HugBug: A Wearable Interface to Engage Children
Natalie Comeau, Karla Saenz, Melanie Baljko, Isabel Gomez, Isabel Gómez, Manuel Merino, Stefilla López and Alberto Molina
Hamidi, F., Comeau, N., Saenz, K. Baljko, M. HugBug: A Wearable Interface for Facilitating Digital Design for Children. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Design and Emotion, 2014, 706-709.
Hamidi, F., Baljko, M. Makers with a Cause: Fabrication, Reflection and Community Collaboration. Proceedings of the International Conference on Distributed, Ambient, and Pervasive Interactions, 2015, 49-61. Available Online.
HugBug is a wearable system in the form of a large hat augmented with programmable LED lights. The lights are controlled by an embedded microcontroller and can be activated by a variety of sensors. HugBug was designed as a playful system to encourage hugs. When a user wears HugBug his or her hugs are augmented by a light show.
HugBug was intended as a design provocation, such that it might inspire. I have used it extensively to teach physical computing design concepts to children and young adults. Recently, in a collaboration with the Grupo TAIS at the Universidad de Sevilla, we started using HugBug as an affective interface for therapeutic stimulation of children with profound brain damage in multisensory environments.
Please watch the video below to see HugBug in action.