Stowe Hammarberg

"Communicators" is a series of speculative products that comment on the disconnection and lack of intimacy that comes with technologically mediated forms of communication.


This project started as an expression of the disconnected feeling that results from using technology to communicate with someone over a long physical distance. It is a critique of the technology that is supposed to make us feel “like we’re there” but in reality lacks the emotional connection of “being there”. The devices make this abundantly obvious by inserting a technological intermediary into otherwise face-to-face interactions.

The first device is worn over the mouth, and muffles the voice while converting spoken words into text messages that scroll across the screen. It mimics the way text messaging replaces spoken words in technologically mediated communication.


The prototype for this device was built with an Arduino and a character display inside the enclosure.

The second device is a double-sided video chat screen that can be placed between two conversing people, restricting the users to only the digitized version of their companion. It mimics the way video chats replace actual face time in technologically mediated communication.


The prototype for this device consists of two tablets within the enclosure that are in a constant video chat.

The third device is a vibrating wristband that buzzes as the wearer nears their partner wearing a matching band. It mimics the way wearables like the Apple Watch use haptics to replace physical touch in technologically mediated interaction.


The prototype for this device consists of a battery, vibrator, magnet and reed switch within an enclosure. When they are brought close together, they set off the buzzing in both devices

Stowe Hammarberg All content © 2016