Introduction: "no Empty Chair" Telepresence Idea

About: I like inventing things and solving problems. My available tools skills and materials frustrate me constantly. Writing instructables is a way for me, to stop ideas from turning in my head, to close the case on…

In crisis humans stand together and help each other. This time, we are called to stay away from friends and family to protect each other. Nothing can replace being physikally together. What we can do is mittigate the damage done by the distance. Video calls are one way we try to do that. They help us stay connected, when we can not meet in person, but they are exhausting and constraining. We feel obligated to concentrate on the person on the screen and their presence doesn't reach into the room. The opposite is true when we are with someone we are comfortable with. We can let our attention wander, not having to be on alert, and we can enjoy the presence of the other. Putting a phone on or laptop on the table takes space and exposes the electronic item to the risk of water damage from splashed drinks. It creates a perspective that is very low, narrow and close. Perfect to feel obligated to concentrate fully on the person on the other side of the sceen. Actually, we would like the person on the screen to sit on a chair at the table, physikally present. With this, we don't reach our goal, but we come a little closer. The chair extends the phone and lends the person on the screen it's physikal presence. Like a throne adds to the presence of a king, even when the king is not there. The person on the screen is not put in an isolated position, but like the people that are actually in the room "sits on a chair."


- a little less, than 1m of yarn

- 1 chair (that will not be permanently altered)

- 1 fabric shopping bag, that fitts snuggly over the chair

- 1 cell phone (that also will not be alltered)

- 1 nedle (as a sewing tool)

- something to to mark on the shopping bag, for example masking tape

Step 1: Gather Supplies

Step 2: Mark the Points, Where You Well Sew on the Yarn

Lay out the shopping bag flat, one face up on a surface and lay the cell phone on it horizontally, near the bottom

of the shopping bag.

Mark 6 points aroung the edges. 2 below the phone, 2 left and right next to it and 2 over it.
Doing this leave a little less, than 1cm of space around the pone and make sure the camera

of the phone is not on a line crossing two of the marked spots. Later, we will connect the points

with yarn and we don't want the yarn to cover the camera.

Step 3: Sew on the Yarn

Start from the inside of the shopping bag, so that the end of the yarn will not be visible.

sewing is a little like making knots through a fabric. push the needle through one of the marked spots

closest to the bottom of the shopping bag, that later will be up, when we pull it over the chair.

Pull enough yarn through and allow for a rest to stay inside the bag. Push the needle a small distance

from where it cam out back through the fabric towards the inside and again back to the outside.

Make sure you only sew on one side of the bag and don't sew the tow sides together and be carefull

not to tangle the yarn around the handles of the bag. Loop over the little stretch of yarn, that is already sewn onto the outisde of the bag and go back indside and outside the bag. This way, you make a kont through the

fabrik, that will hold the yarn in place. Pull it tight. By now the yarn securly connected to the fabric.

Step 4: Connecting the Dots

From the first marker point draw the yarn over to the side, so that it will later lay across the edge of

the cell phone. Make sure the shoppig bag is straighened out and sew the yarn to the next marked point.

Be carefull, that the yarn doesn't pull the marked points together, but also doesn't lay slack.
Secure the new point in the same knot through fabrik way, described earlier.

Sew on the yarn onto the remaining points in the same way, always crossing the distance between the marked

points on the outside of the shopping bag. If you have used a dark bag and light yarn, it should look a little like

constelation. When you have reached the upper point on the opposite side from where you started, connect it with the marked point below it, scipping the one on the side.

The yarn on the outside of the bag should now look a little like a four, and form six loops.

Step 5: Setup for Telepresence

pull the shopping back over the back of the chair, so that the yarn you sewed on faces towards the front of the chair.

Hook the phone into the yarn loops, so that they cross over three of the edges, the loop that goes down vertically goes over the phone. Make sure the camera is not covered, and the upper loop loop directly conected to it is behind the phone.

Carfully move the chair holding a hand out to catch the phone if it falls. When you are satisfied, that the phone is

secured on the chair, setup your video converence and connect to your loved ones collegues and friends.

Thanks for reading and stay save


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