Sometimes words are not the best way for communicate, not only in terms of what to say but also in terms of how to say it. Scottie aims to fill this gap. Scottie is a means for communicating those small, mostly unconscious, expressions of affection and intimacy in a new way: with colours and tappings transmitted by wireless communication technology and sensor technology.
Scottie is a research and design project in emotional design which Waag Society explores the role of mediaICT in supporting existing social relationships of people who are physically or geographically separated (like kids hospitalized, for instance). MediaICT is applied here to increase social interaction through social connectedness.
Scotties are playful objects, connected in a ´family´ of three. A child and two family members each have a Scottie. Within this network all the objects are equal; the child in the hospital has the same position and possibilities of the other players. Each Scottie has its own ´presence´ color, blue, red or green. The colour that lights up in the head of Scottie is a blend of all active Scotties. The head of Scottie visualizes the presence of others, the body represents playing with each other.
People can play with Scottie by making light patterns and tap sequences. By moving Scottie around, a light follows the movements according to the laws of inertia. When other users play along, a fluent and colorful light pattern appears.
A user can also tap a rhythm on the body of the Scottie, which is recorded and replayed by little knockers in the arms and legs of all the Scotties in the family. Other users can join and add more taps to the sequence. By placing the knockers on different surfaces it is possible to create various sound effects.
The use of Scottie is centered around playful collaboration. The open interaction enables users to develop a very personal form of communication. Collaboratively creating sound and color sequences is a motive to maintain contact on a distance in a pleasant and playful way.
Kids who are hospitalized can find in Scottie a tool for emotional support by facilitating a new way for communicating with his / her family, making possible a new dialog which might help in smoothing the experience.
As the quote says "A picture is worth thousand words", please visit Scottie if you want to find out more information about this amazing project.