Se7en Prototypes

I thought about the roles, look & feel and implementation models for 3 different concepts, which are described below:

1. Ambient Light


a. Role

An ambient light that changes color to indicate the time of day and can be programmed to setup reminders.

Scenario: Lawrence is a 24 year old gamer/game tester and hacker who lives in a basement apartment. Most of his time is spent in this dimly lit space play testing first person shooter games. He's also part of a guild on EverQuest and the guild has a specific time when they perform raids.

Lawrence rarely keeps a track of time and would like to have a device that informs him about the time of day, in case he needs to make a quick round for groceries, etc., without the need to look at the time every so often. He also needs a way to remind him when he needs to login to the Everquest server on time, which doesn't involved setting alarms on his iPhone which he can't hear while playing a game with headphones on.

Application: Ambient light is the tool for Lawrence! He can easily tell the time of day by the color of 'ambient light'. He can also program 'ambient light' to setup reminders for when he needs to log on to EverQuest or other activities. He can do all of this without being distracted from playing his game.

b. Look & Feel

Ambient light is dome shaped about 4 inches in diameter and about 6 inches tall. The bottom is ribbed with a black rubber finish. It has an on/off button, a USB connection and a power outlet. The dome is shiny black metallic finish and is made of plexi glass, with 3 rows of stylized 'holes' from which diffused light shines through. There are 3 columns of these holes evenly spaced across the dome.

The color of the light changes over the course of the day – green for morning, orange for afternoon, blue for evening and a dimmer blue for night.

c. Implementation

The bottom houses the Arduino which provides the USB and power connections. It also includes a small on/off pushbutton switch. From the bottom to top there is a skeleton with 6 LED's attached – 1 on either side assembled in 3 rows. The green LED's are at the top, followed by the green and the blue. The unit comes with many different programs that can be used to play different patterns by connecting it to your computer and writing to the Arduino. It also comes with a interface which can be used for configuring reminders by hooking it up to a computer.

2. Coaster


a. Role

A coaster that can be use to place your drink on.

Scenario: Clayton is a 27 year old guy who owns a bar in Willamsburg. He has expensive wooden tables which are getting destroyed because people don't use coasters to put their drinks on the table. This is probably owed to the fact that no one can find the coasters in a dimly lit environment or they're not motivated enough to use them.

Application: Coaster is the product of choice for Clayton. They are enticing enough for people to use them and visible because they have an ambient glow.

b. Look & Feel

Coaster is a round and coaster sized, about 6 inches in diameter and about an inch tall. The bottom is a ribbed plexiglass while the top is flat plexiglass on which people can place their drinks. A soft glow emanates from the plexiglass which is red when 'coaster' is in use and green when not in use. These can be placed upon the tables or installed within the tables.

c. Implementation

The bottom of 'coaster' houses an Arduino, a tri-color LED and a battery pack within a second encasement. The side sports a tiny rocker switch to turn 'coaster' on/off. The top of the LED peeps out of the top of the encasement so it can light up the entire thing. 

The flat plexiglass piece is mounted on springs above the secondary encasement. The top of the secondary encasement has a small switch which is triggered when a drink is placed on the flat plexi piece, which goes down due to the pressure.The switch triggers the change in color of the light which slowly fades to red. The opposite happens when the glass is removed.

3. Mood light


a. Role

Mood Light is a portable mood light which can set the mood for any activity.

Scenario: Josh is a 23 old guy engaged in tons of activities. He loves to use all kinds of gadgets and gizmos to enhance social situations, especially ones that he can carry around. Josh wishes he could carry around his lava lamp to set the mood when he's hanging out at a friends place. He also wishes his lava lamp could double up as a disco light which can be used to lively up his house parties.

Application: Mood Light is the perfect toy for Josh! It allows him to set the mood of his social activity by playing different patterns for different situations. It's also small enough so he can take it with him wherever he goes.

b. Look & Feel

Mood Light is made up of two components – the top and the dock. The top and the dock can be detached which makes it more portable.

The top is diffused plexiglass about 5 inches tall, 1 inch deep and 3 inches wide. The dock is also plexiglass but painted black with a matte finish. The dock is about 2 inches tall, 1.5 inches deep and 3.5 inches wide.

The side has a power outlet and USB connection while the front is equipped with numerous tiny switches including an on/off and toggle switches for playing different patterns.

c. Implementation

The dock houses the Arduino on one side, 4 switches on the other and possibly a battery pack on the bottom. On the top there is space for the 'top' to fit in snug and male ports which connect to the LED's.

The top houses 6 LED's, 2 of each color – red, green, blue – on the bottom.

Different combination of the 3 toggle switches yeild different patterns which the user can reprogram when they get bored.

The LED's can possibly be mounted on a removable cartridge which can be swapped LED's in different arrangements and colors to yeild interesting results.