Tamapotchi

note #01

I’m a designer of digital applications. Think desktop software, smartphone and tablet apps, web applications and the like. I’ve a background in graphic design, but I’ve been doing interaction design for over 15 years now. The introduction of smartphones and tablets has majorly disrupted my field of work; design still is design, but the context had changed. With smartphones, people now are connected all day. Interaction with the device and its software isn’t limited to the time people are using their computers anymore, but can be initiated at any time, at any location, in any situation. That changes a lot. And that is a good thing.


By the time the smartphone and tablet hit the market, I wasn’t really prepared. It kind of took me by surprise to see the quick surge in adoption of these devices and was glad some colleagues were there to help me bridge the gap. It showed me that to keep on top of things, I need to know what’s coming. Since then I tried to do just that; I keep track of new technological innovations and their adoption, try to predict which have potential to be the ‘next big thing’. So I can be prepared and hit the ground running when I see a relevant application of the technology.

One of the technology concepts I try to keep track of is the Internet of Things. I believe this will impact product design and society, the way smartphones did earlier. I feel as a designer I need to familiarise myself with the technology and its possibilities. Especially regarding the change it will induce in people’s relation with technology.

That is why I started this project. I want to think about, sketch and tinker with this technology and learn. I’ve asked two friends to join in, together the journey will be even more interesting and fun. Remko, an industrial designer I met in school years ago, and Patrick, a software engineer with stunning sketching skills, will join me to build the prototype of “Tamapotchi”.

Tamapotchi is the working title for our project, which is basically about a smart pot that helps you take care of the plant inside it. These plant sensors are nothing new, you can even buy sensors that are connected to the internet today, complete with accompanying apps. But we think we’ve found a nice and rather unique twitch to that concept. The working title might already give you some idea…

Anyway, our main goal is not to conquer the world with a smashing new and disruptive way of caring for your plants. We just want to tinker and learn. But we do try to cover all aspects of product development, although we might not take some of its aspects as seriously as we would when we were doing this for a client.

I plan to cover our journey writing these kind of blogs; it will help me to process what we’ve learned in retrospect and keep on track. Hopefully we will start learning very fast and we can share our findings here, so you might also learn something. If you’re interested in product and interaction design, the Internet of Things, Arduino projects or UI engineering, you might want to check this blog again.

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