Theme 6: Smart Home Products Week 2
We had a meeting with Prof Jiang to discuss about design thinking and kickstart our research on smart home products. He introduced us to the PACT framework (People, Activity, Context, Technology) to craft how we would create our future prototypes. Products such as Tmall Genie, Google Home and Amazon Echo utilize this framework to better understand the needs of their target audience. Moreover, Prof Jiang also mentioned how each of the products have their own unique functions which ensures that no two products will have direct conflict with one another. It was enriching to understand that companies are trying to simplify the usage of home products. In addition, they are pushing for single platform operating systems that can control all home products in one household. As the world turns towards smart technology, it is important that home products are also designed to suit our needs.
Field Trip to NingBo Fotile Kitchenware
To further enhance our learning, we got to experience first hand the production chain of Ningbo Fotile Kitchenware. Being the primary producer of household kitchenware, they have a multitude of products ranging from stove hoods to sinks. Moreover, their credible reputation puts also puts them as one of the world’s leading companies. Some products displayed were the automatic smart stove hood which is able to shift according to environmental changes. In addition, the stove has memory to “remember” the user’s preferred recipes and conditions. Unlike past models, the stove is able to fully cook a meal without assistance from the user. As long as the preferences are inputed, the hood/stove is able to operate by itself. Even simple daily home products are being transformed into a highly complex system. This experience was not only enriching but also an eye-opener. Imagine the possibilities if all home products were converted to “smart”!
Origami Workshop and further research
The Origami lessons acted as a platform to spurn creativity and innovation. Origamis could come in different shapes and sizes depending on the individual’s imagination. Utilizing Arduino and Servo motors, we were able to create different products that performed different actions. For example, an Origami fan can have a breathing action to mimic human gestures. This activity allowed us to better understand how to create design prototypes.
After the class, we researched on modifying existing home products in the market. This included products from Apple, Xiaomi, Amazon and Tmall Genie. Our goal was to re innovate the products to be able to solve and fulfill more complex tasks. This way, we can ensure that the products would be efficient as well as helping the people that using them.