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Overgrown: Supporting Plant Growth with an Endoskeleton for Ambient Notifications

Donald Degraen; Felix Kosmalla; Antonio Krüger
In: Extended Abstracts of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI-2019), May 4-9, Glasgow, United Kingdom, ISBN 978-1-4503-5971-9/19/05, ACM, 2019.


Ambient notifications are an essential element to support users in their daily activities. Designing effective and aesthetic notifications that balance the alert level while maintaining an unobtrusive dialog, require them to be seamlessly integrated into the user's environment. In an attempt to employ the living environment around us, we designed Overgrown, an actuated robotic structure capable of supporting a plant to grow over itself. As a plant endoskeleton, Overgrown aims to engage human empathy towards living creatures to increase effectiveness of ambient notifications while ensuring better integration with the environment. In a focus group, Overgrown was identified with having personality, showed potential as a user's ambient avatar, and was suited for social experiments.


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