The Spider Dress That Reacts To Personal Space Invaders

The Spider Dress That Reacts To Personal Space Invaders


In 1963, an anthropologist called
Edward T. Hall realised there was no term for the study of
personal space, so he invented one. Because that’s the sort of thing that anthropologists
like to do. He called it ‘proxemics’, and it caught
on, because it turned out to be a good way to
let people think about abstract questions like: how do you react when someone gets too close,
too fast? What we have here is a robotic spider dress. So it’s a dress that has mechanical limbs
that are reacting. It is reacting on you coming closer, so you
coming near. There are two proximity sensors here. They are in the balls of the design. They are sensing when you come too close. There are 12 states that are pre-programmed. Basically, it’s deciding between 1 of those
12 states in order to create one of these animations. In his book, Hall proposes four distance zones: the public, the social, the personal and the
intimate. Now, in the sort of life coaching seminars
that people get sent to, and in middle management textbooks, those zones are treated as gospel, as ‘this is how everyone behaves’. But in Hall’s own words, the zones were
only a first approximation. They were based on a tiny sample of university
educated Americans. They weren’t representative of human behaviour
in general, and they weren’t meant to be. They were crude stereotypes. Actually, a lot of the book is crude stereotypes. There’s a whole section just titled ‘The
French’, which describes them as ‘sensually involved
with each other.’ I used 3D modelling in order to create this
design. I’m using a software called ‘Maya’, and
then we 3D printed it out. It is 3D in nylon, in a technique called ‘selective
laser sintering.’ You can see here a lot of difficult geometries
that are very thin at places, and they are very delicate. The technique of selective laser sintering
means that you have basically a big box of powder, which is, in
this case, nylon, and you have your laser beam. It’s sintering out, it’s materialising exactly the model you
created. Basically, when you take this design out, you’re taking it from a big basket of powder, and all the powder is falling off. The proximity sensors are in this dress, so they’re in the front of the dress and they are sensing in a beam that’s being
sent to the microcontroller which is in the back piece. As a scientific theory, the field of proxemics
is vague. Hall just sort of thought it up and stated
it in his book. There aren’t many studies backed up with
rigorous examination and statistics. It’s mostly a set of observations and ideas. But despite what some hyper-rationalist people
might think, those have value too. Being aware of the hidden rules that guide
us, asking why we act the way we do: that can be a powerful tool for figuring out
the way that the world works. And visualising something that isn’t just
invisible, but is actually an abstract concept? That can be a really powerful way to help
understand yourself. Thanks to Anouk Wipprecht! Her dress is on display at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco until
March 2017. Pull down the description for more links about her, the dress and the gallery.

100 Replies to “The Spider Dress That Reacts To Personal Space Invaders”

  1. Pretty neat. A next version should have more rear-pointing protection. Really large weak spot of this gear from a survival point of view.

  2. Wow, now that's beautiful and terrifying! Seems like a good way to avoid handsy people on public transit, and look like a sci-fi villain while doing so.

  3. Hey, Tom, did Chris Hardwick use a clip from this for the Nov. 16 episode of @Midnight? Or did you both use the same promo clip?

  4. how does the dress determine whether something is aproximating or the dress itself is aproximating something else ?

  5. I think that dress is really frigging cool! I don't really know if anyone would or should wear that outside of MMO's but it is still so cool.

  6. couldn't you do the same thing with just one of those old-fashioned giant hoop skirts? It'd look less stupid

  7. so if i was a female and went into a crowded elevator wearing this how do i turn it off? otherwise id be sued for assault.

  8. What if you're on a train? Does the dress just stab everyone else? If you walk onto a train it'd basically give you a huge bubble of personal space.

  9. Well that proxemics thing is total bull, it may be like that in some parts of the world, but in most latin american countries we have much more physical contact than what's stated there.

  10. There is a studies standard by culture of what is considered personal space. In America it is 18 inches but in India it is 12 inches. So to Americas Indians stand way too close and it's uncomfortable. But the funny part is in Britain it is 24 inches so Americans essentially do the same thing to British people by making the British people feel crowded. I can't even imagine what happens when the Indians stand even closer to the British. The funny thing is as a certain culture backs away for more space the other culture keeps moving in because they feel too far away. It''s all accidental. Nobody realizes that they are crowding the other culture. I wasn't at all surprised to find out that the British were the most standoff-ish.

  11. You know I take personal space pretty seriously. Up to the point that I don't even care about this… I'm not even interested in having this skin on my personal space.

  12. This dress would stop me invading anybody's personal space without being poked. Just cause it looks like a spider.

  13. I misread the title and I full on thought Earth had a spider dress that someone would wear if aliens were to invade Earth/

  14. I have just realised the error in my ways. I shall never again put spiked shoulder pads on my characters in games if I can avoid it.

  15. Personal / Space Invaders
    The game Space Invaders, but only owned privately.
    Personal Space / Invaders
    Someone wanting to invade your personal space

  16. When you think about it, the game Space Invaders is all about trying to stop people you don't know from getting too close to you. And if they come close enough to touch you, it's game over.

    Though they do also lob bombs at you, which isn't a normal thing in human social interaction.

  17. I had to dislike this video so that youtube won't think I want more spider content, so just pretend that the dislikes are on less and the likes are one more, please, if that's okay!

  18. Haha. i remember finding Hall's book on Proxemics in the school library at the age of roughly 14 – although I had absolutely no idea what that could be, I picked it up thinking I'd look cool reading such a "sciency" book… only to find that it isn't only a completely understandable book for a 14-year old, it's also a hugely enjoyable one.

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