nuna is a system of patches that integrate with your skin and provide new sensory experiences.

Thesis project, MFA Interaction Design, SVA
Advisor: Daniel Goddemeyer

In a time where visual displays are frequently asking for our attention, nuna offers a more subtle and unobtrusive approach using ambient touch. The system consists of three patches that use patterns in vibration, temperature and contraction to form a new haptic language. Using a smartphone as an intermediary, the user pairs the patch with a desired input, such as the proximity of someone else, shifts in the weather, or personal reminders. The data may map directly to the haptic sensations or the user can define their own patterns through the range provided by each sensation.

The system shows a progression of what’s possible with the advanced technology we have available today. As a result of smaller and more efficient electronics, we are able to integrate such devices into our daily lives and behaviors. nuna is exploring how tangible outputs of digital data can allow us to make better use of the nuances in our sensing capabilities as well as facilitate interactions where technology can recede into the background.



A lot of people today work in office buildings that isolate them from the weather outside. This scenario shows how vibration can be used to signify that it is about to rain. It allows for a more direct way of sensing the weather where intensity in the rain can be mapped to the sensation.

When you work intensely on something, it is easy to forget to take breaks and do something else. People I spoke with said they wished they could get a tap on their shoulder or a friendly nudge to be reminded to take breaks when they work too hard or have been talking too much.

Every day, we cross the paths of other people and quite often we have been very close to someone we know without realizing it. In this case, you can feel that someone you know comes closer to you through a heating sensation that increases the closer you are to the other person. Ultimately, it's up to you whether you want to take an action upon it to meet the person or if you want to avoid it.

Prototyping the vibration patch with Arduino mini and pancake vibration motors.

Prototyping the temperature patch with Arduino mini, potentiometer and a heating element.

The iPhone app serves as the intermediary between the physical patches and the data they are representing. The app allows the user to define recipes for what the sensations should represent. A range can be defined based on for instance time, proximity or intensity, and the user will through the setup get to know the high and low of the different sensations.

More of the process behind this thesis is captured in the process book above.