Get quantized is an interactive system designed to be placed in public spaces to aid with social interaction between commuters, but can also be used in other public spaces.
It uses music and pressure sensitive seats. Selected songs will be decided into different channels for each element. In this example We have 4 channels, one for the guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard. We have 4 pressure sensitive seats, one for each channel. The pressure on the seats control the volume of the track. When the seat is occupied the assigned channel will start playing. You end up with a dynamic music track controlled by the commuters which are sitting down and standing up.
The system gives the commuters/participants synergy. Together they can achieve something they cant achieve by themselves. It gives them a sense of exploration and combined effort. This will be a catalyst for commuters and others to start a conversation with one another.
Public transport, its something almost all of us are familiar with but still almost nobody talks to one another on the train. You occasionally have the person asking “does this line stop at xyz” but nothing more than that. During the Get quantized research we seek the source of this behavior. We focus on commuters taking public transport. For starters, is the hypothesis correct, and do commuters even have the desire for social interaction these days?
Out of over 200 people, at least 70% would like to have a more social commute. This includes small talk with other around them, under normal circumstances. Out of the 70%, only 5% said they would start a conversation, a little less then 4 in 100 people.
This is different from Social interaction in places like school, gyms, game houses, etc, because there a person would have a higher chance of having common interest. People need to be assured there is something to talk about which interests both parties.
Some participants said they have started conversations with other commuters when the other commuter was reading a book they recognized. Others said they started a conversation because the other commuter was drawing or playing a game they liked (smash bro’s on Nintendo switch, drawing on an iPad). When asked if participants wouldn’t just start talking about a recent happening or something actual, almost everyone answered because they didn’t want to be rejected. The fear of being rejected for small talk outweighs the gain of having smalltalk in the first place (effect of loss aversion).
Some participants said it was easier to start talking about other things when they were already in the middle of a conversation.
The problem is seeking common interests. Overcoming the feeling of being rejected. The majority of participants wants small talk but they don’t risk being the activator.
Make a system that helps starting a conversation. The system would be a catalyst.
humans like predictability, that’s why we all like music. Everyone has a genre or artist, a rhythm or melody that “resonates”. This is because music is something that activates the part of your brain responsible for predictions. Even humans unable to hear have these “resonating” feelings trough the vibration or pulse sensed by their body.
- Black box seminar group.
- Social interaction between strangers.
- Simple sound signals
- desired result
- Check predictability
- at HKU IBB (School building)
- Students who don’t know each other
The result of the 3 prototypes and iteration show that users like to do things together, but only if they can sense a goal. So instead of random sounds getting modulated by different pressure plates, An actual song getting orchestrated gives more satisfaction thus enhancing synergy between users.
The prototype seats have a desired effect. In future iterations I will look the possibility to make the system blend in public environment (see prototype video). Not the use within the train but one situated on waiting benches. Maybe the communication would be more effective when a conversation starts before entering the train. Other participants said during their interview that they would like to have more conversations during their commute, but one big concern was “what if it just didn’t work. Then I’m stuck in an awkward train ride. I need the possibility to exit”. An 4th iteration would focus on the experience before entering the train. Commuters can always take another cabin when entering.