Lutos

About

This project revolves around the idea of creating TUI's or Tangible User Interfaces.  A tangible user interface (TUI) is a user interface in which a person interacts with digital information through the physical environment.

User Personae

Exploring existing TUI's allowed a grasp on what kind of market was going to be targeted for our product.  Possible user personae were created.

Design Styles

As a result, it was decided that a wide range of users would be accommodated for.  This ranged from older children to the elderly.  In doing so, the target market would branch out to all sorts of demographics.  However, in order for the product to sync well with its environment, different design styles needed to be explored.

Eventually, the theme that was chosen was an organic and modern style.  This meant drawing on ideas of nature and modernism.  Now, concept generation could begin.  What was important was that the concepts had to be definite active forms, so their functions had to be metaphorically translated from the physical world and incorporated into the digital world.

Initial Ideas and Sketches

The product concept started off as a series of sketches revolving around flowers, plants, and anything to do with nature.

A lot of comparisons were made between flower bulbs and light bulbs in every day homes, enabling the thought of an interesting concept revolving around the metaphorical translation of nature to the domestic environment.  

The Initial Concept

The first concept that was generated focused on function rather than form; a series of doodles describing what the product might do and how it could be used.  In theory, the product could be manipulated by the user so that it would affect the domestic environment in some way.

The Flower Concept

Through the act of doodling and brainstorming, the idea of using flowers came onto drawing board.  There was something that seemed to be eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing about a flower and the possibilities that could be gathered from using such an organic form were many.

The lotus concept

Through the act of doodling and brainstorming, the idea of using flowers came onto drawing board.  There was something that seemed to be eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing about a flower and the possibilities that could be gathered from using such an organic form were many.

Upon reaching the decision of going with a flower, it was also decided that a lotus would be a good flower species to use as it seemed to be the right choice in terms of beauty and functional appearance potential.  Thus, further development was done to create a more functional concept so that it would really stand out as an "Active Form".  When manipulated by the user, the petals would be designed to open blinds and the "bulb" in the center (a light bulb disguised as a flower bulb) could be turned and pushed to manipulate the light in the room.

The Floating Lotus Concept

Although not the final concept rendering, an idea was pitched to make the lotus "float" above the water as it added a nice aesthetic feature and made the product more organic and believable as a lotus.  The lotus would be attached to a thin glass piece in the center of a bowl filled with water just below the brim so as to give the impression that the lotus was floating in water.  Additionally, another feature of blowing on the lotus allowed the user to open/close house windows to let cold or hot air in/out.  

Storyboard

Computer Aided Design(Solidworks 2016)

Integrated Environment

Client Feedback and Comments

During the interim presentation to the client, a lot of feedback and criticisms were received.  Below are a few of the issues that client identified with design:

"Where will the electronics go?"


"Will the water be safe to use with the product?"


"How will the bulb not be too hot to touch?"


"What metaphors does this include?"

From this, it was decided that the concept needed a lot more development.  Going back to the drawing board, a few major alterations to the design were made to accommodate all of the issues that the client had with the design.

Changing and Refining the Concept

In order to completely define the metaphors that revolved around our concept, it was necessary to clearly state and write them out.

Below are a few of the sketches that were generated to show how the concept would resolve all the issues that our client had with the product.  These included different methods to mount the flower, different methods to use the product, and different ways that the product could possible look entirely.

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In the end, the idea of having the petals be lifted up and down was completely scrapped and they would, instead, twist and rise from a slot in the base.   This idea meant that a larger and hollow base would be required to fit both the petals and all the electrical components needed inside.  

Detailed Storyboard

A more detailed story board outlining the different interactions that the user made to manipulate the product was then created.

Electrical Components

By working closely with the client, the right components were installed to make a first working prototype of the product.  Finding the dimensions of all the components allowed the design for fittings and holes that would let the components and their wires to fit through.

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Re-Modelled Computer Aided Design Animation

Final Renderings and Environments

Creating the First Prototype

Video

The name "Lutos"  was coined as a play on the word "Lotus" as the final product name.  Below is a video demonstrating how the product would be used in a real life situation.

Olinga

William

Leung