Patch a system and mode of exploration that provides a tool for travelers that compiles individual experiences into a collaborative narrative.
Thesis pdf (61.2mb)
As they pass through places that are unique and meaningful, travelers leave tags. When placed, these passive RFID labels become loaded with the co-ordinates of any previous tags placed before it. Cheap, disposable and biodegradable, they remain adhered for 6 – 24 months.
The Patch Compass builds up a database of all the tags it comes across, and the co-ordinates they disclose. Using GPS, the compass directs travelers to places that have been tagged, updating a fresh list of co-ordinates to any tag it comes within a few meters of.
If it detects a tag it wasn’t expecting, it alerts the traveler that they have stumbled upon somebody else’s trail.
Travelers upload their discoveries to a global database where they share them with the world if they choose to. Here tags form clouds of location based comments and records of journeys. Online, the user participates in a synchronous collaborative environment, where communities share their experiences in real time.
What this product and system would hope to achieve is to give travelers greater access to “word of mouth” knowledge of a city and the intimate and serendipitous experiences this creates.
Where there is some common interest that leads travelers to cross paths, Patch provides a platform for sharing experiences and building communities of explorers.
The Patch compass does not substitute for map, but is instead an additional tool that enables new modes of exploration. Rather than giving the user directions, tags are represented on the compass as clouds, indicating direction and distance from the user.
If there is a cluster of tags some distance away these will appear as a single cloud, whilst if there are tags within a short distance of the user they will display as individual bubbles, their size indicating proximity..
Text input interface.