Stemming from the need for more subtle forms of communication to complement existing IT devices, this project explores interactive pillows as a means of enhancing long-distance communications. Through natural interaction with a pillow in one location, dynamic textile patterns are activated in a pillow located elsewhere. Expanding the vocabulary for remote communications through tangible and aesthetic interaction, the pillows offer a new repertoire of expressive possibilities that consider emotional, social, and aesthetic values.
The interactive pillows come in pairs and mediate closeness at a distance. By leaning against, touching, or hugging a pillow, the pattern on the other pillow activates and glows dynamically. Changing from one pattern to another, gestures are exchanged remotely.
Scenarios for use of the pillows include families or loved-ones located at a distance. In contrast to the limited modality of telephony, interactive pillows could support the expression of longing and presence through interactions with intimate, everyday objects.
Photo: Johan Redström, Interactive Institute