Getting Closer

Intimate Mobiles

Near-body telepresence. To go.
We make

phone calls for one of two reasons. The first is for information exchange, and speech, as mobile phones in their current form enable it, is well-suited for that. The second reason, however, is the need for nearness – to be in touch with someone. In this sense, speech alone has clear limitations.

We developed three prototypes that investigate future visions of physically being in touch through a mobile phone. We proposed three new channels of communication – grasp, moisture and airflow – and explored their effects using phone-shaped prototypes to simulate what it would be like if a loved one could give you a squeeze – and even a kiss – through the phone.