Digital friendship bracelets

Digital friendship bracelets

Digital friendship bracelets are inspired by the childhood tradition of making craft bracelets for friends as a way to bond and reinforce friendships.

 

The Design

The idea. Kids can be shy, and socializing with new kids can be a scary or daunting task for some. These bracelets provide a fun way for children to interact and befriend others. The bracelets shift attention to a common artifact so that the kids have something concrete to focus on. Each bracelet remembers and reacts to other bracelets which have been previously ‘friended’, reinforcing new and existing friendships.

Form Factor. Simple colorful bracelets that are sturdy and fun to wear.

Behavior. Each bracelet has a unique RFID tag and reader. When two bracelets are near each other, they light up. The color of the light indicates whether the two have already befriended and reinforces existing friendships. White means a new person, green means a friend and red means a best friend.

Interaction. There is a button on the bracelet that kids push to “friend” or “best friend” someone. This lets kids know when someone is nearby and helps them start a conversation with the new kid and bond over a shared experience.

 

The Process

Prototype. In order to test the interactions, the bracelets were roughly prototyped with Arduinos and RFID tags and readers.

photo of digital friendship bracelet prototype on a wrist.