Skip to main content

Object Mediated Interaction

Aliki Siganou

Solutions-driven designer, based in London. My background as a dancer led me to explore the human connection in my design practice and join the Object-Mediated Interactions platform. I shifted my project’s focus during the pandemic and adapted it with enthusiasm. 

I studied at Brunel University and have worked in Hong Kong, Birmingham and London.  I designed products for various industries including medical, mechanical, kitchenware and toys. I am an excellent communicator, curious, adaptable and resourceful; I take challenges as opportunities and achieve positive results. I exhibited at the ‘Fresh Perspectives’ exhibition in OXO Tower Wharf, Southbank. I also took part in the ‘Design for Health’ exhibition at St Thomas Hospital in Westminster.




Degree Details

School of Design

Object Mediated Interaction

I desinged a playful set that takes a critical look at how we cope when being isolated from our loved ones and have lost the ability to physically interact with them.

In the next few months I hope to help the world adapt to the new normal and find solutions in the communication and healthcare sectors.

Hug Gesture — Gloves that respond to your gestures and translate them to a hug, or a handshake at any distance. This is an example gesture one would use to mimic the 'Underarm' type of hug; see the types of hugs on the GIFs below.

ISOtouch — The vest and gloves allow the user to sense feel different types of hugs and handshakes.

Open vest with electronics — The vest allows people who wear it to feel the warmth and physical sensation of a hug through a suit of embedded vibrators and heating pads.

ISOtouch: closeness at a distance
ISOtouch: instructional video

Gestures — The glove sends the signals and controls their intensity, which is relevant to the force with which the fingers are pressed.

'Overarm'-type Hug

'Overarm'-type Hug — The vibrating motors are specifically positioned to produce the same effect on the body as a real hug.

'Underarm'-type Hug

'Underarm'-type Hug — Hugs have a way of making us feel warm and fuzzy inside. The health benefits of the hugs are endless.

Electronics — ISOtouch has integrated electronics which have been prototyped and tested using Arduino software and hardware.

ISOtouch is a set of three wearable devices, which, when paired with another set, allow people to experience physical touch at a distance, using a range of gestures as controls.

ISOtouch comes from the greek word ίσος, which means equal.

It provides people with an innovative way to connect with one another, even when apart; a way that spikes the same hormones in the brain as real touch. It recreates the warm feeling of a hug and other hand-to-hand interactions

I deconstructed the hug, I talked to experts in the fields of psychology, soft robotics and textiles and designed a set of gestures that would recreate the hug and other hand-to-hand interactions. The pandemic situation was an opportunity to tackle the problem of social isolation and provide a feasible response through ISOtouch.

Extended isolation can have extreme and even irreparable effects on the mind. Whether one is missing someone special or isolated for other reasons, this product is inclusive of all people who value their well-being.

As a dance instructor, I was originally inspired by the organic interactions I observed in dance partners and how good dance made them feel. I wanted to show the rest of the world how to have a physical connection with someone, without being constrained by mental and sociological barriers.

During the pandemic, I realised how much more potential my original idea had, so I decided to shift its focus and mimic touch with wearable technology, to allow people to feel physically close to one another, while in isolation.

From my research it is clear that the project’s potential benefits and applications within society are vast. It is designed to reinforce the interactions of those who are misfortunate enough to find themselves unable to connect physically. Whether it will be used in the context of families separated overseas, elderly shielders in care-homes, segregated military personnel, prisoners serving a sentence or even astronauts in space, ISOtouch will allow them to keep in touch with their loved ones. Given the rapid evolution in wearable technology and digital communication, the possibilities are endless.


A set of wearable tech gloves and vest made of fabric with integrated electronic components


4-month project
CommunicationFuture of HealthcareHapticsHealthcareInteraction Designinternet of thingsSocial DistanceTactile DeviceVirtual HugVirtual TouchWearable DeviceWearable Technology
17 July 2020
13:00 (GMT + 0)

When The Place Shuts Down: Nick Gant

Students and Leading Practitioners in Conversation with Nick Gant.
Read More

Previous Student

Next Student

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
Royal College of Art
Registered Office: Royal College of Art,
Kensington Gore, South Kensington,
London SW7 2EU
RCA™ Royal College of Art™ are trademarks
of the Royal College of Art