The Unmask reads your facial expressions and unmasks your "emotion" hidden underneath. As for environmental and social reasons, masks are more and more common in many parts of our world. How would you read someone else's subtle facial reaction to your words? How would you have a conversation when you barely can see each other? How would the simple act of exchanging a smile happen between two people crossing paths?
Living in China, wearing a mask is a very common situation and is mostly related to air quality issues. You can see people wear it in the streets, in the metro and generally in every outdoor public place as soon as the indexes go over 100. Additionally in nearby Japan masks are very common, but for a variety of different reasons that go from the fear of passing flu to others and pure shyness of girls to hide the late day makeup.
In both scenarios, it's not too far off that wearing a mask could become a daily and normal thing, whether for an ecological or a social dystopian evolution and if you ever would wear one, you soon realize that wearing a mask changes the way you interact with people and the environment around us. So what if we had to wear a mask all time?
Unmask is a 'hack' or a prototype of a simple mask that can recognize multiple emotional states underneath the mask. UnMask traveled with me for a couple of months around China and Japan to create reactions in the streets and let people try it, creating pop-up discussions about their relationship with masks and the role of emotions of strangers in the streets.
Collaboration: Paul Adams
Built with custom circuits and a 'secret' emotional reading technology.