The ambiPhone is an ambient distributed telephony system for the home that enhances the social experience of phone conversations.
This is the outcome of my master thesys in Design for Interaction (TU Delft 2009).

The goal of this project was to come up with richer solutions for home mediated communication. Future devices should provide users with a more comfortable, immersive and meaningful mediated communication experience than current devices do. The research performed (literature, context mapping and user testing) revealed users’ concerns for communication experiences with a stronger immersion and no mediation feeling. The knowledge gathered led to the formulation of the intended user experience: a rich social presence communication experience that allows keeping a strong bonding in the distance, eliciting a strong immersion and connectedness feeling, closer to a face-to-face conversation and at the same time enabling comfortable and natural use.

The solution proposed consisted of a set of ambient telephony (ambiPhone) table-top units distributed in a household. While a user would move around the home, the call would follow him, jumping from one unit to another. Each unit was able to set, capture and render the call, as well as render the contact’s representation. This representation was made by means of a colored light aura in the call rendering unit. Ideally, the light would glow in different patterns according to immediacy and intimacy behaviors like turn-taking, mood, or distance from the unit.
The use of an abstract visual representation enhances the feeling of being together, creating engagement and emotional response, affording a more affective mediated communication and further eliciting the feeling of a visit, without creating obligations or putting a big cognitive load on users.

The product intends to have a very simple, discrete and elegant character, avoiding any visual reference to technology or mediation devices, in order to lower the awareness of mediation and help blending into the home environment.

The findings of this project were published in a conference paper in ACII '09, and a contribution to the book "From Floating Wheelchairs to Mobile Car Parks" (eleven 2011), among others.

AmbiPhone's units light up in a particular aura to represent the caller's identity according to user

Different colors would represent different remote callers (emotional) identities.

The concepts created were presented with storyboards and scenarios.

User test with two different implementations produced different user experiences.

ambiPhone from Jorge Peregrin on Vimeo.

Video with highlights of the book presentation where the ambiPhone project was included.