MPathy reduces misunderstandings and promotes interpersonal understanding in digital communication by processing AI-interpreted sensor data into emotion visualisations and sending these – linked to the text messages – to the chat partners.

Oct 21 – Dec 21
Invention Design, Hochschule für Gestaltung
Dominik Herrmann, Niklas Terodde & me
Figma, Blender & Premiere Pro
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Of course there are misunderstandings. The entire sentence melody, facial expressions and gestures are missing in messages.

Digital communication is part of our everyday lives. It has fundamentally changed the way we interact and work. This mode of communication makes it possible to overcome geographical barriers and allow people to communicate with each other in real time, regardless of whether they are in different cities, countries or continents. However, this digital communication also has its disadvantages. It is very impersonal and the quality of interpersonal relationships can suffer as a result.

#01 Research

Problems of digital communication

Digital communication is mainly text-based. This leads to a reduced ability to express oneself, but above all to a wide range of interpretation. This often leads to misunderstandings. By combining the emotion with the message, these misunderstandings should be avoided and the faking of false emotions prevented.

Emotions are in the subconscious, are felt in very different ways and are therefore difficult to categorise. In addition, there is rarely a single emotion, but usually a combination of several emotions.

#02 Ideate

Challenges of visualising emotions

For the visualisation of the emotions, it was important not to assign them to an ambiguous definition of emotion. The aim was therefore to create more clarity and unambiguity through the emotion visualisation in combination with the written text than the text alone could.

In order to visualise the emotions, the question was therefore whether people would depict emotions differently. To find this out, certain emotions were drawn by several test persons. During the analysis, it became clear that the sketches had similarities as well as commonalities. These were picked up on in the implementation of the emotion visualisation.

#03 Technical function

What happens in the background

To plan the technical implementation, an EVA board was created. The measured values are fed into an algorithm that recognises the correlations between different values in several steps, links them with visual parameters and generates an animated graphic from them.


Main features of MPathy

Recognise, send and receive emotions

Instead of emojis, which can be freely selected and often do not reflect the current emotion, emotions are read and displayed in a preview. Received emotions are briefly displayed in a large format and can be viewed again afterwards

Adjust which emotions are sent along

It is possible to set which emotions are sent and with what intensity.

Categorise contacts according your own trust level

Not all emotions should be shown to all chat partners, which is why they can be divided into different categories, such as “work”, “family” and “friends”.

Pause the sending of emotions

Sometimes you would rather not share your emotions. In this case, they can be removed for a message or paused for a certain period of time.