Phatic Cushions

Should a cushion be phatic? A team from the research lab at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) believe that one possible answer is ‘Yes’. Leading to the design and implementation of a ‘Talkative Cushion’, details of which were presented in Proceedings of the 27th international conference extended abstracts on human factors in computing systems (2009) Pages: 2631-2634

“The ‘Talkative Cushion’ is a novel audio recorder which transforms recorded voices into humorous and ludicrous sounds. It is proposed as a phatic device for homes. It is designed to make people playful and funny when communicating in homes because a delightful situation makes people active to talk. In this paper, we describe why and how a cushion is selected as our target object and how the concept of phatic technologies applied to the cushion.”

The research article Talkative cushion: a phatic audio device to support family communication can be purchased online for $15.00. Or, you can watch a short video of the phatic action, for free, by clicking on the cushion in the image above.