Project team: Marco Righetto

Role:Designer, responsable from research to end result

Schedule:26 weeks | 2011

Client / iniciative:Iuav - MA Thesis project (individial)


Aura is a set of wearable devices for expecting parents: a dress and a bracelet. It allows them to explore privacy, communication and intimacy in a tangible way.


Aura focuses on users’ needs and desires, leaving room for imagination. The evoked relationships are participatory: the actions of both partners shape the ‘conversation’.

Aura is a set of wearable devices that enables non-verbal communication between expecting parents. The project aims to explore alternative ways of communicating beyond what current screen-based services offer: in particular, to extend current applications of biometric monitoring beyond the fields where it is currently most used - medicine and sports. The project is inspired by the ‘critical design’ approach, but does not occupy its most provocative side. The design process started with interviews and cultural probes from potential users and medical staff. It was then decided to design a service embodied in two physical objects: a garment for the expectant mother and a bracelet for her partner. Foetal movement is translated into a light message for the mother-to-be and a haptic one for her partner. The simultaneous connection of the two people enhances the emotional ‘messages’ transmitted by the devices.

Detailed information

For in depth information regarding users and stakeholders, motivations, design, interactions, prototypes, users’ feedback, code, downloads and media coverage of the project please have a look to the Aura dedicated site.