Reminded of the end of Sherry Turkel’s book Reclaiming Conversation where she discusses MIT robotics work. In particular on day when the robot they were testing malfunctioned and it was not possible to interact with the young girl who had been brought in as test companion. The girl cried and asked for snacks as she didn’t understand why the robot hated her. She took the error, the brokeness of the tech, to mean it intended not to talk to her. She projected an emotional and social meaning onto the technology.

Emotional tech is not merely in the object but also how it is situated in the social situation.

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Sensory Design Consultant, usability researcher and workshop facilitator. www.linkedin.com/in/alastair-somerville-b48b368 Twitter @acuity_design & @visceralUX

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