Pebble aims to facilitate the regeneration of social and cultural fabrics through spontaneous interactions with the communities and spaces that physically surround us. It aims to help reshape the way we perceive the future of socialisation and find a balance between technology and personal relationships, based on a more instinctive, emotional and uncontrolled approach to social life. More specfically, pebble is targeting towards the support of the mental, social, and sexual health of our communities.
During the past decade, our practices of social interaction have drastically evolved, a process that has been highlighted and accelerated by the last two years under a global pandemic, as we now find ourselves presented with deeply transformed social habits and a stronger awareness of their consequent impact on individual and collective health.
The increase of virtual social experiences over physical ones, have started to shape a different, less meaningful relationship to our physical environments. As we start to favour social tools that offer more control over our social lives and more options to filter our level of engagement in social activities, we are losing sight of those who physically populate the spaces around us and, in doing so, we are losing the ability to spontaneously interact socially within these environments.
The increased awareness surrounding mental health topics that has emerged as an outcome of the global pandemic, gave us a prognostic view of a future in which the rate of development of virtual interactions highly surpasses that of physical ones. The relationship between physical social interactions and mental health has never been so obvious.
Problems of identity, confidence, marginalisation, are inevitably intertwined with our social environments, being virtual or physical, and it is with the intention of balancing these spaces with our personal and collective nature that pebble was developed.
As the efficiency of affordable and instantaneous online communication has become instrumental in shaping the current age of global socialisation, we have seen other social practices and forms of communication lose priority. Whilst immensly beneficial to many aspects of contemporary society, it is undeniable how these new methods of connectivity and communication have had an impact on the expectations and pressures surrounding social life.
More indirect and filtered forms of interactions are now preferred, and we have learnt to disconnect from those physically surrounding us, having now more efficient and controlled means of social interactions beyond them. In doing do, we lose the value of meaningful spontaneous experiences, experiences that pebble aims to help encourage back into daily life.
In a moment in time where people prefer sending a message over calling, ordering something online as opposed to buying it in person, and using an app to find a partner insteaed of doing so through the initiation of face to face conversations, it is important to talk about sexual health in connection to our methods of social interactions.
Social media are creating norms and standards not only surrounding beauty, but also in relation to sexual needs and preferences, forming expectations and practices that are opposed to what we would instinctively and experientially develop in a more spontaneous and uncontrolled system for socialisation.
pebble aims to highlight sex as a natural part of social life, with one of the possible functions for it being a massager or vibrator. By intertwining platonic and intimate intention, a freer and less systematised approach to sex is encouraged.
pebble is a pocket-sized personal device that is intended to stimulate spontaneous social interactions in everday life. Pebble's shape is inspired by natural irregular but fluid forms and presents a light concavity on one of its sides.
Designed to offer a stress relieving tactile experience through its form and smooth silicone body, pebble uses vibrations and a light to alert its owner when another pebble owner with matching interests is in close proximity, the search for each other is then a sensorial experience, based on human's ability to communicate through body language, and based on the reciprocal interest of the users to find each other, guided by the changing intensity of pebble's vibrations.
The type of social activities that pebble helps establish can be varied, anything from a conversation on public transport to a sexual encounter, but always with the idea of detaching itself from conventional social platforms and offering an experience which is more natural, less filtered and more unexpected. The lack of planning and the surprising nature of suddenly being physically close to someone that you share an interest with, recreates that exciting experience of bumping spontaneously into someone new, a new friend, a new colleague or maybe a new partner.
The personal settings and preferences of pebble are controlled through the pebble app. Here the users can add or remove social activities they are interested in, as well as specify some basic settings and a colour for each activity.
Differently to other socialisation apps, here the experience is based on very broad and generic data, which aims at creating loose links between users, and therefore leaves a lot up to the spontaneous nature of the physical interaction and encounter.
The app allows the users to switch easily each activity on or off, and also controls different alert options for each activity, so that the user when feeling the vibration is then able to to understand which activity it refers to through the colour of the light displayed on the pebble itself.
The users can also decide to make pebble continously vibrate either by itself of when in very close proximity to other authorised ones, and thefore be used as a vibrator or massager.