Can your pet rabbit read your email? A critical analysis of the Nabaztag rabbit

Chung Ching Huang, Jeffrey Bardzell, Jennifer Terrell

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    3 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    The Nabaztag rabbit is an ambient digital device with customized functions. It was advertised as an ambient display, using strong product images suggesting that it is a pet alternative. However, after early interest, the popularity of this product did not last long. In this paper, we demonstrate interaction criticism as an approach to design research, exploring and proposing reasons for the product's decline. Specifically, we argue that the rabbit is difficult to connect with emotionally and explore several reasons this might be true. Our approach is phenomenological and hermeneutic in nature: we engaged in product usage for over twelve months, and practice a theoretically informed interpretive analysis. Using a combination of critical theories and affect research from robotics, we argue the Nabaztag product identity is confusing, which might be related to the manufactures' multiple intentions, and the gap between ideal and real users. We continue with an account of two genres of functions in the Nabaztag, revealing how they polarize of interpretation; moments when Nabaztag acted in unexpected ways; and the increased, rather than decreased, difficulty in interpreting Nabaztag the longer we used it. Interpretively understanding Nabaztag's experiential failures helps cultivate relevant design sensitivities and even implications for future designs.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationDPPI'11 - Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces, Proceedings
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2011
    Event2011 Conference on Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces, DPPI 2011 - Milano, Italy
    Duration: Jun 22 2011Jun 25 2011

    Publication series

    NameDPPI'11 - Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces, Proceedings

    Conference

    Conference2011 Conference on Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces, DPPI 2011
    CountryItaly
    CityMilano
    Period6/22/116/25/11

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Human-Computer Interaction
    • Software

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