Device Prototyping

This studio session focused on physical device prototyping. We used LittleBits, a prototyping toolkit that is simple and easy to use. Before creating a prototype, I first needed to learn how LittleBits worked. I identified the required parts for power, input, and output and eventually felt comfortable creating with this toolkit. The next step was deciding what I was building! My partner and I decided we wanted to build a prototype for someone whose next-door roommate plays music too loudly.

Brainstorming our prototype device

Our prototyping process went fairly well. We spent a good bit of time deciding what components we wanted to use in our device. We eventually settled on a battery power source, a sound sensor input with a sensitivity threshold setting, and an output rotational motor. We imagined this device in our users room automatically closing the user’s bedroom door in response to a certain volume of music input. We thought this would be an effective, hands-free way of solving our user’s problem. After deciding this, the rest of the process was extremely straightforward. We put the components together and had a working prototype in no time. You can view a video explaining our final prototype here: Link (Youtube).

How to bring a prototype to market?

One question I asked myself at the end of this process was how to bring a final prototype to market. I assume that LittleBits has some hold on the buying and selling of LittleBit prototypes. I’d like to learn more though about how this works. LittleBits could be great for inventing a small-scale prototype that communicates your idea, but I wonder what comes next? It is great to have an innovative idea, but it is another to do something with that idea and apply it in the real world. These are questions I plan on answering in my own time.

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