Understanding heart rate sharing: towards unpacking physiosocial space
Advances in biosensing make it possible to include heart rate monitoring in applications and several studies have suggested that heart rate communication has potential for improving social connectedness. However, it is not known how people understand heart rate feedback, or what issues need to be taken into account when designing technologies including heart rate feedback. To explore this, we created a heart rate communication probe that was used in two qualitative in-lab studies and a two-week field trial in participants' homes. Results show that heart rate feedback is a strong connectedness cue that affects the interaction in various ways, depending on a number of interrelated factors. In particular, we found two distinct categories of effects: heart rate as information and heart rate as connection. We propose two mechanisms that could explain these observations and draw out the implications they have for future use of heartbeat communication to support social connectedness or other aspects of social interaction.