Warmth and Affection: Exploring Thermal Sensation in the Design of Parent-Child Distant Interaction

  • Sunmin LeeEmail author
  • Thecla Schiphorst
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9733)


Within HCI there is a history of investigating how wearable technologies provide the promise of creating intimate experiences in distant interactions. Through an iterative design process, we developed a wearable prototype for parent-child remote communication that explored warmth as a metaphor for affection. In our field study, we discovered that children interpreted thermal messages in several ways, constructing their own meanings of messages which support thoughtful interaction with design artifacts. Our findings suggest multiple uses of thermal interaction can arise by engaging the parents in reconsidering the roles of meaning-making in their everyday environment. We discuss how these findings exemplify an emerging design space akin to non-finito products underlying user values and creativity. Furthermore, our findings show how parents and children in different families practicing with the same prototype co-created a set of distinct and unique meaning based on their own creative application of their values surrounding warmth and affection.


Somaesthetics Parent-child distant communication Thermal sensation Affection Ambiguity Non-finito products 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Interactive Arts and TechnologySimon Fraser UniversitySurreyCanada

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