Digital human: Way finding – guidance technology

Purpose of guidance technology

Influenced by the search for a technology experience that replicates the human-to-human interaction, I was lead to a pod cast called Digital Human. Digital human is a podcast that expresses how technology can be adapted to human interaction and activities, specifically their season 9 way finding episode that expresses how to provide users with a guidance technology that allows users to make use of their observations skills.

Analysis (click on image)

I agree with the digital humans expression that we have grown to trust technology too much and room must be made for humans to use their own observational skills along side the technology. This also relates to the raw data (100 yards) that leave little room for human observation that users can obtain by receiving directions (look for church).

digital humans digital human analysis



I believe that if I am to create a responsive social thing that allows users to use their observational skills, I need to look into technology that can have independent responses similar to humans. This reminds me of the other treasure object of the tribe member the responsive dog. I will move forward to conduct research into the dog tribe member who engages with the behaviour of the dog.



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Playful technology: illusion of living animal responsive

Purpose of illusion of living animal responsive

In the process of trying to adapt the animal traits of the dog to technology, I came across the “playful technology” book which expresses how technology has been creates to respond to humans as if it were alive. Analysing the methods that technology engages with humans would help me create a social thing that creates memorable experiences that allow them to use their observational skills.

Analysis (click images)

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As I researched into engaging methods that technology could react to human responses that lead to memorable experiences, I was advised to look into playful technology. I was surprised by the life it brought to technology when Pesce states “I get the four AA batteries into the casing. just as I tighten the screw” and in anticipation he goes on to say his “little tiger striped friend behind to chirp”. I am fascinated by the life that was breathed into the technology as he placed “AA batteries” in and the emotional attachment he had by calling it “little striped friend”. The way that the “Furby” creates the illusion of life is fascinating, as Pesce states “a white belly that just cries for a nice catch” and the way that the fury responds to that interaction by “koh-koh, please” demonstrates that it enjoys the users interaction. The act of living creates that technology uses allows the user to connect emotionally with the technology and interaction that nurtures the technology as Pesce states “Kah a-tay” is a responds to being “hungry” and that it was close to “lunch time”.

Analysis of technology with animal responses (click images)

living technology living technology 2 fictional technology characters


Technology communicates with humans (click images)

technology communicates with humans


Technology sparks communication (click image)


Technology social media


I am fascinated by the responses the technology has that create the illusion of artificial intelligence. Specifically the way that the technology creates sounds and vibrations as the circumstance encourages the user to observe and identify how to respond such as feeding.

Curiosity now leads me to question what behaviour a dog (treasured object) has in particular would be suitable to adapt to technology for the map enthusiast. I believe that I should conduct a unique survey of exploring with a dog and observe what behaviour encouraged me to observe my surrounding’s.


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Situationalist exploration experience: sensors responding to surroundings

Purpose of sensors responding to surroundings

As I explore methods of merging psycho geography with animals smell responses, I a realize that it is the dogs advanced sense of smell that allows it to guide us towards places with cannot grasp. Therefore I aim to look into technology that can react to the environment is way that we are not capable of.

Analysis of research (click image)

technologytechnology playful technology setuptechnology wifi streaminginital technology plan
look into what kind of sensors to use, how will it be worn, how would it effect you as you walk around the surroundings.


From my research into replicating the responses of a dog, I have researched sensors that can identify changes in temperature and determining distance from object through ultrasonic similar to a bat, which can be felt as feed back through actuators such as vibrations, light and sound.


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Situationalist exploration experience: Psycho geography

Introduction to Psycho geography

In the process of researching methods of exploring similar to being lead by a dog, I was lead to the situationalist exploration method that uses psycho geography.

Analysis of of psycho geography (click image) 

psycho geography

1960 Psycho Geography

Psycho geography as seen in my in the image below demonstrates a need to resist conformity, the need to explore through a different perspective by creating to the environment around the practitioner. Merlin Coverley states that the exploration of these tribe members react to a “changing moods of the street” demonstrating a reaction to the surroundings. Coverley’s goes on to speak about how the same location can be “reshapes by the practitioner” through their reaction and exploration of the environment. Coverlets book inspires me into the idea that the users reaction to the environment leads them on exciting paths that creates a different perspective of that location through exploration.

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(click to see image & notes)


Analysis of Sound Walk
The sound walk I researched leads people through the environment to experience the same location through a different perspective. I was fascinated by how the act of exploring the environment by what only technology could react to lead the user “Through the app you become part of a cinematic, augmented reality” that leads the tribe meter to exploration to “boldly go where fellow app-owners have gone before” as mentioned by Joost Fonteyne.

Analysis Interactive Furniture 

Dunne & Raby have by means of an interactive furniture sought a sensor that reacts to magnetic waves, I am fascinated by the reaction to a force that cannot be seen or heard engaging with people. The way that the interactive pillow used a “LCD screen that reacts to electromagnetic waves” would respond to electronic devices “cellphones, television and telephone signals”, inspired to look into the possibilities of a invisible force guiding the user. The sound modulated 1 gave a glimpse into how this method could be used in the surroundings as it “makes the electromagnetic waves visible” revealing what cannot be seen, just as dogs can smell what humans cannot.
Reflection of what to do based on research
Based on psycho geography, Raby and sound walking I am inspired to seek and develop a social thing for the map enthusiasts that allows them to “reshape” their perpectives of the environment. Creating a new “footage” of the same location, through changing the moods of the streets, guided by an invisible force (magnetic waves).
Which can only be sensed through the social thing, as it takes you on a journey with no set destination.

Application of knowledge towards social thing

Fascinated by how members of the tribe use psycho geography to create their own random path that is more memorable and engaging, I am reminded of the way playful technology used behaviour of animals to create the illusion of living behaviour. I believe that I can replicate the experience of psycho geography, by adapting the dogs (treasures responsive object) behaviour of responding to the environment into a navigation social thing.


Prototype application
look into what kind of sensors to use, how will it be worn, how would it effect you as you walk around the surroundings.

Situationalist exploration experience: Merging psycho geography with environmental reactive technology

Purpose Merging psycho geography with environmental reactive technology

With my research I have identified how a technology can replicate the behaviour of a dog to inspire exploration, however how the user, social thing and environment interact with one another to create a cycle of engaging exploration is unclear. In orderto resolve this issue I need to create a Mind map based on ANT to visually express how these different components work together.

(ANT) Influence

The ANT system has influenced me to look at the different circumstances, objects and users needed for the exploration experience to function. This mind mapping method allows me to see a plan how these factors relate to each other in order to create an exploration cycle that puts these factors of  user, environment and map on the same level. (see Userenvironment and map post influence)

ANT social thing mindmap


The mind map based on ANT reveals how the behaviour of the dog taking the form of a social thing has replaced the map, leading the environment to effect the map causing the social thing to engage with the user and in doing so encourage the user to engage with the environment. This creates an endless cycle that can lead to an unknown amount of explorations that user can choose to pursue or not. Now that the cycle of interaction and technology has ben identified I will no move onto prototyping the ideal form, sensor and actuator that best provides this experience.


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Exploration social thing prototype: improvement Merging sensor and actuator using FFT

Purpose using the FFT as an improvement

While the experience given by the device is unique and engaging, I feel that the merging of the vibration actuator and magnetic wave sensor would complete the experience that allows you to physically feel what humans cannot touch, smell or hear. I will look into the means of how I can merge these parts to make the prototype whole in the future.


Analysis FFT (Fast Fourier Transform)

FFT sound frequency display


FFT Fundamentals influence (Click to see influence)

Sound and Vibration measurment 


FFT Fundamentals with physical vibrations influence (Click to see influence)


Application of knowledge 

The FFT will allow the arduino system to measure the energy used to generate the various sounds of the receiver. This would essentially allow me to take the sounds generated by the magnetic waves and convert them into energy that can be measured and sent to the vibration actuator. By doing this vibrations would get stronger as the audio generated by the receiver get stronger, merging the sensor with an actuator.

Application of exploration social thing (click to see image)


future possible functions

Once the vibration actuator and the magnetic wave sensor is merged, the application of this technology can be reduced and expanded on into small bracelets and clothing for more mobility. Once the Social thing has been reduced, additional sensors can be placed inside to expand the variety of factors in the surroundings that the social thing can react to such as temperature.



Though I feel regretful that I have not been able to test FFT systems to merge these components, I aim to do so soon and to complete this device. I believe that the completed device can then be adapted for a variety of functions, such as helping the disabled and allowing them to explore when they thought they could not.


See beginning of development