MIMIC: Mutually Informative Mobile Implicit Communication

Jeffrey R. Blum, jeffrey.blum@mail.mcgill.ca

Supervised by Jeremy Cooperstock

MIMIC explores the ability to have a background perception of another person even when they are not in the same room. The MIMIC Android smartphone app creates a haptic connection that lets you feel your partner's state through two short vibration pulses on your ankle, representing their current activity level and the speed at which they are traveling. Coupled with existing knowledge about that person, the transitions between activities convey useful information that is both practical and can enhance the feeling of connectedness between remote people.

Relying on a Bluetooth connection between each user's phone and a Pebble smartwatch worn on the ankle, MIMIC allows all-day use with minimal fuss. This architecture diagram shows the path from Partner #1 through to Partner #2. Of course, since the connection is reciprocal, the same thing is happening going in the reverse direction as well:

While the main point of the project is to evaluate how such a connection influences behavior, it has also raised issues around wearable haptics in real-world use. Below are publications, talks and demonstrations concerning MIMIC and related haptics topics. Note that earlier versions of MIMIC were called "SenseProxy", so that's the name you'll see in some of the publications:

Jeffrey R. Blum
PhD Candidate
Shared Reality Lab
McGill University

Last updated Nov 7, 2018