PROJECT NAME

Omotenashi Mask

Inspired by Japan’s current emphasis on encouraging its citizens to become conversant in English by the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Omotenashi Mask proposes an alternative vision of communication across language barriers.

Rather than aiming for perfect communication between two languages, these prototypes capture and translate the more complex and subtle non-verbal cues that are expressed in face-to-face communication.

Using readily available technological interventions such as accent transfer and facial reenactment, the project stages a conversation between a Japanese taxi driver and a foreign tourist. In the conversation, various algorithms are employed to mediate the communication between the two, expanding our imagination of what communication could mean in an extreme, yet familiar future.

As a communications technology, it can be installed in controlled environments such as taxi, store counters and border control.