Smart walking tiles that transform boring public areas to social experience enhancement opportunities. A collaborative project, Gatech CIC First Prize Awarded.

Background

It is (or maybe not) apparent that us humans have been spending too much time looking at our phones. It's time to take a break and look up (instead of down)! Meanwhile, people spent a lot time waiting: at bus stop, in all sorts of queues, in elevator etc. More importantly, people are surrounded by others during these circumstances. We figured there must be something we can do to promote better social engagement and digital well-being(lower phone usage) in a subtle way such that people do not feel awkward.

Research

Existing Works

Kari Watkins, an assistant professor at Georgia Tech, associates the wait for a bus with a feeling of insecurity (Badger, 2014), and the feeling that the perceived wait time were always longer than the actual wait times. In addition, Yingling Fan, an University of Minnesota associate professor, found that people consider waiting at the bus stop for buses among the most unhappy moments of their life (Laskow, 2016). Answers to these negative emotions were apps for wait time prediction, and basic infrastructure like benches and shelters reports a significant reduction in perceived waiting time (Badger, 2014; Laskow, 2016).

Existing research revealed that contrary to expectations, people are happier after a conversation with strangers (Pappas, 2014). Nicholas Epley, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business found that people’s well-being would be improved with increased social interactions, and Knopf, 2014 said that humans are social animals, and that having more and stronger friends and family connections will lead to a healthier life. Pappas (2014) also reported that such findings were similar for people of different personality traits, like extraversion and introversion. Pairs of strangers deep in conversation also reported that the wait seemed shorter.

Behavior Ponsonas

Proposal

The space people occupy, especially the floor, while they are waiting are interesting to investigate. Intelligent walking tiles can transform the normal floor into interactive public space full of joy.

Design

[sorry for my bad sketch skills 🙂 ]

Features

  • Social

    • TapTile provides an excellent platform to spark conversations and foster community spirit, anytime, anywhere.
  • Energy-efficient

    • TapTile powers itself and
    • requires little maintenance
  • Fun

    • The ability to load different visualizations stores an element of surprise at any place or event.
  • Scalable

    • Each tile is an independent unit that can be easily combined with others to make shapes you like and areas you want to cover

Architecture

Video

video

Result

The prototype when attended the competition.

Role in the Project

Team Lead, Interaction Design, Hardware Prototyping, Backend Scripts.