During CeBIT 2016, the students from Osnabrück will be at the Lower Saxony pavilion to exhibit "calm technologies" and their potential applications. These are devices and services that expand our sphere of communication in an understated way and interact with us more discretely than blaring smartphone ringtones – but are no less helpful for it. In fact, quite the opposite – the wearable devices developed by the interaction design students condense complex correlations into one clear signal.
The best example is Bob the Belt. If you like to tell people you’re “tightening your belt” when you want to save a few cents, you should give Bob a try. This smart belt keeps track of its wearer’s account transactions and draws itself tighter with each debit. The students reckon Bob’s silent but heavy hint will help make wearers more aware of their spending habits and therefore more careful with their money, or money that has been entrusted to them. For instance, taxpayers’ watchdogs could surely put Bob to good use!
Another of the wearable devices aims to up the user’s feel-good factor. The project, dubbed "Remember the warm times", centers on a scarf that emits heat whenever the wearer goes somewhere someone previously messaged them “warm wishes” via a social network. All it takes is an app that filters the relevant information and sends it to the scarf. The creators behind "Remember the warm times" want to use this spontaneous feedback to give owners of their nifty accessory a feeling of being close to somebody. And perhaps that’s not a bad idea when nobody’s around to give you a hug.
Hochschule Osnabrück, Fakultät Ingenieurwissenschaften und Informatik (49076 Osnabrück, Germany), Hall 6, Stand A18, partner of the Lower Saxony Ministry for Science and Culture