product designer

Eco

Tech Development 1

Initially, I wanted my product to use some sort of sensor- something that would monitor moisture, water level or even temperature. From this data, I then intended to create a visualisation or alarm that would alert the user, so they can attend to it.  While exploring this idea, I was met with several problems; which were mainly associated with the frame’s rotation.

The issues were:

  • ·      A water level sensor would give an unreliable reading because water flow/ levels would be inconsistent/ subject to change as the frame rotates.
  • ·      Sensors would become damaged at soon as the frame rotates- wires would come loose and tangled.

 Solutions explored/ considered:

  • Altering the frame so the contained reservoir is a separate component. Although, I feel this would compromise the aesthetic appeal of having all the components contained within the frame.
  • I already thought there was something quite nice about having a time feature on the face of the light. I feel that it would encourage the user to engage with the product more- perhaps even making it a nice wall feature within the home.

While developing my idea of creating some form of communication between the user and my product, I found translating digital into analogue time very difficult. Converting digital to analogue using Arduino would require an additional shield while I want to keep the frame as minimum a size as physically possible.

Although the more I thought about it, as much as I want to keep with the theme of time- perhaps physically adding the hands of a clock onto the face of the light- might be a little over the top and may come across as cheesy.  Having said that, I also felt a digital LCD screen/ display wouldn’t work well with the overall look of my design.

I began to think- how can my product tell the time in a subtler way?

These were my two main thoughts:

  • Having the light itself change brightness according to time of day.
  • Use twelve led lights around the face of the light; which would light up on the hour.

While exploring the idea of using different coloured leds to communicate time, I came across ‘neopixel rings’. I thought they would be a great way of representing time because brightness can be easily altered and colours easily changed.

By linking the neopixel ring to a real time clock module, I will be able to have the ring light up hours and minutes.

Once these components arrive, I intend to prototype and also explore how I can incorporate an alarm into it.

Rebecca Williamson