“SyncDon II: Sharing of emotion by bio-synchronical communication” presented by Takahashi and Ito

  • ©ISEA2016: 22nd International Symposium on Electronic Art, Issey Takahashi and Akihito Ito, SyncDon II: Sharing of emotion by bio-synchronical communication


Session Title:

  • Bio-art, Bio-tech

Presentation Title:

  • SyncDon II: Sharing of emotion by bio-synchronical communication




  • Emotion is hard to be depicted. It easily gets unfocused when it is verbalized, because emotion felt in our body is abstracted when it becomes a word. To minimize abstracting depiction of emotion, we use nonverbal expressions such as use of voice, touch, distance, and physical environments or appearance when we communicate with someone. The SyncDon II (Figure) attempts to have further expressions of emotion by biosynchronization. It aims to transfer emotion to someone by the heartbeat synchronization.

    Heartbeats collected from a person in the past, which who had salient emotion, is recorded into the gift-box and is exposed to a person in the gift-box. The heartbeat synchronization is induced by the stimuli (sound/vibration/light) with heartbeat rhythms, and his/her emotion changes according to changes of circulatory condition brought by the synchronization. Validity of the heartbeat synchronization by external stimuli is investigated in [1][2]. In the SyncDon II system, heartbeat is collected through capacitive ECG sensor or earphone-type optical pulse sensor, respectively.

    The reason why the gift-box is used as an indicator of the heartbeat is because it is a metaphor of a “gift”. A receiver gets emotion as a gift from someone in the past through heartbeats. Then the receiver becomes a sender of emotion he/she had, and gives to others. This relation resembles to the system of total prestations by Marcel Mauus [3]. The total prestation implies two important things; the obligation to give presents and the obligation to receive them. It constitutes our society system that is the base from which gift-exchange arose. “SyncDon II” expresses epitome of our society by gifting emotion through heartbeats, which is the symbol of the life. The SyncDon project is unique, which never attempted in the literature. We believe that the project will bring us entirely new sensations that we have never experienced.

    Thematic statement
    The SyncDon II corresponds to the theme: “Noise Contra Signal”. The artwork faces in the opposite direction to the modern communication technologies aims to minimize noise in signals, privileging ‘purity’ in the transmission of information. The aim of the SyncDon II is to transfer emotion to others that cannot be expressed as a word by inducing the heartbeat synchronization. It is based on the hypothesis that the assimilation of the body condition to the other brings us to have similar emotion that the person felt during the recording of the heartbeats. This composition is designed under the assumption that even if the perfect heartbeat synchronization is induced, the emotion cannot be transferred perfectly. It remains the individual linguistic interpretation of the emotion neutral.

    This is based on the idea that the real human communication cannot be realized just by minimizing the noise, but to keep a room for noise contamination to have some misinterpretations. We believe that the SyncDon II will bring us a different perspective for the modern communication technologies