When you get home, everything else has its place: the coat on the hanger, shoes on the rack, and keys by the door. But your phone? In your hand and on your mind, in bed, at dinner, and on the bathroom? We refer to placemaking as the process of finding/making a place of belonging for an idea, device, or service in someone's life. Placemaking includes considering people's behaviors and habits, not just physical where and how. Intentional placemaking contributes to how you frame interaction.
There might not be a specific place for your phone, but you'll always need to charge! The robot's magnetic mount is also a wireless charger.
Not just a touchscreen
Leave your phone on as emoto; the responsive AI character enables far-field interactions, so skillsets are accessible hands free.
See what's up
Computer vision enables more contextual awareness. For example, object tracking for smart filming.
Who's talking to me?
Facial Recognition allows for tailored behavior and information for each person as the phone becomes a shared device for the space.
Emoto is responsive to speech and sound input. Using the phone like a home-assistant means more interactions begin with declared, and purposeful intent.
Did you catch that?
Emoto can catch your attention for a timely notification, or dismiss one because the robot knows you saw it. Notification handling with contextual awareness.
When not being actively engaged, the robot is a clock and calendar. It fits with phones having become the default alarm clock and wristwatch.
Motors and computer vision allow you to video call handsfree. The camera's viewport is optionably controllable from the other caller's end.
What's left unsaid, says a lot
Nonverbal communication (gestures, eye gaze, and body language) can go both ways between you and your phone.
What is tact?
Another person might know better than to interrupt conversation with irrelevant info. Can we hold personal AI to the same standards? We can try because Emoto is open to learning.
The levels of access each person has to skills and information on the phone are determined by how they relate to the robot sidekick and its owner.
Our concept hopes to contribute to larger conversations surrounding—
“She [Alexa] keeps butting in on our conversations and I am rather suspicious of this listening device in the room. We might just pull the plug.”
— Ian McEwan
"We're entering an age of AI assistants powered by opaque algorithms that assume more and more control of our lives. How can we see inside them?"
– Mark Wilson
"Today's tech platforms are caught in a race to the bottom of the brain stem to extract human attention. It's a race we're all losing."
— Center for Humane Technology
A warm and special thanks to the contributors, mentors, peers, and role-models
that have shared headspace, encouragement, and/or inspiration!