Gentle Gestures of Control: On the Somatic Sensibilities of an IoT Remote App

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Jūra Miniotaitė
Vaida Pakulytė
Ylva Fernaeus


The design of user experiences for physical appliances increasingly involves connection, monitoring, and control via smartphone applications. Despite the rich possibilities for interaction provided by smartphones, the current standard mode of engagement with such apps is through graphical user interface manipulations. To explore new felt experiences for this use context, a remote-control app for a robotic vacuum cleaner was designed, enabling participants to have their gaze focused on the robot, while steering it by gently tilting the phone. This particular interaction is used as a case to emphasize the role of somatic sensibilities when designing smartphone applications in the context of IoT. Through a phenomenologically-inspired analysis, we describe the user experience in terms of physical manipulation, perception, effort, and utility, and through social and emotional engagement. An important attribute was how the interaction, through its subtleness, created a somatically connected experience.

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Miniotaitė, J., Pakulytė, V., & Fernaeus, Y. (2022). Gentle Gestures of Control: On the Somatic Sensibilities of an IoT Remote App. Diseña, (20), Article.1. (Original work published January 31, 2022)
Original articles
Author Biographies

Jūra Miniotaitė, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Media Technology and Interaction Design

BA in Media Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology. M.Sc. in Interactive Media Technology, KTH Royal Institute of Technology. She is a Doctoral student in Multimodal Machine Learning at KTH. As a researcher, she explores Human-robot Interaction, social robotics, and embo­died interaction. She is the co-author of ‘A Case Study of Deep Enculturation and Sensorimotor Synchronization to Real Music’ (with O. Misgeld, T. Gulz, and A. Holzapfel; in International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference 2021).

Vaida Pakulytė, Electrolux CX, Software Team

BA in International Communication and Mul­timedia, Aarhus Universitet. MA in Digital Marketing & Social Media, London School of Business and Finance. She works on user experience and interaction design as part of the Consu­mer Experience Software team at Electrolux, specializing on applications related to robotic vacuum cleaners and air purifiers.

Ylva Fernaeus, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Media Technology and Interaction Design

BA in Computer and Systems Sciences, Stoc­kholm University. M.Sc. in Interactive Multimedia, University of Westminster. Ph.D. in Human-Machine Interaction, Stockholm University. Associate Professor in the Department of Media Technology and Interaction Design at KTH and guest researcher at Umeå Institute of Design. Her research is focuses on physical interaction design, embodied programming, preciousness in interaction, and hybrid crafting. Her latest publications include ‘Envisioning Arduino Action: A Collaborative Tool for Physical Computing in Educational Settings’ (with G. J. Roumen, Inter­national Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, Vol. 29, Issue 100277); ‘Co-watching 360-Films in Nursing Homes’ (with A. Lundström and S. Ghebremikael; in Proceedings of 13th IFIP Conference on Human-Computer Interaction); and ‘Troubling Care: Four Orientations for Wickedness in Design’ (with K. Helms; in Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2021).


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