COVE – the interactive conversation environment

Everyone can remember one or two conversations in their life that for some reason felt special and stuck with you. These rare experiences often leave you with a feeling that could best be described as enlightenment. Dutch students from the TU Delft have developed an interactive environment that facilitates this type of experience. They have created COVE; the interactive conversation environment.
COVE was developed for the context of a dynamic environment, like an airport or a hospital.

The environment consists of three enclosing walls, each containing a table and two chairs. Each wall has a slight inclination and encloses the users, providing them with shelter for their conversation. The magic of COVE lies in the manipulation of theatmosphere. The lighting is provided through strips in the wall, and a lantern in the table. Whenever the users pull up the lantern, the light from the strips is sucked into the lantern, creating a more candlelight-like atmosphere. Furthermore, COVE is able to register the users’ body language. Whenever users bend forward and come closer to each other, the color of the lighting becomes warmer, making the atmosphere more cozy, personal and even intimate.

Text: Vladimir Hazeleger.