The idea with this final concept, was to explore empathy in the face-to-face interaction with a pregnant women. As in the section 2.2, I questioned if skin-to-skin contact can lead to a stronger bond between the child and the parent, could it also be a way to get the parents to come closer together? I know that with the time frame in this thesis, I will not be able to answer that question, but I wanted to explore what touch could do in a face-to-face interaction, in the relation to pregnant couples. Can touch in a face-to-face interaction between two people create empathy?
The final prototype, Empathy Touch, consisted of two belts. One for the pregnant woman and the other for the partner. The belt for the partner is built on the same concept as the initial prototype. The belt consists of a lot of pocket around the belt to contain the soft robotics parts, the arduino and valves for inflation and deflation. I chose to use two different fabrics for the belt, so I could see which side should be facing towards the body and which should be out. The belt for the pregnant woman consists of a touch sensor, made from conductive fabric that is run by an arduino. When touch is detected the bluetooth that is connect to the arduinos, sends a number to the other belt telling it which valves to open and close.