Project Overview

Design of a Smartwatch App for Long-Distance Affective Communication

Faculty Sponsor

Madeline E. Smith (


Computer Science


One way that we build and maintain relationships with other people is through emotional intimacy, which involves sharing feelings with one another. When you are in the same place as your friends you can communicate your feelings verbally or nonverbally through actions such as sitting close together or far apart. It is more difficult to communicate feelings nonverbally when you are not in the same place.

The goal of this research project is to design a software system to support remote emotional intimacy. We will be designing and developing a smartwatch application to support simple communicate between users to convey feelings nonverbally.

Student researchers will work together to design, develop, and evaluate the system. Approximately half of the summer will be spent designing the system using a human-centered design approach. This involves understanding the problem by interviewing potential users, identifying requirements, generating and sketching ideas, developing low- and hi-fidelity prototypes, and iterating to improve the design. The remainder of the summer will be focused on developing and testing the system, including the smartwatch and server-side applications.

Student Qualifications

Number of Student Researchers

3 students

Project Length

10 weeks

Applications open on 01/05/2018 and close on 02/05/2018

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (