Balancing your life.
Collaborator: Lilian Taylor
Developing Alta Voces: Between 1997 and 1998, Apple dramatically re-evaluated its priorities. The release of the iMac marked a departure from pure functionality and a transition into holistic product experience. As Desmet and Hekkert describe in “Framework of Product Experience,” there are three general levels of human-product interaction. The aesthetic relates to sensory experience, the symbolic to assigned significance, and the emotional to appraised value. The iMac did not limit itself to the realm of practicality, instead appealing to consumers on all three experiential levels.
In the 17 years since, the tech industry has desperately tried to both keep up with and reframe consumer desires. The Alta Voces are an attempt to better respond to the aesthetic, symbolic, and emotional wants of the average consumer. The name, Alta Voces, is derived from the spanish translation of “speakers” which is “altavoces”. With the addition of a space between “alta” and “voces”, these words are translated back into English as “high voices”, representing the product’s utility.
Originality: The Alta Voces are original in the way they approach all three levels of human-product interaction. Aesthetically, they deviate from the chunky, piecemeal standard of contemporary headphones. By taking advantage of new means of production, such as 3D printing, the Alta Voces synthesize all physical elements into one seamless package. With smooth lines, delicate but durable feel, and superior sound system, the Alta Voces are an aesthetic delight.
From the effortlessly balanced packaging to the soft, organic design, the Alta Voces communicate strength and elegance. Typical box packaging hardly registers with consumers, and provides no sense of the product’s personality or tactile qualities. The Alta Voces packaging follows the gentle curves of the headphones and becomes a covetable object in and of itself.
Emotionally, the Alta Voces make the listening experience simpler for any user. No more wires, and no ill-fitting headbands. Further, the method of product allows the Alta Voces to be ergonomically tailored to any user.
Utility: Product appraisal is an inherently emotional process. Positive emotions draw consumers toward products they deem beneficial, and negative emotions push them away. The Alta Voces, with an integrated wireless form and superior sound, makes itself useful for both the casual user and the audiophile.
Desirability: The iMac’s soft curves and translucent colors allowed it to stand apart from the boxy beige standard. The Alta Voces similarly shift away from contemporary standards and investigate the productive application of aesthetic and symbolic elements. Productive application means taking advantage of the ways in which different consumer-product experience levels can feed into one another. An aesthetic reading may lead to a symbolic association and give rise to an emotional response, and vice versa. For example, the delicate spindles of the headband are aesthetically appealing in the way they branch and engulf the larger earpieces, but they are also useful for accurately sizing the headphones. It is the carefully considered balance between aesthetic, symbolic, and emotional elements that make the Alta Voces desirable.
“Shift, Sprint, Share, Play” are four words that were selected for the front of packaging to quickly communicate and elicit positively valenced emotional responses. More specifically, these words are derived from action dependent activities that would benefit from using speakers rather than headphones: shift = biking; sprint = running; share = sharing music with family/friends; play = playing music / colloquial term for having fun. Together, they embody the spirit and the function of Alta Voces.
Health from sustainable design.
Collaborator: Carly Dickson
Aesthetic: Modular Rest was designed to induce calming through specifically the senses of touch and sight. In the manufacturing of the materials, careful attention was placed on how might Modular Rest feel when somebody fiddles with the sides of their stool as they sit in conversation, or carefully places a warm mug of tea upon the table. In order to do induce the effect we were looking for we sifted roughly 300 lbs of quikrete to extract only the finest grains as our material. In constructing the shell, we paid careful attention to the patterns we created with the adhesive to give the furniture a shinier finish and smoother surface. As for the visual appeal, we poured white paint into our quikrete at various concentrations to give each later a unique feel. In addition we swirled the paint along the edges to give the effect that the paint was dripping upwards. Ultimately, we wanted to create the sensation that the furniture was lighter than it really was by designing it with imagery related to weightlessness.
Meaning: The meaning of this product is derived from the simplicity and efficiency in which it was created. Using re-cycled cuts of foam board was our first step to integrating this sentiment. But the most significant contribution came from the careful design of the furniture’s measurements so that we were able to use all of the negative space. This allowed us to maximize our furniture to material ratio, or better yet, minimize our material to furniture ratio. By integrating concepts of sustainability into the design and construction of our furniture, we were able to intrinsically integrate its meaning.
Emotional: We have left the door open for the individual to determine their own emotional appraisal of Rest. By developing a furniture set that is capable of turning into any permutation of house design, we are liberating people to integrate their own creativity into ours. The table is capable of turning on its side and acting as an extra bench. The table can also receive any number of customized table tops. The table can also rotate on another axiz to become a stand. All of the furniture can be placed in the same room or throughout various rooms as they function well as stand-alone pieces as well. It was important to us that we did not determine the emotional content of people’s homes, and instead, liberate them to design it themselves.
Health and emotional awareness.
Collaborator: Tiffany Lazo-Cedre
Originality: Our revolutionary designed product will revitalize an area of the market that has long gone ignored and assumed to be worthless in investing; headbands and beanies. From fit to fashion, our attention to detail will create an iconic his and her’s branding of headbands and beanies. And did we mention, this will be the first mass produced public emotion sensing system. That’s right, it’s time to understand our emotions.
Our headbands, beanies and more are made from state of the art materials in knitting technology which uses silver as part of the thread which is more resistive to oxidation and stress cracks as compared to other conductive materials. The knitted fabric design allows for the material to become piezoresistive in its aggregate form; meaning that it can measure minute changes in physical pressure variations (i.e. movements in forehead muscles). The intricacies of the design is explained below:
“Piezoresistive fabric sensors change the electrical resistance according to strain, and the variation of the electrical properties occurs due to the different path of the electrical current inside the fabric structure. Usually this property can be observed in stretchable fabric, where a mechanical solicitation affects the flow of carriers inside the structure. When the conductivity of the yarn is due to the presence of conductive particles (like in a bicomponent fiber), the elongation of the yarn produces different distribution of the conductive particles in the structure of the yarn and in the fabric, leading to a modification of charge transport mechanism… Piezoresistive textile sensors have been used to detect the movements of the human body in a wide range of configurations, for monitoring of hand, wrist, elbow, and knee
Lastly, we will append micro EEG sensors and sweat monitoring patches. Our sweat monitoring sensors can record: relative quantity (i.e., perspiration rate), over salinity (i.e.,conductivity), specific ions (K 1 , Na 1 , Cl-, Mg 1 ; Ca 1 ), pH, and organics". In addition, our EEG sensors can monitor particular alpha and beta waves which are fairly accurate indicators of attention.
By using micro EEG sensors, sweat monitoring patches, and smart fabric and interactive textiles systems we are able to potentially monitor a range of emotional states throughout the day and over time. This would be the first ever known ploy at using these technologies together to get an accurate read of emotions which are being demonstrated to be the most influential processes in decision making.
Utility: Emotions arise within microseconds, our conscious decision making happens much later. Science is currently revealing that our emotions are determining most of our decisions.
By understanding our emotions as they vary throughout the day, weeks and years, we are equipping ourselves with the ability to make better informed decisions. Whether we like it or not, our emotions are potentially the single greatest influencer on our moment to moment decisions. For example, being sad drastically increases the chances of making impulse purchases at very exorbitant prices. Certain emotions make us more prone to breaking healthy habits and perpetuating unhealthy ones. In fact, every single moment, the emotion we are experiencing is heavily swaying our decisions, and we go on blissfully unaware. Only a full awareness of ourselves, especially in regards to emotional states, are we able to make decisions that promote ours’ and others’ well-being.
Desirability: Our revolutionary cap gear is desirable on multiple levels. The first, and arguably most important factor of imroving the desirability of our product, is that our aesthetic design and physical comfort is what will illicit an iconic sentiment. Our technology, which is the frontier of emotion related science, is overshadowed by the sheer visceral enjoyment of wearing our products.
By using knitted fabric techniques (which are the best for creating piezoresitive fabric) we are able to optimize breathability and elasticity for genuine comfort. Circular knitting, and in particular the seamless technique, provides comfortable, stretchable, well-fitting, and adherent garments, which makes this technology suitable for sensing applications where adherence, elasticity, and comfort are the main requirements. Furthermore, the integration of microfibers allow the head garments to be light weight and anti-bacterial prone to reduce the chances of odor.
The emotional experience is directly applied as the head garments interact and read the user at a personal level. It’s a companion that understands you better than you know yourself. And this process of self-awareness that grows with the individual as they continue to wear the garment, will turn into a greater experience of meaning in their life. It will become a window into understanding their own behaviors and decisions and help them regain control of what they had been so blind to before; a mirror of why they do what they do, which gives them the ultimate power, the power of being truly able to change.
A mixed CD for health and emotional guidance.
Emotional: The central feature of the Transition/Explore mixes is its potential to emotionally move the individual between the states of THINK and DANCE. The THINK state represents a strategic, effortful, and impassioned state of mind where the DANCE state represents a joyous, exhilarative, and careless state of mind. Both of these states are, intrinsically, equally as good as the other, but also offer frustration when an individual is experiencing one state while they would prefer the other. Every level of the design of these mixes understanding these emotional states. The simplicity of using only two central colors was to help the individual understand and separate the two primary states of Think and Dance. The central feature, however, is the particular order of the track list. By using a sinusoidal wave as inspiration for a continuous oscillation between two states, the order of the tracks falls along these lines. As songs transition between one another, so do the emotional states. The particular order of the songs were identified by a careful subjective consideration to tempo, harmonies, scales, as well as lyrical content. If one would like to transition between THINK and DANCE, they merely place the Transition mix on and allow the music to guide their emotions for them. If an individual would like to explore one of the emotional states more deeply, then they may place the Explore mix on and select which disc (THINK/DANCE) they would like to explore.
Aesthetic: The calming colors and general simplicity is meant to ease the user into the acceptance of these states, without the typical harsh self-criticism that is so often associated with feeling a certain way when you want to feel something else. The blending of lines, colors and subtlty hopes to drive the underlying feel of the music.
Meaning: Music helps inspire meaning in our lives. It is quite common for people to suddenly feel the energy to go out with their friends, or decide to focus on their homework after listening to particular kinds of music. Obviously, different music has different effects on different people. But the types of meanings that can be derived from exposure to these musical patterns are universal. We share a common feature, and that is that music moves us. My hope is that in whatever it is people would like to achieve by listening to these mixes, they do so. Our emotions guide our every day decisions, and I would like to bring a little bit more autonomy back to our state of being.
Customize your fruit.
Desirability: I have used a variety of sensory inputs to more viscerally communicate the expected experience. Rather than use flavor customization of the ice ball as a fringe benefit (like Skymall eludes to), I decided to find an image that features this capability as the central experience. To highlight this, I chose orange as an example due to its broad appeal and well-known sensory experiences. In combination with the variety of colors and textures of an orange, I added a layer of sound both to the orange slice and the orange flavored ice ball to “satiate” the desired connection between the two elements; essentially making the connection between the fresh qualities of real fruit with the crisp addition of an ice ball in a refreshing drink. Click here for the full experience.
Advertisement: Bring the freshness of your favorite fruits to your crisp summer cocktails.
The specially designed silicone ice containers are capable of turning your favorite flavors into delicious arctic treats. Your water, cocktail, juice and more will not only stay cool but take on the flavor of the fruit you froze.
Go on, turn on your speakers, click the green flag, and run your mouse over the ice ball and orange slice to start the experience today!
Customize your fruit.