Sprint — — Device Prototype Entry#9
Device prototyping is a way to simulate the future product’s functioning. When encountering the design challenge, the designers will come up with a possible model before they go further. Prototype is a simple and efficient way to generate people’s novel idea in real life. In this sprint, we try the prototyping system littleBits, which is easy to operate. The design challenge that our group picks for this project is when dog or cat owners who work away from home for a long time, they are worried about their pets will overweight if they eat too much food. Besides, they are expected to let their pets lose weight.
WHAT? & HOW?
1. Understanding how litterBits works
2. Follow the tutorial and try different things out
3. Pick a design challenge
4. Brainstorm three possible design
5. Create and draw the scenario
6. Draw interaction flow
7. Connect each element
8. Thinking of feasibility desirability, and usability
9. Making video and build up concept
In order to control the pets’ diet, we decide to use a counter to count the numbers of time that the pet approach the food. A light sensor is used to detect the pet, and every times the pet eat food, the counter will add one. When the number reaches a certain number, the buzzer will generate a loud alarm to scare the pet. After the pet run out of the door, a light sensor will detect the dog and trigger the music player, which will play the dog favorite music. The dog will dance after it hears its favorite song. Through this way, it will lose weight and stop eating food. We use a split to divide the buzzer and the light sensor, MP3 player, and speaker.
When I first exposed to the littleBits kit, I found out it was not hard to use because it used magnetic force connect the input, output, and link components together. Later, I found out this can simulate people’s creativity and generate different ideas. By using this kid, we can create low fidelity prototype to meet our initial requirement.
**Check out my video below
SO WHAT? — Reflection
Since the actual brainstorming prototyping is very short, I and my partner Rayna should come up with a feasible solution to fix a complicated problem. When we are thinking about to use the counter to control the numbers of time the dog eating, we cannot figure out how to set the limit.
However, there is a component called threshold. Setting the upper limit before we build the prototype and testing whether or not the light will turn on when the number reached five. We successfully set the threshold for counting the pets’ eating times. However, two questions will be raised when we are designing this prototype. The first problem is the buzzer will make a louder alarm ever since the fifth time and it won’t stop. The second problem is it is hard to let pet lose weight when there is no owner there. We are not sure its favorite song will make the pet “dance”.
NOW WHAT? — Application in the Future
The project has a very high stake because by playing around several components in the littleBits, we can come up with many ideas to solve the problems. The concept seems to be feasible because the prototype device that we designed can count the number of times that the dog eat. littleBits is a intuitive kits even to the people only used it for the first time. For some college research projects, they can start off the littleBits to brainstorm because by connecting different components, creativity and ideas will flourish. However, for a bigger cooperation, like Apple, Blackberry, Microsoft, etc. when the designers first come up with an idea, they will involve more programming into the first design instead of connecting the component together. I think it is a good for college students to experience prototyping.
WHAT CAN I IMPROVE?
Read some books that are related to prototype and brainstorm
Write a whole script when doing the video
First think and then do