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  • Writer's pictureGabriella Garcia

Live Web final project proposal: Heart to Heart

My midterm project was inspired by the idea of sharing whispered "sweet little nothings" and those memories that seem to manifest in words over image. The result was definitely a working proof of concept, and I want to develop it toward a more finished experience for my final.

I was able to continue exploring that avenue with Nianqi for our partner project presentation, which was an overdub game where lines could be recorded and then sent as audio over a short animation clip (I will write up my own documentation and reflection soon). It was a really useful exercise for taking a step toward my final, as it reapplied my midterm work toward an end more suited for this next project.


A mashup between my midterm and the overdub game, where two users are prompted to send audio to each other. In dubverse, each "player" was sent a line of text and prompted to record it by pressing a button, and then send it by pressing another. Pressing the second button would launch the audio and push the animation clip to the next time code.

Rather than using a script, I'm thinking of prompting each user with questions, asking them to record the answer, and then send the answer to the user on the other end. The second user wouldn't know what the question was, but I would design the question so it would instruct the user to lead the answer with a recap of the question. For instance:

Q: Describe something in the room that you are in. "From where I'm sitting, I can see..."

Q: When was the last time you fell? "The last time I fell..."

Q: What would someone know if they really knew you? "If you really knew me, you would know..."

I imagine the text taking up almost all the room on the page, with two large buttons, one for record, one for send:

Final touch

Because this is an experiment in intimacy, it only makes sense to include the heart. Ideally, I would bring in a physical component that would use pulse/hrm information to manipulate the UI. I'm not exactly sure what that looks like (a representation of the heart rate literally? An abstract response to determinable changes/certain levels of heart rate?), but the idea is to illustrate how the interaction is affecting the actual physicality of the person sitting on the other side. I have two approaches in mind:

I can try to manipulate MIT's webcam pulse monitor code so pulse information emits something that affects the client side. The code is in Python which is a whole other can of snakes, but I think as long as I can figure out how to emit the data I can make it happen:

I can go physical and use an Arduino-based pulse sensor:

There are benefits to both. The first can be obscured, giving flexibility in the interaction to be uncanny, magical, unexpected. The second sets users up for the experience with a known intention, one in which they will have a literal physical connection that they know will be experienced from afar.


I don't know what the outcome is. Do the users ever meet each other? Is it simply a passing moment of affecting and being affected by a stranger, and taking that small secret away with you forever? How does the heart rate translate... literally or abstractly? Should there be a setup instruction, like a "start" page?

Can I execute this alone?

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