To help create productive and engaging brainstorming sessions, Smart Interaction Lab of Smart Design designed TOTEM, a set of three unique objects that are meant to inspire people and get them to participate in creative discussions to come up with solutions and new ideas.
TOTEM consists of three objects called Batón, Echo and Alterego.
Batón is a ‘talking stick’ that gives whoever holds it the opportunity to speak and share ideas. After a certain amount of time passes, the Batón vibrates to let the holder know that he or she must pass it on to the next speaker. Batón allows each person in the group a chance to speak up. It also helps manage dominant personalities in the group and encourage the shy ones to participate in the discussion.
Echo is a bell-like device that records background noise from wherever it is. When a user picks it up and holds it against his or her ear, it will play back the sounds it recorded. When shaken, the device will play back random sounds from other times of the day. The idea is for people to gain inspiration from keywords, random conversations or odd sounds that they would otherwise fail to notice.
Alterego is based on the Six Thinking Hats mind tool by Edward de Bono. It is a bracelet-like device made up of three components identified by three different colors: red, green and blue. When a person picks up the device, it will light up with a particular color. Each color holds a purpose in the discussion. Red stands for pessimism, meaning the person holding it will focus on finding weakness and counter arguments. Green stands for optimism, meaning the person holding it will focus on the positive aspects of the idea. Blue is for the moderator of the discussion. Alterego allows members of the group to be look at ideas from different perspectives.
TOTEM was presented at the Barcelona Mini Maker Faire.
The videos below show the Baton, Echo and Alterego work.