“Connectivity Café: Prototyping the Dining Event” presented by Barua


Presentation Title:

  • Connectivity Café: Prototyping the Dining Event



  • The Connectivity Café is an experimental dining experience in which a meal is reimagined as a vehicle for expressive interaction. Dining as a “social event” is viewed as a plastic context that may then be shaped and manipulated to promote surprising and meaningful connections between guests. The Connectivity Café uses various sensing technologies to extend the dining experience beyond the local and makes possible the real-time sharing of meals across great distances so that a guest in Montreal may share a meal and “break bread” with guests in Beijing, New York and/or Mumbai; rituals, flavors and objects that are culturally situated may be exchanged with strangers and friends. Our sensing and real-time media is sensitive enough to allow for a toast across time zones, complete with the sound of clinking glasses. The Connectivity Café involves a suite of subtle interactions via telematically-mated objects, such as augmented serving-plates, glasses, silverware, and placemats. Commonplace objects become diegetic as they detect contact or proximity to another guest’s position, and change state (glow, heat up, ring, etc.). Dining as a temporal event also presents the challenge and exploration of ceremony and ritual as malleable sequences.