Light Perfume: Designing a Wearable Lighting and Olfactory Accessory for Empathic Interactions

  • Yongsoon Choi
  • Rahul Parsani
  • Xavier Roman
  • Anshul Vikram Pandey
  • Adrian David Cheok
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7624)


In this paper we present Light Perfume, a wearable system that helps the users and their communication partner to mirror their nonverbal communication cues together using factors such as speed of blinking and color in lights and subtle perfume emission from a wearable accessory during a face-to-face conversation. This is based on the concept of mirroring, whereby each user is stimulated with the same visual and olfactory outputs to strengthen a user’s psychological bond with the partner using the accessory. We initially explain the motivation and design of the prototype for the Light Perfume system. We evaluate the system using a semantic differential method and show how the system can be used to affect the impression formed of the user by others and explore the potential usage of the entertainment accessory.


Empathy mirroring wearable media lights perfume light perfume synchronization communication 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Konrath, S.H., O’Brien, E.H., Hsing, C.: Changes in Dispositional Empathy in American College Students Over Time: A Meta-Analysis. Pers. Soc. Psychol. Rev. 15(2), 180–198 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    O’Brien, K.: The empathy deficit, (accessed June 11)
  3. 3.
    Milgram, S.: The Experience of Living in Cities. Science, New Series 167(3924), 1461–1468 (1970)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Boase, J., Horrigan, J.B., Wellman, B., Rainie, L.: The strength of internet ties. Pew Internet and American Life Project (2006)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Doherty-Sneddon, G., Anderson, A., O’Malley, C., Langton, S., Garrod, S., Bruce, V.: Face-to-face and video-mediated communication: A comparison of dialogue structure and task performance. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied; Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied 3(2) (1997)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Iacoboni, M.: Mirroring people: The science of empathy and how we connect with others2009: Picador USA (2009)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Iacoboni, M.: Face to Face: The Neural Basis of Social Mirroring and Empathy. Psychiatric Annals (2007) Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Valdez, P., Mehrabian, A.: Effects of color on emotion, vol. 123(4). Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles (1994)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Frasca-Beaulieu, K.: Interior Design for Ambulatory Care Facilities: How To Reduce Stress and Anxiety in Patients and Family. The Journal of Ambulatory Care Management 22(1), 67–73 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Flagge, I.: of Light and Architecture. Ernst & Sohn, Berlin (1994)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kaufman, J.E., Illuminating Engineering Society of North America: IES lights handbook. Application volume. Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, New York (1981)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fox, K.: The Smell Report – An overview of facts and findings. Social Issues Research Centre (2007)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Brewster, S., McGookin, D., Miller, C.: Olfoto: designing a smell-based interaction. In: CHI 2006, pp. 653–662 (2006)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Mirroring (psychology), (accessed May 14)
  15. 15.
    Romano, D.M.C.: A Self-Psychology Approach to Narcissistic Personality Disorder: A Nursing Reflection. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care 40 (2004)MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Fay, W.H., Coleman, R.O.: A human sound transducer/reproducer: temporal capabilities of a profoundly echolalic child. Brain and Language 4, 396–402 (1977)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Rizzolatti, G., Craighero, L.: The mirror-Neuron system. Annu. Rev. Neurosci. 27, 169–192 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Szalavitz, M., Perry, B.D.: Born for love: why empathy is essential–and endangered. William Morrow, New York (2011)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Rifkin, J.: The empathic civilization: the race to global consciousness in a world in crisis, 674 p. J.P. Tarcher/Penguin, New York (2009)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Szalavitz, M.: How Not to Raise a Bully: The Early Roots of Empathy (2010),,8599,1982190,00.html (accessed May 25)
  21. 21.
    Baron-Cohen, S.: Mindblindness: As essay on autism and theory of mind. Recherche, p. 67 (1995)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Khilawala, R.: Lack of Empathy in Relationships, (accessed June 5)
  23. 23.
    Yongsoon, C., et al.: Sound Perfuem: Designing a Wearable Sound and Fragrance Media for Face-to-Face Interpersonal Interaction. In: Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology (2011)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Yongsoon, C., Younghwan, P., Jihong, J.: A study on the emotion expression using lights in apparel types. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services, pp. 478–482 (2007)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Gueguen, N., Jacob, C., Martin, A.: Mimicry in Social Interaction: Its Effect on Human Judgment and Behavior. European Journal of Social Sciences 8(2) (2009)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Huma, B.: Gender Differences in Impression Formation. Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology 1(1), 57–72 (2010)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yongsoon Choi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rahul Parsani
    • 2
  • Xavier Roman
    • 2
  • Anshul Vikram Pandey
    • 2
  • Adrian David Cheok
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Media DesignKeio UniversityJapan
  2. 2.Keio-NUS CUTE Center, Interactive Digital Media InstituteNational University of SingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations