Emotional Communication between Remote Couples: Exploring the Design of Wearable Ambient Displays

Hong Li, Pradthana Jarusriboonchai, Heiko Müller, Emmi Harjuniemi, Jonna Häkkilä

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We explore the potential of limited vocabulary wearable ambient displays and their preferred characteristics in communicating intimacy between couples at a distance. The research comprises two studies: a co-design workshop and a field study of the design concepts generated from the co-design workshops using low-fidelity prototypes. Our findings reveal that wearable ambient displays could potentially help to increase awareness and emotional connections between couples. A limited vocabulary display is considered as a complementary channel to a smartphone, supporting the communication of subtle and lightweight messages that the sender does not necessarily expect a response to. From the user studies, we identify the preferred characteristics, as well as the potential and challenges of low vocabulary wearable ambient displays.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 11th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction
Subtitle of host publicationShaping Experiences, Shaping Society
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-7579-5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
MoEC publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventNordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction: Shaping Experiences, Shaping Society - Tallinna, Estonia
Duration: 25 Oct 202029 Oct 2020
Conference number: 11


ConferenceNordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction
Abbreviated titleNordiCHI '18
Internet address


  • ambient displays
  • co-design
  • emotional communication
  • intimacy
  • remote couples
  • wearables

Field of science

  • Visual arts and design


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