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Never get stuck in awkward conversations again, thanks to this wearable device

Wearables are gimmicks, aren’t they?

This sober disposition lead to an entirely new approach in our creative process. The purpose of this project was not supposed to subordinate itself to either the critical or the practical category. Instead it should level criticism against the wearable as a status symbol. Criticism against excessive consumption and an overabundance of distractions, which transform the human interaction in an inconvenient obstacle course. The project „Save My Ass, Please!“ is a hybrid of product- and critical design. SMAP should not only provide a practical benefit, but simultaneously educate and admonish its user.

How it works

The wearer activates an emergency signal with just a short look at his „SMAP-WRAP“ to escape an unpleasant conversation. Fully aware, that every distress signal costs him hard money. The corresponding App inserts a micro job at Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. A telephone call to the SMAP-Users mobile number earns the contractor a small amount of money. The „discrete“ activation of that process is already a broad hint at the dialogue partner, but also an invitation to the user to express him or herself more clearly. Furthermore the user is apparently willing to accept the financial costs to evade a challenging situation of social interaction. Conversation in the age of communication?

The first prototype of SMAP was realized with an Arduino Mini and Cordova to build the accompanying App. The gesture is detected with an accelerometer and transferred via Bluetooth to the users smartphone. Thereupon the rescue attempt will be engineered.

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SMAP was created in the year 2014 together with Dirk Erdmann and Lennart Bramlage and was exhibited and presented at the Open house 2014 in Osnabrück, European Media Art Festival 2015, 33pt in Dortmund, the DMY 2015 Design Festival in Berlin, Maker Faire 2015 Hanover and Resonate Festival in Belgrade.
It was part of the collection winning the DMY Award: Jury Selection 2015.

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