Out-of-body experience: Designer finds way to control another person’s movements

23.09.2014 The Pretender Project : Awakening Tech : Network Evening

London – Royal College of Art graduate Yifei Chai – now an interactive designer at UNIT9 – attended The Future Laboratory’s Awakening Tech Network Evening last week where he spoke to LS:N Global senior journalist Rowland Manthorpe about his creation, The Pretender Project.

The project, which Chai developed on the Innovation Design Engineering course run jointly by the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London, was conceived from his interest in ‘technology becoming more emotive and more human’. 

Developing technology in terms of EQ, or emotional quotient, instead of IQ, Chai devised and built an upper body suit that enables one person to control another person’s muscle movements, creating the possibility for users to ‘experience someone else’s skin’ and control a real-life avatar. 

Watch our video to see a version of the suit in action and to learn about the potential of a suit for those with disabilities.

For more on Awakening Tech, watch our video preview and buy tickets for the LS:N Global Autumn/Winter 2014 Trend Briefing, The Me-conomy, on The Future Laboratory’s Eventbrite page.