Publication: The Design and Evaluation of an Ambient Biofeedback System

People use non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions, body language and tonal variations in speech, to help communicate emotion; however, these cues are not always available in interactive computer environments. For example, in computer-mediated communication, these cues don't exist, and in interactive art, it is difficult to convey and represent emotion. Without being able to effectively communicate emotion, we can have difficulty relating to other people, and can lack self-regulation of our own emotional states. In this thesis, we propose to use abstract visual representations of emotion when regular emotion cues either don't exist or are not appropriate to the medium. Through pilot testing and two user studies, we create abstract visual representations of emotional state and show that the visualizations are naturally interpretable and suitable for at-a-glance understanding. Finally, to demonstrate their utility, we incorporate the visual representations of emotion into a biofeedback task using ambient displays. We show that participants are able to use the visualizations to self-regulate their physiological arousal.


Brett Taylor
University of Saskatchewan


Taylor, B.A. 2012. The Design and Evaluation of an Ambient Biofeedback System. M.Sc. Thesis, University of Saskatchewan.


@mastersthesis {
author= {Brett Taylor},
title= {The Design and Evaluation of an Ambient Biofeedback System},
year= {2012},
school= {University of Saskatchewan}