Speculative design is used as a way to explore questions of consent, privacy, intimacy, and the perception of shared realities. Touch is a deeply instinctive and emotive way to interact with another person and NeoTouch focuses on meaningful tactile sensations and haptic impulses to create human-to-human connections. Rooted in speculative explorations, the project interrogates ethical and social aspects of digital communication. Although portraying a future device, NeoTouch is a reflective commentary on effects of digital technologies on our perception of self, identity, and interpersonal interactions. These issues are amplified to a point of concern when imagining a technology that maps digital interactions onto and into the physical body.
Alongside a series of exploratory experiments, film is used as a primary medium to explore social and ethical implications. The short film NeoTouch culminates in is set in a future where the device (also known as NeoTouch) has been accepted widely in society and digital touch has become a normality, integrated into everyday life. As a platform for debate around social and ethical issues and the influence of technology on human interactions, the film portrays what can go wrong when technology and our use of it affects experiences of intimacy and interpersonal boundaries. We need to ask ourselves, what are the social and ethical implications of the future of communication technology?