The Common Touch draws on the analogy between political revolt and advertisement in their use of the affective engagement of crowds.
The concept has been presented in a Workshop on Multitouch: Design Issues and Knowledges: Limitations and Affordances, organised by AALTO in Helsinki on 2009, November 10.
A position paper is next to be presented at Pervasive 2010:
By C.Coutrix [AALTO], I. Avdouevski [AALTO], G.Jacucci[AALTO], V.Vervondel[TEES], S. Gilroy[TEES], M. Cavazza [TEES]
The Common Touch: Aesthetic and affective interaction in semi-public settings: Abstract
The Common Touch - i.e. figuratively, the ability to appeal to ordinary people - is a large interactive wall that is meant to be installed in a street as the window of a shop. Common words of an incomplete sentence are displayed in a conspicuous way on the screen. It appeals to the passer-by, who lightly touches the wall and notices that the touch not only reveals hidden words, but also makes another sentence appear. Seeing this person interacting with the wall, other passers-by stop and begin to touch the new sentences to reveal hidden words. They are soon overwhelmed by slogans and trying to touch them all. To drive the type of slogans displayed, the affective expressions of the group - derived from multimodal tactile, video and audio inputs - are exploited by the installation like in an advertisement or a charismatic oration. Both the crowd and the installation contest for the control of the display.
As they are compelled to interact by their curiosity, passers-by form a group of engaged people with their hands raised, revealing advertising slogans conveying an idea of demonstration, protest or revolution, e.g. "Be the revolution of you" (Nike and Foot Locker), "Impossible is nothing" (Adidas) or "Think Different" (Apple). The group becomes part of the scene of controlled demonstration that is presented to the passers-by, bringing the Common Touch to its meaning.
Watch the videos of the Common Touch here.
The Common Touch is being realized jointly at ENSAD in Installation & relational devices research group, researching on topics complementary to the CALLAS ones and in CALLAS with The Helsinki Institute for Information Technology and University of Teesside.