InExChange: Fostering Genuine Social Connection through Embodied Breath Sharing in Mixed Reality

InExChange is an inter­ac­tive mixed real­ity expe­ri­ence cen­ter­ing around an inflat­able vest which con­veys a phys­i­cal sense of shared breath­ing on the diaphragm between two or more par­tic­i­pants. The expe­ri­ence is com­posed of three acts in which the par­tic­i­pants’ breaths are trans­formed into metaphor­i­cal pro­jected rep­re­sen­ta­tions: expan­sive waves, flow­ing light trails, and grow­ing tree branches. The inflat­able wear­able devices phys­i­cally enact in near real-time the inhale/exhale pat­tern of the other person’s breath, vary­ing in inten­sity level to create an atten­tion inter­play between the embod­ied sen­sa­tion and the pro­jec­tion. Through this embod­ied sense of play­ful shared breath­ing, we aim to cul­ti­vate a gen­uine feel­ing of con­nec­tion and con­tribute to the inte­gra­tion of somaes­thetic design prin­ci­ples in mixed real­ity HCI.

30sec video pre­view of InExChange (2023)

3min video walk­through:

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Morris, C., Liu, P., Riecke, B. E., & Maes, P. (2023). InExChange__Interactive_Breath_.pdf. Extended Abstracts of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–5. (Download)