Poch Poch / Thesis Project

Submitted By Claire Puginier


POCH POCH - Telepresent Heart

Poch Poch consists of pair of mechanical, digitally paired necklace pendants. Each pendant kinetically simulates the heartbeat of the person wearing the other half of the pendant pair in real time. The pendants are each fitted with an Arduino, servo motor, pulse sensor, and a Bluetooth chip which transmits the pulse data to and from each wearer’s phone. The mechanism is enclosed within two hemispherical shells that are driven apart by a rack and pinion at each signalled pulse. This, dissimulated within a flexible silicone envelope, causes the pendants to expand and contract. The pendants thereby allow implicit emotional changes in a loved one to be sensed across long distances in real time. These kinds of subliminal, physiological emotional responses contribute to the way we observe and understand one another and pose interesting challenges and opportunities for the development of digital communication. Through aaffective and physical
computing, we have the possibility to capture and translate that in us which remains beautifully elusive and in permanent state of metamorphosis.

The mobile app provides a simple interface with which to pair the amulet to the shareable pulse stream via Bluetooth. In the event that a user wishes to remove their amulet without frightening those connected to their pulse stream - the app also allows users to identify their stream's status as active or inactive.


Digital technology and networked devices have become mediums through which humans express and experience love. We navigate a variety of instant messaging, emoji, and photo sharing apps as vehicles to communicate with those we love. The architecture of these platforms, and the behaviours and exchanges they enable or neglect, shape the landscape of our emotional lives. The efficiency of machine-mediated relationships allows us to multitask our engineered intimacies. At arms length, we use technology to create relationships and protect ourselves from them simultaneously. While tethered to the individual surroundings of our physical selves, increasing amounts of time are spent alone together; less together alone.

Network media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter provide us with the opportunity to produce, curate and simulate ourselves through personal profiles. By investing ourselves in the digital self-portraits we forge, we deny ourselves that which remains beautifully elusive and in permanent state of metamorphosis. Networked devices have made it easy to express our emotions as they are being formed. As we communicate our feelings digitally, we revise them - losing natural conversational momentum. We no longer cultivate the ability to be alone and reflect on our emotions in private and begin to shy from the vigour of things that unfold in real time.


Thesis Project







Claire Puginier




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