15 Oma blij, met lichtThe KeyPing system that will be presented consists of an interactive board with various ThinKeys attached to it. A KeyPing board can be activated by plugging a special KeyRing into a socket 04b Sleutels ophangen, oma, met lichton the board; allowing homecoming rituals to be part of the interaction. The KeyPing board comes in different sizes and can either be placed on a flat surface or fixed to the wall. A ThinKey is a magnetic and moveable object that represents the explicit actions and implicit activity of a contact.  A personal item of this contact can be attached to the ThinKey, according to the user’s own associations and preferences. ThinKeys are sold in a package of two, meant to expand the social KeyPing network gradually over time. By changing the background of the KeyPing board, the system fits in every home. The personal configuration of the ThinKeys on the board enables users to expand, control, and (re)arrange their network at any favorable moment.

The social interaction with contacts goes beyond the physical board: by pressing a ThinKey it is possible to connect directly with a contact and therefore with another KeyPing system.

12 Oma raakt Thinkey van kleinkind aan

14 Kleinkind raakt Thinkey van oma aan, met licht 2

When the ThinKey on the connected board is pressed as well (within a limited time span), the brightness of the LEDs on the front will increase. Beside these explicit actions on the board, the KeyPing also registers the activity of contacts by tracking their position in relation to their board. The distance between the KeyPing and its user determines the intensity of the projected (LED)light of the related ThinKey on the board.

Bord met gradaties

This gradation in distance and therefore transition in light intensity are based on different types of transport. For example: an intense projection (100%) indicates that a contact is at home, while no projection (0%) means that this contact is far away from home. A Global Positioning System (GPS) module in the KeyRing measures the distance from the contact to its KeyPing board (implicit activity). The KeyPing system and the wireless ThinKeys communicate through Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).

The KeyPing is a precious addition to current communication systems, without being incriminating or obtrusive for its users. In a delicate and simple way, the KeyPing makes elderly feel more connected with their social neighborhood.


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