Get in touch

Doctor Madeline Balaam

Interaction Design for healthcare, education and wellbeing

Subtle Stone

Emotion is a really important and influential aspect of a learning experience. But, sometimes it's difficult for teachers to know how the students in their classroom are feeling. The Subtle Stone was designed to bridge this emotional communication gap that exists between student, teacher and researcher in the classroom.

It is a handheld, tangible orb, which displays seven different colours. The colour displayed by the Subtle Stone is changed with a squeeze. The Subtle Stone uses colour to allow students in the classroom to develop their own secret emotion language by linking each colour with an emotional term - this feature provides a crucial level of privacy. To communicate with the teacher (or researcher) the student simply squeezes their Subtle Stone until it displays the colour that represents the emotion that the student wants to communicate. We don't expect teachers to remember all of the students' secret emotion languages and developed a portable interface that helps the teacher decode a students' emotional communication while they're teaching.