Pulse Pool

April 2007

Supported by mediaThe Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts

Place a finger to your neck or wrist. Find your pulse. How does it alter your awareness of your body? Imagine if you could simultaneously see and experience another person’s pulse the way you feel your own. For the first time, two cities (Boston and Oklahoma) were connected via the human pulse.

The interconnected components of the “Pulse Pool” project explored how access to otherwise unavailable corporal information affects human interaction. Wearable electronic units measure individuals’ heart rates and transmit this data to other participants through physical stimulation created by small, vibrating motors incorporated within the devices. This allows participants to feel the pulse of individuals who are in close proximity to them.

Additionally, a visual representation of this information was created by droplets of water falling and making ripples in a pool. These droplets were synchronized with live pulse and relative location data that was collected using wireless communication and RFID positioning technology.

An internet connection and custom software allowed real-time and archived transmissions of information about the localized “Pulse Pool” community to be shared with the global community on the World Wide Web. This made it possible to create interaction between “Pulse Pool” communities in remote locations.


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by the Symbiotic Media Group