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The Connected Souvenir

The Connected Souvenir questions the status of the souvenir as an object for static remembrance by establishing real-time communication with the experiences of visitors to Niagara Falls. The souvenir uses water samples from the Niagara River, manipulating the samples with a mist maker in response to changing social media feeds. A Python program communicates with a search engine that mines data available about “Niagara Falls” on Twitter, Flicker and Facebook. This program translates and sends the data wirelessly to an Arduino that sets the mist maker on and off every time the term “Niagara Falls” is found. A site as Niagara Falls boosts its social and historical value every time is visited or mentioned nourishing its importance within a stream of experiences. The responses to the sensors in this design confirms a worldwide geographical hierarchy and relates previous tourists to current ones in their unconscious act of preserving a ladder of signs within a place.

Bohlen, Marc; Maharika, Ilya; Sargent, Paul Lloyd; Zaianty, Silvia; Lee, Nicole; Delgado, Angelica Piedrahita; Niagolova, Nevena; Vogelsteller, Fabian, “Prototyping Ubiquitous Biosensing Applications through Speculative Design,” Intelligent Environments (IE), 2012 8th International Conference on , vol., no., pp.198,205, 26-29 June 2012