Maria Antonia Whelan

Maria Antonia Whelan

Product Design BSc

A Touch Away

A touch away' supports interpersonal relationships over long distances by introducing a meaningful tactile element to mediated communication. With the lack of physical contact being one of the biggest issues in distal communication, the user-product relationship becomes a significant aspect of the solution: the design allows users to express themselves with an emotional gesture, connecting to their loved one through the object at hand. Affection is then conveyed with the use of light, creating an interaction that is open to interpretation, and making the product suitable for use with close friends, family or a significant other. Designed for use in the home, the set of devices allow for an asynchronous interaction that adapts to different time zones and lifestyles. These elements are also used to ensure users do not feel compelled to 'answer', thus maintaining intention in use and the value of communication over time. Aimed for use alongside current services and devices, 'A touch away' can improve the way in which we interact when face-to-face communication is not possible.