HCDE 451 E2: Digital 3D Model
IoT Dance Floor Glasses
As part of a prototyping class at the University of Washington, we were tasked with creating an medium fidelity, digital 3D prototype of an IoT wearable.
Since this digital prototype is a continuation of an analog prototype, all the design elements are described in better detail here. This post only provides a summary of the basic concept design. The concept is a take-anywhere dance floor glasses wearable. After turning them on and connecting them via Bluetooth to a device, feet projections appear through the glasses that follow the user’s gaze. The user can then “pin” these projections to the floor, the wall, opposite from them, next to them, or wherever they want. Once a dance video is played on the device, the feet projections will move in sync wherever they are pinned, helping anyone become a dancer in no time! The glasses functionality comes through a series of buttons and movable lights. A low fidelity look at the concept is below.
My first analog prototype (shown above) tested desirability of my idea because I wanted to see if the product idea was worth developing further. I received positive feedback, and decided to iterate on this same idea for a medium fidelity digital prototype. My goal with 3D modeling the glasses was to check feasibility. A couple of questions I wanted to answer: Is the form possible, is the size and shape appropriate, and are the buttons formed correctly?
The prototype I created was a 3D modeled rendering of the glasses wearable. Since the glasses are symmetric except for the buttons on either side, I began by making half of the basic frame that I could mirror over.
The first thing I changed from my analog prototype was the frame shape and color. I received feedback that the glasses should be as gender neutral as possible, and so I iterated and made the digital model a basic frame shape with a universal color of black.
Once I mirrored the glasses over, I began making the buttons (Bluetooth, power, pin) to go on each earpiece. Since the feedback on the buttons was mostly positive, I kept most of the features in my analog prototype the same. However, I did change two things. I added an indicator light on the Bluetooth button to give the user feedback on the success/failure/pairing of the Bluetooth system based off user testing feedback. I also added a rotation dial with an add button embedded for collaborative dancing. With the rotation dial, users can manipulate the angle of the feet to create a partner effect. With the “plus” button in the middle of the rotation dial, the user can duplicate the feet projections at the same angle as the original. This duplication allows for collaborative dancing and was suggested to me in class critique on the analog prototype.
To summarize, the form largely stayed the same as the analog prototype because of successful feedback. However, three basic things changed and are summarized in the picture below.
The final rendering is shown below from multiple angles.
In evaluating whether I reached my goal of feasibility, I looked at the form size and shape, the buttons size and shape, and the overall construction. Although we were not able to 3D print the glasses and thus I was not able to test them, I still evaluated my goal by looking closely at the prototype. The glasses frame and color seems very feasible as I’ve seen glasses just like it on the market. The buttons also seem feasible because Bluetooth headphone buttons are that size or smaller and are still effective. Based on this (although biased) assessment, I believe I have met my goal of feasibility. However, some constraints to this goal would be the mechanical and electrical engineering behind the movable light sockets.
There are some things I want to consider for next iteration to improve my product:
- Investigating the possibility of creating add-on buttons/lights to be placed on existing glasses (that way users can have their frame of choice), or the ability to put prescription lenses in the current glasses.
- Flesh out different possibilities for the rotation dial. Can the functionality be incorporated into buttons instead since a tiny dial would be hard to turn? This would increase feasibility. (from class critique)
- Adding a charging port to the glasses so they can actually be charged. (from class critique)
There are also some things I wish I did differently in my process of modeling them:
- I wish I imported a photo of a typical glasses frame to pattern my sketch off of. It was difficult for me to freehand it, and as a result the shape is slightly distorted.
- I wish that I came up with a sequential plan for making my model in OnShape. I think it would have made me less confused jumping in to a new software and would have given me achievable milestones to hit. It also would have given me time to think about what features I needed to make (and which ones I didn’t) before the mirror effect.
- I wish that I took more advantage of the sketch constraints to make my sketches more defined and precise. I think this would have made my rendering more professional.
- I wish that I would have taken time to sketch my glasses at scale so I didn’t have to use the transform feature later.
Overall, it was a great introduction to OnShape 3D modeling software. Stay tuned for the next iteration!