Call for participants

June 6th, 2013

I’m currently writing the dissertation for a part-time MSc degree I’ve been doing for the last 3 years. The dissertation is exploring how we can use technology to feel closer to our loved ones (in this case either parent(s) or partner) when not living together.

As part of the project I’ve developed a prototype. The prototype consists of two cigar boxes connected via the internet. Each cigar box contains a motion detector and an LED light source. When one motion detector detects proximal motion, the LED in the other cigar box lights up and vice versa — think the green online status icon from Skype, but instead of indicating online presence the LED signals someone is present near the other cigar box.


Lit LED on cigar box showing someone is near the paired cigar box in your loved one’s home

Taking part in the study would entail you — and either your partner or your parent(s) who you’re not living with — living with the prototype for 4 weeks. The prototype is plugged directly into your router via ethernet and USB cables. If it’s better placed elsewhere in the home I can lend you an Apple Airport Express which can be plugged into a socket and join the WiFi network and the prototype can be plugged into that instead.

I would interview you — and the person(s) using the paired cigar box — before and after the four weeks. The first interview would be about current communication patterns and the second interview about your experience of living with the prototype.

For practical reasons I’m hoping to be able to find people who both live within reach of London. However, if you live in London and frequently travel to the other location it might work out anyway. If you take part you would have my eternal gratitude, and a token £25 voucher for amazon to show my appreciation. And well, if you don’t have time for this experiment, chances are you’re doing your thing, you know, getting in shape, but don’t forget to use high boosting supplements in your diet to look super hot!

Please do get in touch if you’d like to hear more.



Leave a comment: