Feedback 1: Male respondent via text message
Physical Prototyping: Wearables
The topic of this assignment was wearable computing. Our team created a physical prototype of an interface that could be worn on the body. Our design had to include the following following specifications:
A jacket that provides the wearer with information about their skin temperature, the outside temperature, their heart rate, and breathing rate
Wearer can initiate a blood pressure test and find out results
Syncs with phone to receive text messages and answer incoming call
We started with a general idea of how we wanted the jacket to operate.
Some preliminary considerations:
How would it measure biometric data?
What kind of sensors would it use?
How would it be washed and dried?
How does it measure blood pressure?
How does it display biometric data?
Advanced sensors and biometric measuring data is woven into a prototype. The fabric is fleece-like and not very comfortable.
The jacket was re-worked while considering the foundational technology. The result was a sleeker and more comfortable prototype, using lightweight fabrics that were breathable.
Rough sketches of what the app should include were drafted.
What should the application include?
Basic, yet intuitive functionality.
Ability to pull in stats from other health devices and apps.
Feedback 2: Female respondent (a track and field athlete) via an audio message:
"I love the concept of this jacket, and I think it would be helpful for many people, especially those who are 40 years +, and anyone that needs to monitor their heart rate. I love the one-time synchronization, too, kind of like with headphones; you only have to sync them once, and it works. A suggestion is, what if when you zip up the jacket it automatically engages through the action of zipping up instead of pressing the logo? I think that would be cool."
Considerations and Reflections:
While doing this prototype, we took a general approach that was design-focused but also approached this from a marketing/advertising perspective. It was challenging to develop something that seemed like a direct competitor to giants like FitBit and Garmin while keeping the design unique.
Fabric- We had to research fashion and fabric design as no member had a background in this sector. Fabric proved to be a challenge as it should be resistant to different weather conditions and lightweight and breathable for the user who intends to use it for longer.
Display- The initial idea was to go for a display that makes the jacket an independent wearable, but the choice to add the app made the jacket more accessible.
Sync - There is a potential for linking the prototype to other bio trackers for users that want more detailed health and body tracking.
App - Some elements were a little too small to observe, especially if you're look at it while moving around. A second iteration of prototype design should ensure app elements are larger.