Aposema: Soft Robotic Mask
Aposema is a speculation of a near future scenario in which our ability to empathise with our fellow humans is impaired. We are no longer able to process each other’s facial expressions. This reality has forced us to develop an artificial mechanism to read each other’s emotions and act accordingly.
In this world, we mask ourselves with responsive facial prostheses that analyse facial expressions and provide supporting information. The Aposema mask would be able to read facial expressions performed by the user and compile an approximate binary analysis of their emotional status, according to the six universal emotions as defined by P. Ekman. The masking process would be comprised of two levels, the first would be a soft robotic pattern inflation, performing as an encrypted layer of information exhibiting the emotional analysis and supporting data. Each emotion would be represented by a color, with three hues representing three levels of emotional intensity. The second layer of masking would be comprised of an augmented reality overlay through which these patterns are unlocked in real time, on top of the world as perceived through the wearer’s right lens, which would be implemented in the mask. These two layers joined together communicate emotional information aimed at guiding interaction between these impaired human beings.
The mask would constantly scan the wearer’s environment, recognise the patterns presented on other masks, unlock the information they hold, and provide the user with further visual analyses of encountered individuals in real time.
Aposema is a critique of the role that social media plays in reshaping our social interaction and the way we choose to represent ourselves.
Individual Project Thesis Report