Digital Me: Personalisation as immersion into the self

Sandra Gaudenzi

Digital Me: Personalisation as immersion into the self

Imagine if your digital persona wanted to meet you. Digital Me is an interactive experience where your social media personas are visualized as independent entities willing to establish a closer relationship with you. They are happy to disclose details about themselves because they want to know more about you, their physical counterpart.

Can personalization propose an alternative model of immersion to VR where users immerse themselves into their internal worlds rather than into unknown external realities?

As a project, Digital Me uses digital interfaces to visualize the immateriality of data, something that can only be done through digital media. It asks us to reflect on our digital/physical personality alignment. Are we fundamentally different in our digital and physical lives? To which extend is our Facebook self different from our Twitter one? And ultimately, should we start to embrace the digital/physical hybrids that we have become?

Using data mining and face recognition, Digital Me pushes the idea of personalization to a new level, bringing personal data within the narrative itself. It also shows us the importance to make useful use of our own data, since it belongs to us, rather then leaving corporations to compute it for their own needs and purposes. ‘Digital Me’ wants to be a project about self-growth and digital empowerment.

Digital Me’s prototype was commissioned in 2015 by Chris Sizemore (BBC) and produced by Helios Design Labs and Sandra Gaudenzi. As a prototype, it has been running for three months on BBC Taster’s website, during which very interesting user feedback was generated. In this presentation Sandra Gaudenzi, Mike Robbins and Chris Sizemore will uncover their individual learnings from project ideation, technical and design prototyping to online testing.