Design Research

Witwi: where in the world is?

Research and Concept Development

This research project was developed for Microsoft Design Research in the beginning of 2004, at a pre-Facebook period. The theme was "People to people", and my group decided to work with human relationships and the loss of it through time. We had all had personal experiences of moving when we were a kid, and losing the address of our friends, and that was a big driver for us. We also wanted to prioritize the relations of people that are always close to us. We developed a bracelet that would keep track of our contacts and would "rate" them by time spent together. After a certain amount of time spent together, the bracelet would register a contact, and as more time was spent together, our contact would have more access to a personal profile we held online. First level friends (acquaintances) would only have access to basic first level information.

Even before we were all connected to social media, many concerns from back then are still relevant today. Issues such as privacy, in special privacy levels to contacts, were already something included in the concept.

The concept included a wrist artifact that would gather data about people you were spending time with.
We had also a hand gesture specially designed to allow devices to touch, and create a new handshake so as to add new contacts to Witwi.

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