[ISEA2011] Paper: Johanna Schmeer – Touch Trace Mirror: Volatile, Collaborative Messaging as a Concept for Creating a Relatedness Experience


In this paper we introduce the concept of volatile, collaborative messaging as a means of creating a relatedness experience, in this specific context for couples in a long-distance relationship.

Based upon the idea of message leaving in a romantic relationship, the “Touch Trace Mirror” is a mirror which enables leaving a message on a steamy bathroom mirror over a distance. It is a set of two bathroom mirrors, one to be placed in each partners apartment. Writing a message on one mirror will result in the message being sent to the partners mirror, where a light will emerge on the mirrors surface. If the partner places a finger on the light, it will move, letting the partner trace the message that his or her loved one wrote.

Initial user testing showed that the concept and the aesthetics of the interaction, which developed over two cycles of a user centered design process, seem promising for creating a joyful relatedness experience.

  • Johanna Schmeer, University of the Arts Berlin, Germany