Mutsugoto is an intimate communication device intended for a bedroom environment. Instead of exchanging e-mail or SMS messages using generic interfaces in business-like venues, Mutsugoto allows distant partners to communicate through the language of touch as expressed on the canvas of the human body. A custom computer vision and projection system allows users to draw on each other's bodies while lying in bed. Drawings are transmitted "live" between the two beds, enabling a different kind of synchronous communication that leverages the emotional quality of physical gesture.

Human intimacy is a significant but often neglected part of modern life. More people now than ever carry on long distance relationships with romantic partners, sometimes for extended periods of time. However today's communication systems are impersonal and generic. E-mail, for example, is often read and written on the same computer and at the same desk that one uses for any other kind of communication. Phone calls and SMS messages are sent and received between partners on the same devices used for work and business.

Mutsugoto is a new kind of communication device meant to be used by romantic couples in long distance relationships. Breaking away from traditional systems intended for operation by any pair of people in any situation, the form and function of Mutsugoto is designed to more strongly reflect the character of an intimate bond.

Mutsugoto is meant to be installed in the bedrooms of two distant partners. You lay on your bed and wear a special touch-activated ring visible to a camera mounted above. A computer vision system tracks the movement of the ring and projects virtual pen strokes on your body. At the same time these pen strokes are transmitted to and projected on the body of your remote partner. If you follow your partner's movements and your strokes cross, the lines will react with each other and reflect your synchrony. Special bed linens, silk curtains and other aspects of the physical context have been designed to enhance the mood of this romantic communication environment.

Tomoko Hayashi, Stefan Agamanolis, Matthew Karau
Distance Lab

distancelab.org

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