Lågom

 Lågom Social Wearables

Lågom wearable prototypes

Description

Lågom social wearable project is made out of wearable prototypes that augment collocated social interactions. We created these to help increase awareness of self and other’s verbal participation in group discussion, towards the goal of supporting balanced conversations. We named it Lågom after the ancient Swedish ideal and homonymous word without a direct english translation that means “not too much and not too little” or ” just enough”.

We engaged in Research through Design (RtD) method to make the Lågom social wearables and created playful flower/plant-like devices that provide haptic and visual feedback on participation in group discussions. The wearable designs take the shape of a colorful, bulky and funny looking flowers that sense immediate sound and respond with haptic and visual feedback. The looks of the prototype is inspired by a squirting water clown flower to infuse playfulness and increase acceptability.

We were interested in people’s opinion about their verbal participation being monitored, displayed, and reminded to them, and whether they liked the feedback modalities chosen and why. We want to know if the sort of feedback these wearable devices provide impacts participation patterns in group discussion, and if it has the potential to increase awareness of such participation and modify it. Recently we ran a pilot study with nine people participating in a class discussion, and we are evaluating the preliminary results.

Background

Lågom social wearable prototypes were produced by the Social Emotional Technology Lab at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where students, designers, and researchers create technology that augment, supports, and enrich social interaction. Lågom are in particular part of the Social Wearables project, where we design and prototype with wearable technology. Since early in the design process, our team has been using wearable physical prototyping components, like those provided by Adafruit. This allows us to quickly experiment with body position placements for the sensing and actuating aspects of the wearable devices.

Creators

Producer and Research Director: Katherine Isbister

Design and Research Lead: Elena Márquez Segura

Design and Research Lead: Ella Dagan

Lead Technologist: Miguel Flore

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