I’ve just presented my graduation work on the physical induction of emotions and an implementation for entertainment on the IFIP Entertainment Computing Symposium.
The presentation can be downloaded at http://www.rockabit.com/downloads/IFIP_ECS_2008.ppt.
The paper can be downloaded in PDF format here:
full version (16 pages)
short version (8 pages)
The hour of my graduation draws nigh, and in preparation I would like to share the details.
It is well known that our emotional response is related to our bodily state, and more specifically that our bodily state can directly influence particular emotions we feel. It appears, however, that this fact has so far not had a significant influence in the entertainment industry. We first review existing work on physical emotion induction. Based on this work we present several techniques to influence emotional responses through physical means in a non-cognitive manner. The basis for the different techniques is a two-factor model of emotion: Pleasure and Arousal. We selected 4 sets of movie clips that correspond to the 4 possible quadrants existing in the 2 factor model. We have implemented some of the emotion induction techniques in a physical device (interactive chair) and tested the effects on the immersiveness of the movie clips and the emotional experience of the participants.
The full research paper (16 pages) can be downloaded here, as well as a shortened 8 page version:
full paper (pdf)
short paper (pdf)
Experimentation week is over! I have all the data I need for my graduation research, so now it’s on to the data analysis phase. I’m glad my girlfriend knows statistics, ’cause I don’t and even for her it’s hard to keep an overview, that’s how much data I have.
Also, it’s no longer necessary to keep quiet about the goal of my research so here’s the skinny:
in psychology there’s a theory, called the James-Lange theory of emotion, which states that emotions are a result, rather than a cause, of certain physiological events. As William James put it: you do not run away from a bear because you are afraid, you are afraid because you run. From this theory you can deduce that it should be possible to trigger, or at least stimulate, an emotion by inducing the associated physical state. And it was at this point that I thought: “Well, why not use that in entertainment?” So for almost a year now, I’ve been working on a way to do this and now I’ve created a chair that influences you physically while you’re watching a movie, in order to enhance your emotions and make the whole thing more immersive.
There are several ways in which my “emochair” (working title ;)) influences you. First of all, it changes position by putting the back of the seat upright into a tense position, or backward for relaxation. Secondly, it generates a vibration at the speed of your pulse, only slightly faster or slower so that your heart will adjust to that rhythm, again making you more stressed or more relaxed. And finally it influences your temperature: the back is fitted with heating pads that can increase the temperature and a fan can blow cool air into your neck. All this tries to nudge your emotions in a certain direction, which I have now tested on a total of 20 subjects.
I have yet to analyze the data, but one thing is clear already: it definitely has it’s flaws. It’s obviously a first prototype and I’m hardly an expert when it comes to electronics, so the physical manipulations weren’t exactly inconspicuous. Ideally you wouldn’t really consciously notice the chair doing anything, but as it was the back of the seat went from neutral to either position in five seconds, the motor that simulated a heartbeat was clearly audible and the fan ended up producing a high pitched whine. But while the chair has its share of shortcomings, I’ve learned a ton about electronics and I haven’t yet ploughed through all the data so who knows, something may have worked…
Anyway, it’s been fun doing this and now I’ll see what the actual effect has been. It’s almost nerve wrecking 😉
Coming back from holiday means getting back to work, in my case on my graduation project, which has been eating most or all of my time for a while now. The end, however, is approaching and look how nicely the electronics are coming along! And to think that when I started this I had hardly a clue about how to build this kind of stuff. I like making myself proud… ;D
I won’t go into detail about the exact ins and outs of my graduation project now, but it’s a research concerning physical responses to watching video footage. Experiments are scheduled to start at the 17th of this month, if I can just manage to get some more test subjects… Anyway, the end is drawing near, and when it is here, I’ll be a Master of Science! Yay!!! 😀
(article in Dutch)
Noorderlicht Nieuws: Gekkotape overtreft gekkovoet
“Haartjes op de uiteinden van haartjes, dat blijkt het geheim van de gekkopoot. Daarmee kan de hagedis tegen muren op lopen en zelfs ondersteboven bijven hangen. Synthetische gekkopoottape met zulke haren-op-haren blijkt zelfs beter te plakken dan de gekko zelf.”
(lees het volledige artikel)
Geweldig! Ik kan niet wachten tot ik elke willekeurige wolkenkrabber kan beklimmen met mijn eigen gekkopak. 🙂