2016 / NEW YORK



Ditto is a simple small device paired with your phone to keep your loved ones physically with you all the time. This creates distraction less and direct communication link to the people you care the most about.

Team project with; Chelsea Stewart and Shixiao Wang

The Device comes in three pairing options. A coupling device called Uno, a three-person link called Tres and a four-way device called Cuatro. This device is especially important by creating priority between communication, where the cell phone lack the specific direct link.


We now live in a world that has more connections than ever before. We are texting, tweeting, facebooking, blogging and more. Although these advancements make our lives better, they are also the crux of social distraction and sometimes we only need to tell someone hello or see how they are doing. Especially when these are the people we most care about.


We lost our emotional connection with cell phones when they evolved into multi-purpose object. We have begun to lose sight of connections between our closest friends and family.

The project began by researching the role of long distance relationships with friends, family and significant others. By conducting user testing, we found an insight, in many of the moments we wish to communicate to loved ones the most. We notice the need to tell someone hi, I love you or thinking of you while in meeting, at school or during events where a cell phone was inappropriate or unusable. This device aims to create a freedom to always stay in touch with the people who matter the most.


On the other hand, we believe once communication devices are  evolved into mobile computers and become multi-purpose tools we've lost the emotional connection between the human and the object.



A communication device that

creates a direct communication link to the significant others, offers easy and quick communication, and builds a strong emotional bond with the human.



Enabling quick and simple messages relying on the previous conversation between people.

Yo app is a mobile app that where individuals send each other only "yo". The communication usually relies on the previous conversations between people. For example; If my friend has an important job interview and I send a "yo" to her right after the interview, that will mean that I'm asking how the interview went. If she replies back, then I will anticipate that it went well. In daily life we would like to make this kind quick check-ins where long conversations are not necessary. Especially in long distance relationship we found out that there is this kind of need.






Fidgeting as a subconscious behavior strengthens the emotional bond between the human and object.

I've been using this tape measure, designed by Metaphys, for last 4 years and always keeping on me. The reason that I keep it is not just because of its functionality but its tactility, great surface transitions, and perfect size which makes it a great fidgeting tool. Using the product subconsciously by fidgeting created an emotional connection between me and the object. I believe that's the main reason that I like this product a lot.


This tape measure of Metaphys became the biggest inspiration for us. We wanted to create very similar experience by aiming to create a strong emotional connection between the user and object.


Inspired from the tape measure and Yo app shown above, we wanted to design a totem-like small communication device which offers quick and simple communication, as well as an unique physical interaction that can be easily integrated into our daily lives.

On the other hand, we didn't want to compete to mobile phones. We just wanted to close the gaps they have when it comes to communicating to significant others. A device that works together with the smartphone.


We also wanted to limit the communication to just a few significant others. Limitation makes product more clear and understandable, thus, increase the emotional connection. Since, now the communication device can be seen as a physical object representing the loved ones. Now, we clearly now what the object means to us.


Ditto physically connects with the people you care the most about by enabling small messages we like to call "Pings".


Ditto is small portable totem device that can be synced with your phone and carried with you to freely ping your loved ones. Ditto comes in three different communication option, Uno, Tres and Cuatro. It syncs with your phone to capitalize on moments the phone is unaccepted, unnecessary or unavailable.

Each device pings to one or several specific users and they can ping back. Ditto Uno, a special device for couples, receive communications by rotating into a heart shape and blinking. Ditto Tres and Cuatro both blink and vibrate to indicate a message to the user. Each device is induction charged.


Each device comes special ordered with engraved initials. Ditto Uno has engraved initials on both sides. Ditto Tres and Cuatro are engraved only on one side and digital on the other for a rearrangement of personal connections thro the smartphone app. Ditto comes in many different types of material finishings which can be customized and changed according to preference.






Initially we proposed this self-rotating version of "receiving" moment but we decided not to move forward with this version because of some constraints, although we really liked the uniqueness of the interaction. It requires a motor to do this action and it will be very hard it to rotate when it's in the pocket or bag.


And we also noticed that when you receive a ping from a person you already know that somebody turned his/her device into a heart shape in order to send the message. This is not exactly same thing with when the object turns into a heart-shape by itself but still a strong interaction.


tres & cuatro


This device makes our lives stronger by capitalizing on times or moments which you need to connect with loved ones, but do not have the time or need to carry a long conversation out. It's the perfect way to stay in touch and find time during the busy workday / school hours to simply tell the ones you love hi or I'm thinking of you.



Product Designer



New York / USA

All works © Adem Önalan 2015

Please do not reproduce without the expressed written consent of Adem Önalan.

This website is designed and created by Adem Önalan.

Core77 Design Awards, 2016

Student Notable, Furniture & Lighting (Project: Ounce)


Core77 Design Awards, 2015

Student Notable, Interaction Design (Project: Ditto)


Core77 Design Awards, 2015

Student Notable, Social Impact (Project: Spinute)


Republic of Turkey Ministry of Economy, 2014

Full Scholarship Recepient for Graduate School


IMMIB Industrial Design Contest 2014, Turkey

Professional-First Prize


TUBITAK Entrepreneurship and Innovation Award, Turkey

First Prize

TUBITAK : The Scientific and Technological Research

Council of Turkey


Asia Awards: The Student of Asia 2013, Japan



Red dot award: concept 2013, Singapore



International Design Excellence Awards  2013, USA



A' Design Award Winner 2013, Italy



IMMIB Industrial Design Contest 2013, Turkey

Student-First Prize


iF Concept Design Award 2012, Germany