by lefroyobunny

Those who are in long distance relationships realize the need for a more tangible way to communicate with their special person.  I want to create a comfortable and natural way to do so. One way to make this kind of intimate communication is through the use of small, stuffed animals. I came up with this idea for an intimate communication last semester in Hiroshi’s Tangible Interface class, but did not have the knowledge or ability to realize this project. By taking the New Textiles class, I obtained new knowledge, and I think now the scope of this project is within my reach.

The only precedent related to the concept of the idea is Pillowtalk. It is a concept to wirelessly connect two pillows so that they “talk” to each other. I don’t know whether or not the project is actually made, but their proposed communication technic requires the users to wear a belt while going to sleep, which is a component that I would rather leave out because it is unnatural.

The most difficult aspect of the project will be learning how to use the WiFly shield with the Arduino. I have never used it before, and I would need to read a lot of documentation. Testing will take a bit of time. However, once the wireless works, the boundaries of what I can do with communication factor between the two stuffed animals become almost limitless: this makes the project very attractive to me. The knitting will also take a while to complete, as I’ve never knitted before. However, I am learning fast. (Knitting is all I did over spring break!)

Sensors will be attached to the stuffed animals to sense the world around them and relay information to the Arduinos. The sensor wirings and setup will require some planning.

Here is a PDF version of my presentation : final project