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wink

2011

What if all your digital life was tagged by your emotional reactions?

tl;dr

Wink is a design fiction exploring potential social impacts of affective computing in a distopic world à-la-black-mirror. Each one of your online interactions with common apps or on the web are tagged with a specific emotional signature, captured by your facial microexpressions tracked by a front cam. The result is a global emotion based search engine where key words and semantics become useless.

This distopic exploration is the exact opposit of Metaflore, which explores how these same set of technologies can be used to create new poetic moments (checkout this other project ass well 🌱).

starter kit

Wink is a service which collects anonymous data on the emotional reactions triggered by content consumed on an electronic device. Once installed, it will activate the front web cam and start analyzing your facial expression as soon as you start surfing on the web. Over time, wink will create an emotion map of the web using the emotion markup language (EmotionML 1.0, specified by the W3C), so that rather than looking for a content by a semantic search, you can look for a content on an emotion based search. You just need to specify what type of emotion you want to have and the service will serve you some content which statistically triggered the emotion levels on most people. A localization filter is applied, taking cultural subtleties into account. Also, applied on mail, texting and other social apps, it will help you sort your friends depending on the type of emotions they tend to trigger. Depending on your current state, wink can than help you identify who you should interact with.

Metaflore, on the other hand, explores how these technologies could be "naturalized" as in "letting doubt and personal interpretation be a full part of the whole process".

Rather than giving a rationalized feedback through chart based dashboards, it explores a subtle and symbolic reflexive interface, keeping an open window for subjective interpretation. This is achieved by hacking the feedback loop with a living organism: lichen. Metaflore is an interface, an organic dashboard, of our affects.

how it works

Design that asks carefully crafted questions and makes us think, is just as difficult and just as important as design that solves problems or finds answers. Critical design is related to haute couture, concept cars, design propaganda and visions of the future, but its purpose is not to present the dreams of industry, attract new business, anticipate new trends or test the markets. Its purpose is to stimulate discussion and debate amongst designer, industry and the public about the aesthetic quality of our electronically mediated experience. (in Design Noir: The Secret Life of Electronic Objects.)

Wink can also be plugged to your mail and chat apps as well as other picture and video based social apps. Over time, it will help you sort your friends depending on the type of emotions they tend to trigger in you. Depending on your current state, wink can than help you identify who you should interact with to make you feel better or to make you feel a bit more punchy.