Kelly Dobson
(2nd Year MAS Graduate Student)
PhoneTango Movie

PhoneTango is a system linking two remote expressive bodies. The feedback is manifested visually through Proce55ing, and acoustically through a phase-shifting duplex audio link.

Existing bmpathic movement we all use, often subconsciously, as we attempt to communicate. However, this body action is still performed, for example by people on cell phones all over the city. I almost was accidentally knocked over by a man engaged in an excited cell phone conversation on Main Street just last week.

PhoneTango insists that you mimic the movements and body positions of your conversant, or you will not be able to hear them. The audio will be phase shifted proportionally to the amount out of alignment one is with oneb s conversation partner. You will hear beating between out of phase speech - as in out of tune frequencies when playing musical instruments - until you move into physical alignment.

The Proce55ing visualization graphics paint as the conversants move, according to their individual movements and their relationships to each otherb s positions. Proce55ing guides by giving each participant a graphical abstracted display of the merging of the two or more participants. A morphing map.

If you watch pairs of people interacting face-to-face you notice they unknowingly mimic each others body positions -- hands on hips, arms crossed, scratching head, shifting to the right, the left . . . This is not a useless dance; it is an interchange. By mimicking the body language of the person one is trying to communicate with, that person is actually viscerally understood through the physical bodyb s intelligence and understanding.

One caller is represented by constantly rendered green rectangles, the 2D shape and screen position of which are determined by the actual physical tilt of their PhoneTango around two axes being constantly sensed by adxl accelerometers talking to a pic microprocessor on an IrX board within the hand held device. The other caller is represented by blue rectangles with the same hardware performing the sensing of position in 3Dspace and effecting the characteristics of behavior of the feedback. When the two conversants bodies are in the same position - in this first version this translates to when the handheld displays are in exactly the same orientation - the graphical clouds or blue and green rectangles actually move closest to each other and seem to merge and a clear audio link is experienced.