Design & Emotion Blog

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Share your emotions through Emosive

From the Nastypixel/Interactive Prototype project description:

Based on the Cognitive Priming theory, as we become more immersed in digital media through our mobile devices, our personal media inventories constantly act as memory aids, “priming us to better recollect associative, personal (episodic) memories when facing an external stimulus. Being mobile and in a dynamic environment, these recollections are moving, both emotionally and quickly away from us. Counting on the fact that near-today’s personal media inventories will be accessed from mobile devices and shared with a close collective, emosive bundles text, sound and image animation to allow capturing these fleeting emotional experiences, then sharing and reliving them with cared others. Playfully stemming from the technical, thin jargon of the mobile world (SMS, MMS), emosive proposes a new, light format of instant messages, dubbed “IFM– Instant Feeling Messages.

Prototype Emosive

Real life scenario:

While walking in the park and listening to a verse from his and his girlfriend Tina’s favorite tune – Madonna’s Little Star (“Never forget how to dream, Butterfly”), Jake sees a butterfly resting on a flower. Primed by the romantic musical (auditory) immersion, Jake notices the colors of the resting butterfly and immediately loads a memory of Tina’s same-colored summer dress, the one she wore when they were walking on the beach, during last summer’s holiday… Jake quickly clicks the emosive shortcut key sequence on his device. Entering an emosive session, Jake snaps a photo of the butterfly and tags the image as “Butterfly”. The butterfly flies away. Jake continues walking. As he exits the park and walks around the city, Jake continues to capture some more fleeting moments as they happen, making sure they are tagged to correspond with lyric words. He even adds some tagged images from his Flickr account. He then “wraps” everything as an IFM, previews it and sends it to Tina – emosive stores links to the tune, lyrics and images from the various online media databases and bundles them under one link. When Tina accepts the IFM, it will stream to her phone from a server, synchronizing the tune and the images, based on the tagged lyric words. The stored IFM can also be viewed effectively as an emosive experience from any web-enabled browser. Tina will now relive Jake’s inner day through his brief emotional experiences. She might even forward the IFM to her soon-to-be jealous girlfriends.

The emosive (formerly e:sense) project was developed by the design team of the Designs Which Create Design workshop, held at the University Institute of Architecture of Venice (IUAV) 2006.

Have a look at the demo.


I think the Emosive prototype is a nice initiative to investigate if people can share emotions, but I am doubting the effect of it. The actual experience that the person had with the real life images is extremely hard to be captured with music, words and photos. I think in this case it can give Tina an idea of the experience that Jake had, but I doubt that she can really relive it, as mentioned in the example. For me, it doesn’t seem to exceed writing a nice poem about the experience for Tina and show some photos to go along with it. Just like with a poem, the feelings that are expressed will be interpreted by the other. But is this actually reliving the same emotions the author had while writing it? I guess not…

Found through Futurelab’s blog.

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Discussion (5) Comment

  1. Ofer LuftVisitor

    Hi Marco.
    Thank you for commenting on our project Emosive.
    However, your “product” approach does seem to show that you’re missing out on the whole “mobile 2.0”, “social media” / “playable media” design revolution. It’s all about the service, not the product – A service is a much better vessel for emotions. Cheaper and faster to develop too. Do the math and join the revolution 🙂


  2. Hi Ofer,
    Thanks for your comment. I see your point, but my doubts merely focus on the word “reliving” emotions in your description. I can see the quality and perhaps power of the emotional content of the service, but I do think that people will not be able to exactly feel (and therefore relive) the exact same emotions, mainly due to interpretation steps. Each emotion is a result of an appraisal proces which is very dependent of our own personal concern and background. Don’t you think so too? 😉 However, the service seems to be a great addition to existing services in which people share experiences through media.

  3. Ofer LuftVisitor

    Hi Marco,
    I understand your question. From our point of view, the power of Cognitive Priming, combined with the proliferation of shareable media in mobile culture, are turning what you described as “personal concern and background” into something much less “personal” and much more “collective”. This, combined with the “thin” emotional transports of today’s mobile society (sms, mms), leaves especially the youth of today in hunger of expressing much “richer” emotions (think of yourself at the age of 16 and in love…). And the experience doesn’t always have to be “photocopied” to another person. We are dealing with immaterial things. Sometimes someone’s active “joy” in creating something personal and sharing it can elicit a different “joy” entirely (passive) in his close collective. We’ll just be happy to have answered a need 🙂
    Thank you again for your comments and for bringing up this discussion.

  4. Thanks for explaining Ofer. I guess I will to have to picture myself at the age of 16 and in love then ;-). But it does make more sense now, thanks again.

  5. ErikVisitor

    Nice concept i must say, until I checked up the demo while being confronted with something just a little bit better than a screensaver. First of all my PSP does not take pictures, so that’s just one obstruction in your concept. But all at all this could be a great hit on a PDA or mobile phone, especially when you can send this whole package to a dear friend or maybe a secret lover.

    Anyhow I was wondering, is this just a concept showoff or are you guys making this program right now? It sure would be nice to visually recompose your favourite songs, maybe it’ll be a little rough using rock music, not love songs 😀


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