“I just leaned on it!” Exploring Opportunistic Social Discovery of a Technologically Augmented Cushion

Beatrice Monastero, David McGookin, Tapio Takala

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


While personal devices are often used to connect online with others far away, public media rarely offers opportunities to connect with collocated individuals. We explore novel interaction strategies to enhance opportunistic collocated sociality through technologically augmented daily objects. ThinkCushion is an augmented cushion allowing users to record and playback audio messages either explicitly or implicitly by leaning on it. We deployed ThinkCushion in an open coworking space and gathered quantitative and qualitative data over one month to unveil how individuals discovered it and interacted. We individuate three modes of discovery (serendipitous, spectated and facilitated) and their relations with situated socio-spatial aspects. We discuss the interplay of active and passive interaction modalities for locally accessing and creating content, and how verbal content can be used in either performative or informative ways. We suggest future research on how to design public technologies supporting collocated sociality already from the phase of technological discovery.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-6708-0
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2020
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventACM SIGCHI Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Honolulu, United States
Duration: 26 Apr 202030 Apr 2020


ConferenceACM SIGCHI Annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Abbreviated titleACM CHI
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address

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