Companions: Objects accruing Value and Memories by being a Part of our Lives

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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the 28th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference, OzCHI 2016, 2016, pp. 170 - 174
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Copyright © 2016 ACM. Cherished utilitarian objects can provide comfort and pleasure through their associations to our personal past and the time and energy we have invested in and with them. In this paper, we present a specific type of object relationship, which we call the companion. They are mundane objects that accrued meaning over time, and evoke tiny pleasures when we interact with them. We then draw insights from the HCI research literature on digital possessions and attachment that could be applied to enhance digital products or processes with companion qualities. We argue the importance to design for digital companionship in everyday use products, for example by enabling the accruement of subtle marks of the owners past with the product. We wish to evoke thought and awareness of the role of companions, and how this relationship can be supported in digital products.
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