Encore

Concept Design, Concept Validation, Audio Editing

Spring 2014

"How might ubiquitous computing enhance the experience of a live performance?" 

Over the course of 1.5 months I worked with Jennifer Morioka and Kelly Rivers to conduct user research and design a concept piece. Encore is a bracelet with galvanic skin response and heart rate sensors to capture moments during a concert when the wearer has strong emotional responses. In developing this project, I was interested in exploring nostalgia, and how technology could help capture and enhance feelings of connection.

 

1. Participant observation

As part of our research, we attended a local Klezmer music festival as participant observers. Klezmer music comes from Eastern European Jews, and is strongly associated with Yiddish-speaking Jewish immigrants. In recent years, Klezmer music has experienced a revival among Jewish youth seeking to reconnect with their family's heritage. 

From this experience we sought to explore how ubiquitous computing could enhance the nostalgia & emotional connection one has with a live music performance. We generated a multitude of ideas, ultimately narrowing them down to 6 for storyboards.

Our initial ideas were broad: would we deepen nostalgia through incorporating historical information about the music? situating new attendees next to those with lots of knowledge and emotional connection? or would we focus on memories with parts of the music itself?

2. Concept Validation

I created and illustrated 6 storyboards, which we then used to conduct speed dating with 6 participants. We were intentional about testing our concepts with a diverse group of participants: 3 elderly Jewish adults, 2 young Jewish adults, a 1 non-Jewish young adult. 

From our speed-dating session, it seemed that people were most interested in the idea of a wearable device that would capture segments of the concert that were most emotionally powerful. However, some of our participants were Klezmer musicians, and were concerned about people being able to "take" music. In response, we incorporated a system where the bracelet would find the full song online (ie: iTunes) for the wearer to purchase.

3. Developing Use Cases

In order to demonstrate our concept, we developed three scenarios/use cases where Encore would add value to a wearer's life:

1. Capturing Emotional Memories

2. Sharing Your Experience with Others

3. Connecting to the Whole Song

We then wrote a script, took photographs and edited them, and I recorded the script and edited the audio to Klezmer music for the final video above.