Yo–Yo Machines: Self-Build Devices that Support Social Connections During the Pandemic

Gaver, Bill, Boucher, Andy, Brown, Dean, Chatting, David, Matsuda, Naho, Ovalle, Liliana, Sheen, Andy and Vanis, Michail (2022) Yo–Yo Machines: Self-Build Devices that Support Social Connections During the Pandemic. In: CHI '22: CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, New York, NY, United States, pp. 1-17. ISBN 9781450391573

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1145/3491102.3517547


Yo–Yo Machines are playful communication devices designed to help people feel socially connected while physically separated. We designed them to reach as many people as possible, both to make a positive impact during the COVID-19 pandemic and to assess a self-build approach to circulating research products and the appeal of peripheral and expressive communication devices. A portfolio of four distinct designs, based on over 30 years of research, were made available for people to make by following simple online instructions (yoyomachines.io). Each involves connecting a pair of identical devices over the internet to allow simple communication at a distance. This paper describes our motivation for the project, previous work in the area, the design of the devices, supporting website and publicity, and how users have made and used Yo-Yo Machines. Finally, we reflect on what we learned about peripheral and expressive communication devices and implications for the self-build approach.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: ACM CHI 2022 30/04/22 → 5/05/22 New Orleans, LA, United States
Uncontrolled Keywords: research through design, self-build, peripheral and expressive communication, open source, IoT, design research
Subjects: W200 Design studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Design
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2022 09:30
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2022 09:45
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/49272

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