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The workshop
The social controller
with Chia-Ying Lee, at Interaction Design Institute Ivrea
the concept

The social controller is a tool for the rich and the luxurious. It’s the scepter of power that decides who will be let through and who will be denied access.

Our concept revolves around the duality of granting vs. denying access. We wanted to create a device that on one hand, mirrors the user’s ability to grant or deny the privilege of being contacted, and on the other hand, acts as a reinforcer of the user’s preferences.

The social controller is a phone that safeguards its owner’s privacy. With a shake of a hand, the user can move an unwanted phone call into the voicemail. Also, he can compile a list of allowed contacts that can call him at all times.

In the phone interface, we allowed small details that would support the eccentric behaviors of rich people within their social circle. The social controller allows you to rate your contacts, and then broadcast this information to other contacts. This way, social relations can be strengthen or destroyed. Social controller users can also broadcast their “status“ as a way to show off about their new achievements.

the allowed list
adding a contact

The workshop

The social controller was developed during a workshop run by Interaction Design Institute Ivrea and TCL & Alcatel Mobile Phones. It explored user needs of high-end or luxury mobile phones. The aim was to design interaction concepts and prototypes for top-of-the-line mobile phones.

Find more information about the project in the booklet above.