Day2: Tangible Notification Machine

Interesting Fact

1. Any kind of feeling can be memorized and been transferred into some sort of mental representations. Like colors can have different feelings, musics we listened can recall exact that kind of feeling during that period of time. Mum’s cookings smell can recall our childhood time.
2. Most of the time, we tend to extract physical world phenomenon/patterns/shape and put them into digital world to make digital world familiar(e.g. Skeuomorphism GUI). Although we are getting more&more into the virtual world, rarely do we reverse this process.


We live in an era where notifications are everywhere all the time. They are on phones, iPads, laptops even wearable devices on your body everyday like smart watches. They are on your lock screens, on your notification centers and even on your apps there are red dots to remind you.

However, because there are so many notifications each day for each of us, they gradually become something we just naturally ignore. The goal of doing this machine is to make notifications noticeable. Transferring virtual world notifications into the physical world in order to caught users attention and let them be able to feel and touch those ’information‘ and realize how much information they are dealing with in their everyday life.
Also, we tend to have different preference towards different apps. So sometimes it could be work, but some times it could be chatting with firends. Those all combines together to form our mental representaion of the apps.


The goal of this designed object is to let users feel more real/closer to their notifications with more physical world sensing including color and taste matching their apps feeling. So I came up with the idea of building a small machine with colorful/edible beans inside that can hide your phone screen inside and just let the colorful & edible beans(which is the physical world representation of notifications)drops out one by one, each represent one piece of notification. Color matching related to the icon & visual identity color can link your mental representations of apps with those edible beans.

Why edible beans?
Because food can interact with us in multiple ways therefore give us a rich experience.

User Guide

1.Put your phone inside the machine to get rid of the screen.
2.When notifications come, beans with related color will come out and stay at the bottom.
3.Eat it if you want to see the notifications.


Using some Skittles as my rough prototype to demonstrate this idea of inside of seeing notifications and vibration on screen, real edible sugar comes out as a tangible representation of information. And Skittles contain have color by itself to represent different apps.


Just as I’ve mentioned above. The same things can have very different mental representations for each individuals. So to make this project more artistic, maybe we can let people to choose exactly how they feel about each apps and match them with their desired tastes.