Impact of connected objects on social encounters

Koen Schellekens, Elisa Giaccardi, Dennis Day, Hayley Hung, Laura Cabera Quiros, Ekin Gedik, Claudio Martella

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


This study focuses on how connected objects could influence social encounters in a mingling event. Therefore a user study was conducted with Pop Glass; an interactive glass that uses coloured lights to reveal and shape social relations. 29 students participated in a staged mingling event where they were asked to use this object. Two analyses were done; one interaction analysis with an ethnomethodological perspective and one quantitative analysis that was based on annotations of the groups in space and gathered proximity data. The former revealed that even if the lights were off, the glass was used as a topic of talk, ‘toasting device’ and boundary object, making relevant a social past. With the lights on Pop Glass proved to be a talkable, a ‘super networker’ and it triggered a collective sense making process about the experiment itself. The quantitative analysis showed that glass’ lights motivated people to switch groups and act in bigger groups. This verified that in search for meaning people tend to mingle more, which on itself is an interesting starting point for design implications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 4th Participatory Innovation Conference 2015
EditorsRianne Valkenburg, Coen Dekkers, Janneke Sluijs
Place of PublicationThe Hague
PublisherThe Hague University of Applied Sciences
Publication date20. May 2015
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-73077-66-9
Publication statusPublished - 20. May 2015
Event4th Participatory Innovation Conference: Reframing Design - Mälardalen University, The Hague, Netherlands
Duration: 18. May 201520. May 2015
Conference number: 4


Conference4th Participatory Innovation Conference
LocationMälardalen University
CityThe Hague
Internet address


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