Closing the long distance gap through personal touch

Estonian Academy of ArtsEstonia


Concept / Student


Nesli Hazal Akbulut


In today’s hyper-connected world, texting is one of the main communication activities. However, the current texting experience can be very much improved by the empowerment of sensations and by unlocking the power of handwritten text and of haptic design.

In contrary to face-to-face conversation, during texting, the emotions are not transmitted to the receiver. The typeface hides the emotions and the conversation starter becomes a regular notification that can get lost in all the other notifications that we receive during the day. Our project sets to experiment on how to bring touch and handwritten text back to our lives. So we are asking ourselves: What if we could have a personal accessory that would enable us to send hand-written messages to our loved ones through touch?

We can close the long-distance gap through a personal touch device by enabling people to send handwritten/hand-drawn messages to each other. The device is a smart ring empowered by haptic technology together with motion sensors and it is covered with a skin-like rubber material to increase flexibility. Your index finger becomes your pen, the ring becomes your communication device and the touch becomes the conversation starter. The motion sensors detect finger movements and the touch ring software on your smartphone will process the images. After compensating for background objects (such as textiles) and ambient environmental lighting, the images are analyzed to reconstruct a dynamic 2D representation of what the ring sees. When you are ready to send your message, simply squeeze your ring and the same squeeze (with same duration and strength) will be transferred to the receiver through their ring. So, the touch will become both a send button and a conversation starter.

The personal touch ring is our experiment to capture attention to humanizing communication in a digital era. It is meant as a tool to imagine new ways and behaviors to empower the connection between two people and to close the long-distance gap through the personal touch.

More information can be found at


The Interaction Awards are an initiative of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA), a global community of more than 120,000 individuals worldwide dedicated to the professional practice of Interaction Design. Find out how to join your local group and get involved at

© 2012 - 2023 Interaction Design Association