Social Textiles: Social Affordances and Icebreaking Interactions Through Wearable Social Messaging

Viirj Kan, Katsuya Fujii, Judith Amores, Chang Long Zhu Jin, Pattie Maes, Hiroshi Ishii


Wearable commodities are able to extend beyond the temporal span of a particular community event, offering omnipresent vehicles for producing icebreaking interaction opportunities. We introduce a novel platform, which generates social affordances to facilitate community organizers in aggregating social interaction among unacquainted, collocated members beyond initial hosted gatherings. To support these efforts, we present functional work-in-progress prototypes for Social Textiles, wearable computing textiles which enable social messaging and peripheral social awareness on non-emissive digitally linked shirts. The shirts serve as catalysts for different social depths as they reveal common interests (mediated by community organizers), based on the physical proximity of users. We provide 3 key scenarios, which demonstrate the user experience envisioned with our system. We present a conceptual framework, which shows how different community organizers across domains such as universities, brand communities and digital self-organized communities can benefit from our technology.

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