FOLD ( is a public authoring and publishing platform that offers new tools for modular, multimedia storytelling. FOLD helps writers weave multimedia content around a text backbone to provide a unique reading experience that does not distract from the core story. 

With Kevin Hu, Joe Goldbeck, and Ethan Zuckerman

"Make the Breast Pump Not Suck" Hackathon


On Sept 20-21, 2014, 150 parents, engineers, designers and healthcare givers gathered at the MIT Media Lab for the "Make the Breast Pump Not Suck" Hackathon.

With Tal Achituv, Catherine D'Ignazio, Taylor Levy, Alexandra Metral, Dave Raymond, and Che-Wei Wang

Midwife's Ultrasound

Ultrasound, a common imaging modality used for maternal care in the developed world, is a safe, effective, and non-invasive means of identifying pregnancy complications that contribute to maternal mortality. However, the high cost of ultrasound devices and the scarcity of ultrasound training are two major barriers to adoption in resource-constrained environments.

From 2010 - 2012 I worked on a project to build a portable, low-cost ultrasound system for midwives and mothers in low-resource regions. My role in this group was leading design research and fieldwork in Uganda and Kenya, interface design, grant writing, data analysis, and project management. Our system, composed of off-the-shelf hardware and a custom user interface, included an integrated help and tutorial system to help midwives in remote areas answer diagnostic questions when a radiologist may not be reachable.

With Beth Kolko, Dr. Robert Nathan, Dr. Ginger Ruddy, Ruth Anderson, Waylon Brunette, Wayne Gerard, Pratik Prasad, and Matthew Hicks

Sensory Fiction

Sensory fiction is about new ways of experiencing and creating stories. Traditionally, fiction creates and induces emotions and empathy through words and images.  By using a combination of networked sensors and actuators, the Sensory Fiction author is provided with new means of conveying plot, mood, and emotion while still allowing space for the reader’s imagination. These tools can be wielded to create an immersive storytelling experience tailored to the reader.

To explore this idea, we created a connected book and wearable. The ‘augmented’ book portrays the scenery and sets the mood, and the wearable allows the reader to experience the protagonist’s physiological emotions. The book cover animates to reflect the book’s changing atmosphere, while certain passages trigger vibration patterns. 

Changes in the protagonist’s emotional or physical state triggers discrete feedback in the wearable, whether by changing the heartbeat rate, creating constriction through air pressure bags, or causing localized temperature fluctuations.

Our prototype story, ‘The Girl Who Was Plugged In’ by James Tiptree showcases an incredible range of settings and emotions. The main protagonist experiences both deep love and ultimate despair, the freedom of Barcelona sunshine and the captivity of a dark damp cellar.

With Felix Heibeck & Julie Legault