Real Me

Individual Project   Dec 2015

Tags: Web Application, Physical Computing, Bio Sensing, Wearables

Toolkits: Cordova, Node.js,, P5.js, Arduino, Bluetooth LE, Bio Sensing


Nowadays people uses chatting apps with emojis to share feelings, but we gradually lost the attention to people's actual emotion reaction. When they send smile faces are they actually smiling? When they received "I love you" do their heart beats faster? With those questions, I developed this chatting app together with sensory devices to explore more about chatting.

Real Me is a chatting app with BLE connected muscle sensor, pulse sensor and vibration sensor. It tracks user's emotion while chatting and using system messages to tell the real emotion of the user. Sensor readings also draws out geometric motion graphics as the background of the chatting room. The heart rate is mapped to the color of the speech bubble, smile triggers the particles of the window and leg shaking triggers the shaking of speech bubbles.

P5.js Animation

Mouse press and release on the canvas to play. This is the animation when leg shaking is detected.


When I was chatting with friends with apps such as iMessage, I'm always wondering whether what they talked to me is their real thoughts, and  whether my words express my real emotions. Nowadays with emojis and text messages, people become able to hide their real emotions behind their computers and mobile phones. I wanted to find a way to get our real emotions expressed to others while communicating online. I researched on bio sensors and tested with muscle sensors, pulse sensors and accelerometers. I want to use them to reveal my realtime smile, heartbeat and leg shaking during chatting. 

System Diagram

The system contains mobile and web apps, together with sensors. Each user can pair their sensors with the app on their mobile phones to chat with text messages and sensor readings. Users without sensors can also chat without sensors through mobile app or web app. is used to connect each user to the server, no matter which platform the user is on. Users with sensors can connect sensors with mobile apps through Bluetooth LE. 

Leg Shaking Sensor

Accelerometer is used to track leg shaking. It's connected to mobile app wirelessly through Bluetooth LE (Adafruit Flora). Components are sew onto a piece of neoprene with conductive thread. A lipo battery is used for powering the microcontroller. The entire piece is wireless and tied onto leg with velcro.

Muscle Sensor and Pulse Sensor

Muscle sensor is used to track smile. Pulse sensor is used to track heart beat. They are both wirelessly connected to the mobile app through Bluetooth LE (Redbear Micro) and powered by a Lipo battery. Once paired, the mobile app is constantly communicating with the two microcontrollers.

More details and demo video coming soon.