Designing and Making the Datacatchers: Batch Producing Location-Aware Mobile Devices

Boucher, Andy and Gaver, William. 2017. Designing and Making the Datacatchers: Batch Producing Location-Aware Mobile Devices. TEI '17 Proceedings of the Eleventh International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, pp. 243-251. [Article]

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Abstract or Description

In this paper we describe the Datacatcher, a location-aware, tangible and embodied mobile device that displays a continuous stream of statements about its location that are drawn from a large number of data sources and which speak to sociopolitical issues. We describe how the design and our underlying research interests emerged and changed over the course of three distinct phases of development: the device’s conceptual design, its refinement to a final design, and the final detailing leading to batch production of 130 of the devices. We discuss the Datacatcher as resonant with many current issues in HCI, including augmented reality, environmental issues, political systems and using data as a design material.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Design; research through design; batch-production; mobile device; location; Big Data, H.5.m. Information interfaces and presentation (e.g., HCI)

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Design > Interaction Research Studio


30 November 2016Accepted
21 March 2017Published

Event Location:

Yokohama, Japan

Date range:

20-23 March 2017

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

02 Mar 2017 12:53

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:24


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