interrelationship, from feedback loops in our body to feedback loops in social environment. The investigation of the wearable proves that media could condition people in communication systems, reform human relationships and restructure social environment as Jerome Agel mentions in his book that “Too many people know too much about each other. Our new environment compels commitment and participation, we have become irrevocably involved with, and responsible for each other.” (Agel,1967)

The concept of individual self-critique tool could be expanded to urban scale, it would an alternative representational medium that represent condition of a city, not only showing physical state but also biological. It will reveal a real condition of the area, which factors mostly affect people in the environment. As architects, it would be useful to design and evaluate architecture or physical environment based on the real condition of the area.




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Image References

Figure 1: Shannom and Weaver’s model of communicationbyJohn Fiske [1990] Retrieved from

Figure 2: EMOJI Icons Retrieved from

Figure 3: Pussyhat Project and Woman’s March Weekend by Jayna [2018] Retrieved from

Figure 4: Oversized t-shirts by Katharine Hamnett [1980s] Retrieved from

Figure 5: EMO Intra-Personal Feedback Loop by Wimonwan Wichaikhamjorn [2018]

Figure 6:Bubelle and Frison by Phillips Design [2011] Retrieved from

Figure 7: Figure 7: EMO Inter-Personal Feedback Loop by Wimonwan Wichaikhamjorn [2018]

Figure 8: Lighting up Gulf tower by Catala [2015] Retrieved from

Figure 9: Sky Ear by Usman Haque [2004] Retrieved from

Figure 10: EMO interaction Mechanism by Wimonwan Wichaikhamjorn [2018]

Figure 11: EMO by Wimonwan Wichaikhamjorn [2018]

Figure 12: EMO Concept by Wimonwan Wichaikhamjorn [2018]

Figure 13: Social Mood Display Mechanism by Wimonwan Wichaikhamjorn [2018]

Figure 14: Body Response Revealing Mechanism by Wimonwan Wichaikhamjorn [2018]

Figure 15: Cable ties in EMO by Wimonwan Wichaikhamjorn [2018]

Figure 16: EMO Colours changing by Wimonwan Wichaikhamjorn [2018]

Figure 17: Portions of people who often show their representation feelings which is not the same as their actual feelings. by Wimonwan Wichaikhamjorn [2018]

Figure 18: Portions of people who smile more often, if the wearable were to tell them that they are happy. by Wimonwan Wichaikhamjorn [2018]

Figure 19: Portions of people who are attracted to the wearable aesthetic before understanding how it Wimonwan Wichaikhamjorn [2018]

Figure 20: Portions of people who think that it is easier to perceive emotional feelings through the wearable. by Wimonwan Wichaikhamjorn [2018]

Figure 21: The series of EMO colours changing. by Chistopher Noelle [2018]

Figure 22: Timeline of feelings in a long period of time. by Chistopher Noelle[2018]


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