Mirror, Mirror: Using technology to break down the walls between us

We say it all the time: “I know how you feel.” But we don’t mean this literally. We can only try to describe or imagine how someone else feels. Someday, however, technology may help us understand how others feel in a truly embodied sense, which in turn may help us communicate in deeper, more emotionally intelligent ways. This is the goal of a project involving the creation of an empathy mirror, a device that would “immerse a participant in the mind and body of another individual — using a combination of touch, smell, sight and sound.”

In today’s society, you can see a polarization of views, but people are not having discussions about their beliefs. We want to use technology interfaces to enable an observer to literally feel what it feels like to be in someone else’s shoes,” Korgel said. “So we came up with an idea to use state-of-the-art technologies, sensors and screens to create what we are calling an empathy mirror.”

The goal of the interdisciplinary project is to use technology to bring people together for an entertaining and educational experience that can lead to positive, productive discussions and debates.

‘Empathy Mirror’ to Foster Understanding Among People with Different Perspectives | The University of Texas at Austin