Soft Computation in the Public Sphere: Enhancing Social Dynamics with Wearable Networks

  • Raune FrankjærEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9186)


The use of clothing as a vehicle for communication is as old as the garment itself. Over the last few centuries the signaling function of dress has declined into the symbolic and anonymous. Increasing privatization of society, has led to nearly half of its population suffering from debilitating loneliness. Positioned within Positive Computing, this paper examines the possibilities of non screen-based digital personal artifacts, in the form of Soft User Interfaces, to enhance social dynamics. This paper provides a case study on the use of non-verbal signaling as the foundation for soft computation deployed in the public sphere. The proposed technology is aimed at strengthening social capital, by freeing up situated user attention and facilitate the formation of wearable networks upon establishment of mutual sympathy during chance encounters in public space.


Photonic displays Smart fashion Embedded electronics Wearable networks Interactive technology Soft user interface Physical computing Soft computation Social dynamics Public sphere Positive computing Non-verbal signaling Proximity Artifactics 



The enLight project and ensuing research was funded by the Media and Film Grant of Rhineland-Palatinate (Medienförderung). The jackets (excluding wiring) were designed and manufactured by Kerstin Anders from the Department of Fashion Design, Trier University of Applied Sciences.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of DesignUniversity of Applied Sciences TrierTrierGermany

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