Confronting people's fears about bats: Combining multimodal and environmentally sensed data to promote curiosity and discovery

in DIS 2018 - Proceedings of the 2018 Designing Interactive Systems Conference, Conference paper (text)


© 2018 Association for Computing Machinery. Bats are often disliked and feared by people. How might we enable the general public to learn more about the true nature of these creatures, and even to like them? In this paper, we introduce PlayBat, a physical public display, which combines a multi-modal interface, a constrained narrative structure and real-time IoT environmentally sensed bat call data. The aim of our research is to investigate whether promoting curiosity and discovery through enabling people to explore real-life data, answer quiz-like questions and engage with a multi-modal interface, is effective at engaging people and confronting their fears. We report on the design process and implementation of PlayBat, and the findings from an in-the-wild study. We discuss how tapping into multiple senses can draw people in, evoke curiosity and even change their views.