This sober disposition lead to an entirely new approach in our creative process. The purpose of this project was not supposed to subordinate itself to either the critical or the practical category. Instead it should level criticism against the wearable as a status symbol. Criticism against excessive consumption and an overabundance of distractions, which transform the human interaction in an inconvenient obstacle course. The project „Save My Ass, Please!“ is a hybrid of product- and critical design. SMAP should not only provide a practical benefit, but simultaneously educate and admonish its user.
The wearer activates an emergency signal with just a short look at his „SMAP-WRAP“ to escape an unpleasant conversation. Fully aware, that every distress signal costs him hard money. The corresponding App inserts a micro job at Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. A telephone call to the SMAP-Users mobile number earns the contractor a small amount of money. The „discrete“ activation of that process is already a broad hint at the dialogue partner, but also an invitation to the user to express him or herself more clearly. Furthermore the user is apparently willing to accept the financial costs to evade a challenging situation of social interaction.
Conversation in the age of communication?
The first prototype of SMAP was realized with an Arduino Mini and Cordova to build the accompanying App. The gesture is detected with an accelerometer and transferred via Bluetooth to the users smartphone. Thereupon the rescue attempt will be engineered.
SMAP was on exhibition at the Resonate Festival 2015 in Belgrade and the European Media Art Festival 2015 in Osnabrück.