Professor: Pattie Maes
Duration: Fall 2017
Role: Group project (with Dishita Turakhia)
In today’s age of ubiquitous advertising, we are constantly bombarded by bits of information vying for our attention. The “noise” of our environment has reached a fever pitch for almost all of our senses. While our sensory modalities are designed to efficiently filter out much of the sensory data that reaches us and focus only on the relevant information, we believe that combining this filtering process with technology in a human-machine symbiotic intervention can help augment our ability to focus – and, in turn, help us kick the bad habit of constantly diverting our attention to technology.
Our intervention is an eyewear that is designed to block the user’s view whenever he or she is distracted by mobile phones. The eyewear recognizes when the user looks at the mobile phone screens and actively shuts the eyewear lenses.
In addition to being a focus-enabling device, we envisioned this gear as an artefact that gives a social message in the technologically-savvy society. The act of lens shutting was deliberately made performative by coupling it with red lights that flash to demand attention both from the user (for being distracted) and from people around (to make them realize that the user is trying to focus).