A Research Project on Hybrid Experiences

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MurMur Moderators

This is what we have been working on for a while now:


MurMur is an interactive furniture and toy for office environments. MurMurs take form of fantastical creatures that you can sit on and play with. They make sounds and interact with each other facilitating social activities in a meeting room.

Our first prototype is an IKEA hack (items used include ALSEDA chair and HAMPEN carpet), inside of which you can find a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino accompanying a battery and a speaker. The project was recently showcased at Maker Faire Rome.

See more at:


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48 hour Bebbu-experiment (SCORE game jam)

Bebbu was made on a game jam October, 2012 organized by a local gaming club SCORE at Tampere, Finland. He was ideated, designed, programmed and sewn in less than 48 hours.

Description of the prototype:
Bebbu is a hybrid toy, a smartphone slip-in plushie targeted to adults. He is a middle-aged plushie-monster that is bolding from more than one place. He would like to be a super-hero, but his life is so miserable, that the only place he can be happy, is when he is asleep. Player helps him stay happy with happy thoughts while he dreams. He features a naked butt that is covered with his super-hero-cape. When held on one hand, the user touches Bebbus butt.

Game design: Kati Alha
Toy design: Annakaisa Kultima
Graphic design: Ilkka Tauriainen
Programming: Juhani Hujala

The process (from the perspective of Annakaisa Kultima):


Very short period of ideating: I had been thinking to utilize jamming to Hybridex topics, so I pitched physical/digital concept with this character.

I went back home to get some supplies and my sewing machine.

I started with first prototype of the Hybbi slip-in doll.

22:30 We added “a butt-feature” to the character. It was first only a joke, but then very shortly decided to actually include it to the physical design.


I brought more supplies and some inspirational stuff from the work (book of toys and similar product; Happy Happitat).


During the night, I put together the toy: it was ready somewhere around 4am or later. I tidied the workstation & went back to home to sleep.

Came back to help with presentation (only 30 minutes time).

Kati improvised one last piece of the description while presenting: “Bebbu is bolding from not only one place”. It made sense.

The experience was fun, we learned a lot and it was also a good start for the experiments in this project.

Some lessons learned + notes:

  • We started with loose “Hybbi” fiction, but ended up with a character, that might be just a relative of Hybbi and changed his name to Bebbu.
  • Original Hybbi character was too “simple” to provide more tactile experiences with fur and all other surfaces.
  • Original Hybbi had too short hands for more fun character
  • Original Hybbi was too tamed/childish for adult audience
  • The game program ended up much more simple than original design was about.
  • The graphic designer did not work too iteratively and we had a too little time to sync the styles of physical and digital realms; the art ended up being slightly different than what I expected.
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Bebbu and iPhone.

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Inserting the iPhone.

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The bold butt of Bebbu – behind the cape.

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The gameplay of Bebbu: push good thoughts into the brain, push bad thoughts outward. If too many bad thoughts gets into the head of Bebbu, he wakes up and screams.

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First moments with my Makie doll, Anna Marie

Summer 2012 I ordered my very first Makie doll from MakieLabs.

MakieLabs is a toy and games company developing “future-smashing toy: customisable, 3D-printed, locally made, and game-enabled”, unique ball-jointed dolls. MakieLabs is based in London.

I ordered my Anna Marie from the first alpha-batch. This is the first physical doll that I have bought on my adult age. The closest experience to Makies has been my history as an active The Sims player in the beginning of 2000. I can see some similarities in the fascination of this hobby over the digital/virtual craft.

Anna Marie is “born digital”. This means that you create an avatar, give her name and personality and then you can, if you wish, order her as 3D-printed fully functional doll.

Interestingly, there is something a bit scary in physical dolls. The first two nights I made sure that Anna Marie was in a comfortable position so that she would not get too mad at me, if at some point the scenario of Chucky would come to life. I know, it is a bit funny. But that happened. I guess there is something engaging in the process of creating something unique and then bringing her into life.

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Anna Marie came in a sleek tube. I liked this style!

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The first thing I saw was her pink hair. Pretty!

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Was not too happy with the first self-made clothing, but it was fun! On the background, you can also see her in her digital life.

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Work in progress. This sweater was not the best summer garment though…

Annakaisa Kultima, Researcher and Project Manager of Hybridex.