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Poking Machine

Together with Bartholomäus Traubeck

 

The Poking Machine is a wearable device that pokes you physically whenever you are poked on Facebook, no matter where you are.

 

Online social networks are platforms for communication, enabling us to connect wherever we go. However, they still lack the mediation of physical communication. Facebook tries to improve on this by enabling its users to ‘poke’ each other, but this basically only sends another written message to the person you poke, without conveying the original intent of the poking gesture. The Poking machine converts the message into an actual physical poke, extending the reach of this haptic gesture. This way users can connect not only virtually but also physically.

 

The set-up consists of a custom built circuit (ATtiny, servo, battery, and bluetooth module) that connects to an Android phone, enabling it to keep track of incoming pokes. The circuit is housed in a laser-cut box you can wear on your arm.

 

The Poking Machine is part of the “Touch!” exhibition at the Musée de la main in Lausanne, Switzerland until January 2013.

Update: the show has been extended until March 2013

 

Made using Processing for Android and Arduino for ATtiny.
Box design and Laser-cutting by Snijlab