Drops is a non intrusive ambient display of your closest and most important friends and colleagues. Using physical tokens representing your contacts you can easily organise and select the most fitting group for the current setting to interact with. The tokens are designed as precious personalised items and are meant to be given to your closest friends to symbolise and enhance your relationship.

We were inspired by our user research conducted with home-office workers in their workplace – this provided us with insights in to their everyday life. Feelings such as being alone in the world and missing the “water cooler chat” were identified and brought into the concept to bring it to life.

The project was developed through an iterative design process where we were constantly building new physical prototypes to test out interaction possibilities, how the user would be poked by a contact, visualisations and shapes. The final shape was inspired by the idea of six degrees of separation – also known as the human web – and each part of the project has a meaning and a purpose such as weighting the tokens to give them a more precious and valued feeling via the wooden surface.

By stroking and poking the tokens you can send short requests for attention to your contacts or to just letting them know you are there, creating a playful break in the everyday home-office routine or a more playful back and forth interaction similar to a simplified pong game.

The pokes are visualised using discretely organically shaped light at your friends side to easily melt into its environment creating an ambient display of your contacts. All interaction is conducted through the surface of the physical tokens hiding the interface and enabling a truly unique experience for the user.