Tobe: Tangible Out-of-Body Experience

We present a toolkit for creating Tangible Out-of-Body Experiences: exposing the inner states of users using physiological signals such as heart rate or brain activity. Tobe can take the form of a tangible avatar displaying live physiological readings to reflect on ourselves and others. As a toolkit, it can help the general public familiarize itself with Science Technologies Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines and cognitive science. Through a co-design approach, we investigated how everyday people picture their physiology and we validated the acceptability of Tobe in a scientific museum. Finally, we describe a “design space” that frames how Tobe could be put into practice — in a medical context or not, whether there is one or several users or Tobes involved. We give a practical example of a scenario where 2 users have to relax together, with insights on how Tobe helped them to synchronize their signals and share a moment.

Related publications:

  • Renaud Gervais, Jérémy Frey, Gay Alexis, Fabien Lotte, Martin Hachet. TOBE: Tangible Out-of-Body Experience. Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI), Feb 2016, Eindhoven, Netherlands. 2016.

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