Personal statement #1
I want to make the world a better place by making physical interactions possible regardless of distance, location, and time.
Since Covid-19, we are now living in a contactless world where daily activities are limited. Everyday greetings requiring physical contacts like handshakes and hugs are prohibited due to social-distancing. Families and friends are being apart from each other due to quarantine and sheltering in place. This "new normal" world of contactless life has affected many. Then I realized how critical physical interactions are in our lives.
Describe your most meaningful experience(s) and why they matter to you.
It was the beginning of May 2020 when I graduated from my Undergrad school Saan Francisco Art Institute, with a BFA degree in Art and technology and a painting minor. At the same time, Covid-19 started, so I had to do my graduation ceremony through zoom. For my Undergrad graduation thesis, I made a prototype of the Haptic suit, which was to create a virtually contactable world, the haptic suit was made out of padded sportswear with foams embedded into the shape of your muscles, and I would take out the foams and replaced it with vibrating motors to mimic the sense of touch. I had performed the work through zoom by making a Local Server for the website of the suit, In the website that can send the data to the suit, I had an image of the suit and clickable buttons on the image of the suit, and when the audience of the graduations which were professors and classmates click the buttons, it will send the data from the server and to the computer and to the suit and the body part where I have embedded the motors would vibrate to mimic the sense of touch. It was really meaning=gful to me because I could really see the feedback from multiple people, and I could see how the users would use it. Some users tried to tickle me, or many people would click where my crotch is to make it an unwanted sexual interaction. Seeing my dream product working in real life was like my dream was coming true, which is to make a virtually contactable world.
I want to create a wearable suit that can receive and send the sense of touch.
There should be technology for telecommuting sense of touch either through the web or through physical computing because I think there are infinite possibilities in where this platform can be used. For example, the haptic suit can be used in long-distance relationships that seek physical interaction with one another. It can be used in recording an attack or harassment that can be done to you so no innocent person can be accused of an attack or harassment, or it can be used the other way around. If someone gets touched by someone who is wearing a suit and does not ask for consent, then they can report it to the police, and they can track down the person. It can be used in industrial fields of construction or by firefighters too. If we connect the suit to the exoskeleton and make the person wearing the suit to be the controller, then there would be no injury during the work for those who work in dangerous areas.