Behind the Scenes of Rita

 Affective State  + Rita


The RITA projects have been created to look at how we can provide care and support independent living through the interaction with a real time, digital avatar. A humanised avatar provides a friendly interface between the individual, family, friends, professions and services and is based on the understanding of the individual’s personal, social, emotional and intellectual needs.

Affective State is a research and development company that seek to develop and programme new technologies inspired by the latest research in human science. As part of the RITA project Affective state developed and designed the inner workings to the avatar system allowing it to react in real time to the users elements such as the users facial expressions and the choice of words used in response to the avatar.

In order to explain the complexity of the programming behind RITA and make this more accessible to wider audiences, Affective state asked us to create an illustrated guide that he could be given out at conferences and to be included in funding applications.

The illustration runs in a continuous loop across a concertina printed booklet, reflecting how the programme itself works via a feedback-loop system. A colour gradient throughout the illustration added to the sense of flow and changing emotional states of the user as it interacts with the avatar. To make the visual link between programming and facial expression, we also developed a pattern for the front cover that used common programming characters to create facial expressions.