A problem exists in computer-mediated communication (CMC). A distinct lack of presence and emotional nuance causes the quality of CMC to be shallower than face-to-face communication, causing misunderstandings and a lack of empathy. This MA thesis proposes a solution by widening the emotional bandwidth, with the help of augmenting the digital communication channel by utilizing new technologies and principles derived from scientific theory and practice in design.
The goal of this thesis is to draft a proposal for a new internet protocol: the Emotion Transfer Protocol. Several questions need to be answered: How can emotions be described in an accurate and meaningful way? How can emotions be measured, transmitted, and represented? This thesis approaches these questions from an inclusive point of view, by considering different and even op-posing answers, leaving space for future work to expand and reduce the scope of the protocol.
The protocol itself is divided into three components: input, transmission, and output. Each of the components is presented as a collection of approaches that are currently used in daily life, and in research to represent, map, and read emotions. An interesting finding that is present on all levels of emotion science and technology is a divide between unconscious and conscious representations, and this is also considered in the protocol by dividing it into an explicit and an implicit version
A novel idea of unlabeled emotions is presented, meaning emotional representations that are left to be interpreted by the receiver. Unlabeled emotions and emotion transmission are explored in three different practical art, design, and research projects.