Week #6

Assignment #6.1

June 9, 2013

Alpha prototype

My gap

In what way might we notice that our phone is ringing even if we cannot hear it?

Want to know more? Read the whole story.

User needs

  • The Alerter signals that the phone is ringing
  • The Alerter is rather unexpensive
  • The Alerter is easy to install
  • The Alerter is easy to use
  • The Alerter can be installed in different ways
  • The Alerter is unobtrusive
  • The Alterter does not need a power surge

Alpha prototype

Last week I decided to combine some elements of each prototype that I tested, combining a servo with a moving sign attached, a couple of LEDs and having a standalone artifact. This week I printed a simple case and a sign with a Sharebot to test a prototype closer to the final artifact:

Of course everything should be sanded, coloured and written upon, but I'll take care of that in the next iteration. The writing could be something like the one in the following mockup:

When the phone rings the sign starts to wave (there must be a reason why the artifact is called "The Waver" after all) and the LEDs start to blink, thus signaling that the phone is ringing even if we cannot hear it because we are listening to some crazy music with our headphones. In this way I got both the benefits of a moving object and of blinking lights, to increase the probability to notice the phone call. Of course the artifact should be put close to the computer, or at least in our field of view.

The artifact is a little bigger than the previous prototype, in which the servo was freely put on the table (on the computer, actually), as now there is a little box that encloses it which is 40mm wide, 25mm deep and 30mm tall, so - even if we consider a bigger sign - it is still unobtrusive.

While preparing the model I realized that having the LEDs on the sign, as I had imagined, would be quite difficult, because there would be many things to consider: the thickness of the sign should be increased (I don't have SMD components right now), there should be space for the wires and the whole mechanism should be better enclosed to hide them (leaving aside a couple of other details). That's why I decided to simply have a couple of holes in the back for LEDs, but I'm sure that's not their final position. In these days I'll test the prototype with my colleagues (again!) and I will take some further decision using their feedback.

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