“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.” ~Dale Carnegie
Emotions are primal, more so than spoken words. Even without language, we are capable of communicating emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust through facial expressions. The way you look at someone can communicate many things, including interest, affection, hostility, or attraction.
The communication of emotion is so fundamental that it’s possible to express these even between different species. Any dog owner can vouch for the fact that dogs pick up on people’s intonation or other nonverbal cues.
This brings into question our use of concepts such as Artificial intelligence and Machine learning. Machines still can’t understand or even express basic emotions. What is it that we are lacking, is it technology or the way we are taught to implement technology? We believe it’s the second, because we are so used to programming and thinking in terms of iterative algorithms, and flowcharts that in our interfaces we have ignored our most fundamental means of communication.
With these thoughts in mind, we gave ourselves a very specific ask: _‘_How do we convert an emotion into a physical installation?’
Take a look at video:
We chose the emotion of Love. We wanted to bring across the emotion without stating it explicitly. Short of drawing hearts on a wall, how do you get person to experience it? We wanted the audience to go through the process of feeling it themselves and realize that this was the emotion. We decided that the best way to do it was an actual age old mechanism that’s been applied in Indian cinema, it starts with an exchange of glances in a crowded room and before you know it you are transported to a scene with plush mountains, fancy attires and changes in lighting based on what looks best, it’s Bollywood. This entire process is explained in a Bollywood manner where love is a rather extravagant process and it’s not just something that happens between two people, but everyone around is also involved. This is what we wanted to bring across to the installation as well. What we decided to do was convert music and light and animations and utilize something as simple as smile and bring across emotion of love just through a simple walkthrough.
In a brand context there is an additional benefit of building a physical installation, Campaigns associate themselves with emotions and they bring across the same usually through commercials. Some campaigns that utilize the notion of love are Vodafone’s made for first love campaign and Kwality with their slogan “Ho jaye dil ka connection”. The problem with these kinds of scenarios is that you are still an observer to the story, you aren’t a part of it. The idea of using a physical installation is what we thought would involve audience and not just have them be a witness to the story, but rather actually be part of the storytelling.
On how was it made possible, There are three parts of the installation:
- A life size projection of person which represents face of the installation. We captured a real life person with her various permutations of expressions. We then projected this on real life size acrylic sheet via a browser Application
- A computer vision module powered by Microsoft Kinect which is programmed in OpenCV & C++ to provide facial expressions of person in front with its distance from Installations. Combining cues provided by computer vision module system is able to measure expression, proximity and confidence of person.
- An ambient program to create a sensing & responsive environment, that controls lights, colors and sound, to include you in the space of experience and give you hints of what’s happening around you.