Thomas Knoepffler

Haptic Breath

Project Site

This is a wearable art piece designed for connection and intimacy. It’s a pair of face masks with embedded electronics that allow you to stay connected with your friends and loved ones. Both face masks contain a breath sensor at the front and a vibrating motor that wraps around the back of each wearer’s neck. As one person breathes in and out, the haptic motor vibrates on the other person’s end, and vice versa. The wearable is meant to be integrated into each wearer’s day-to-day routine. The haptic messages are delivered via a BLE connection and provide a sense of presence for the other person on the other side. The breathing was chosen to make the experience of embodiment more intimate and less of a structured interaction. Using the form of a face mask, the project is in dialogue with our current state of social distancing practice due to COVID-19, not just as an artifact but also as a product of the pandemic.