Contact through canvas: An entertaining encounter

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 2009, 13 (8), pp. 551 - 567
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When meeting someone new, the first impression is often influenced by someone's physical appearance and other types of prejudice. In this paper, we present TouchMeDare, an interactive canvas, which aims to provide an experience when meeting new people, while preventing visual prejudice and lowering potential thresholds. The focus of the designed experience was to stimulate people to get acquainted through the interactive canvas. TouchMeDare consists of a flexible, opaque canvas, which plays music when touched simultaneously from both sides. Dynamic variation of this bodily contact is reflected through real-time adaptations of the musical compositions. Two redesigns were qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated and a final version was placed in the Lowlands Festival as a case study. Evaluation results showed that some explanation was needed for the initial interaction with the installation. On the other hand, after this initial unfamiliarity passed, results showed that making bodily contact through the installation did help people to get acquainted with each other and increased their social interaction.
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