“Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever”
Henri Cartier-Bresson
emosive prototype screenshot

A mobile service for the emotionally triggered

emosive (formerly e:sense) is a new service for mobile devices which allows capturing, storing and sharing of fleeting emotional experiences. Based on the Cognitive Priming theory, as we become more immersed in digital media through our mobile devices, our personal media inventories constantly act as memory aids, “priming” us to better recollect associative, personal (episodic) memories when facing an external stimulus. Being mobile and in a dynamic environment, these recollections are moving, both emotionally and quickly away from us. Counting on the fact that near-today’s personal media inventories will be accessed from mobile devices and shared with a close collective, emosive bundles text, sound and image animation to allow capturing these fleeting emotional experiences, then sharing and reliving them with cared others. Playfully stemming from the technical, thin jargon of the mobile world (SMS, MMS), emosive proposes a new, light format of instant messages, dubbed “IFM” — Instant Feeling Messages.

Real Life Scenario:

While walking in the park and listening to a verse from his and his girlfriend Tina’s favorite tune — Madonna’s Little Star (“Never forget how to dream, Butterfly”), Jake sees a butterfly resting on a flower. Primed by the romantic musical (auditory) immersion, Jake notices the colors of the resting butterfly and immediately loads a memory of Tina’s same-colored summer dress, the one she wore when they were walking on the beach, during last summer’s holiday… Jake quickly clicks the emosive shortcut key sequence on his device. Entering an emosive session, Jake snaps a photo of the butterfly and tags the image as “Butterfly”. The butterfly flies away. Jake continues walking. As he exits the park and walks around the city, Jake continues to capture some more fleeting moments as they happen, making sure they are tagged to correspond with lyric words. He even adds some tagged images from his Flickr account. He then “wraps” everything as an IFM, previews it and sends it to Tina — emosive stores links to the tune, lyrics and images from the various online media databases and bundles them under one link. When Tina accepts the IFM, it will stream to her phone from a server, synchronizing the tune and the images, based on the tagged lyric words. The stored IFM can also be viewed effectively as an emosive experience from any web-enabled browser. Tina will now relive Jake’s inner day through his brief emotional experiences. She might even forward the IFM to her soon-to-be jealous girlfriends.


Emosive’s development concept is based on the paradigm that for interaction software to be transparent, it should act as a single verb or state of the user interaction. emosive is therefore divided into “session” (handles the generation of an IFM) and “experience” (handles receiving and viewing an IFM). emosive software is designed as Flash Lite applications.


The emosive (formerly e:sense) project was developed by the design team of the “Designs Which Create Design” workshop, held at the University Institute of Architecture of Venice (IUAV) 2006. The workshop focused on design methodologies when designing dynamic media systems.

Think tank:

Alberto Valerio, Alessandro Formalio, Francesco Mondelli, Jelena Arsenic, Nunzia CoCo, Simone Ferraro


Phillip Tabor, Gillian Crampton Smith, Yaniv Steiner, Ofer Luft.


  1. Chris · March 19, 2006

    How come the interactive mode had to be removed? Did Sony kick off?

  2. Ofer · March 19, 2006

    Hi Chris.
    We removed the interactive mode due to copyright issues of digital media used in the generated IFMs. Since emosive is still under development, we didn’t want IFMs to start wandering around before digital media legal issues are resolved.

  3. Steiner · March 19, 2006

    Better Sony than Lou Reed 😉

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