Affiliations: Philips Research, High Tech Campus 34, 5656 AE, Eindhoven, The Netherlands | Department of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, Den Dolech 2, Eindhoven, 5600 MB, The Netherlands
Abstract: This research motivates and evaluates the notion of similarity awareness as a means to enhance connectedness between remote family members. Similarity awareness refers to notifying connected individuals when they are engaged in similar activities. This idea is illustrated with the design and evaluation of MatchMaker an application targeting the needs of young adults who have recently left home and their parents, the so called ‘empty nesters’. The potential affective benefits of similarity awareness are evaluated in a laboratory experiment involving 23 pairs of a parent and a child, showing strong indications that similarity awareness can enhance social connectedness. A proof of concept of MatchMaker was implemented where it is shown that combined audio and video scene analysis can identify reliably six activities typical for domestic life.