The three main directions:
A hub system in a fixed place
A way to keep organized
A system to find items
For the ideation session, a meeting was held online to discuss the problem and possible solutions. Beforehand, all group members ideated on ideas. Different ways of looking at the problem came to the surface.
The first direction of ideas looked towards a device that could be attached to a certain object and would help the user to find the object.
Thinking of coloured cards, a sticker, glowing lights, magnets, an RFID card or chip. The product can indicate in different ways where it is, thinking of buzzers, lights or sounds.
Also possible was the idea of having a main place, app or new device which can be used to indicate that the product is lost.
The second direction was more focused on fixing the problem of disorganization.
With the idea that if you have all your belongings in an organized place, it will be less likely to lose something.
The idea is that there is a specific spot where the product is and where you can leave your objects in an organized way.
The central finder
The organization shelf
The third and last direction was more about educated guessing where the object may be.
The movement tracker
This is about tracking the user's history inside the house and thinking about where he comes often. It could be done by having a step tracker that tells the user which direction and how many steps he took.
Also possible was to make it a room tracker, where the device would measure when the person entered the space, for how long and how often.
The answer generator
Another idea was to have an answer generator that would give space as a highly possible place where the object lays. The user needs to answer questions about his behaviour and actions and based on this the device would recommend a specific place to search.
Prototyping for Co-Design
In order to be able to have a successful co-design session with our participant without relying on visual cues, we decided to make simple prototypes from clay that the co-designer could hold and use in imagined scenarios to further explore the challenge of finding misplaced items and finding out, what our co-designer needs.
These methods were based on the research we did in the course of the context mapping study about co-designing with visually impaired participants.
During our Co-Design session, we decided to integrate the tracking function into the smart shelf.
Based on the finding in the co-design session, we also decided on two iterations, one is for the kitchen, one will be placed in the hall.
In the end, we still choose to go with the general one, because it leaves more freedom for different scenarios.
Shelves in many shapes and colors
How does it work?
As the image shows, every shelf is made out of two cells, one system would contain 3 shelves, users can personalize it by sliding the shelf on and off.
Each cell in the shelf has a corresponding colour tracker that users can attach to their chosen object.
Once an object is being related to the tracker, the shelf can also identify it and give LED light signal when the object is not on the shelf so as to remind the user to put it back to keep organized.
Track the object
If the user couldn't find where the object is, he can press the button on the side, the tracker on the will give a sound until the user finds the correct object
This is where we further refined our concept by making it look good, as functional as possible for a wider target audience and added cat and childproof features.
The tracker should be able to attach to different kinds of object, for example, the key, wallet, earphone. The tracker can be hang on the keychain, and it also has a sticker on the back
And it also should allow users to stop beeping once they found the object, so the tracker would have a button to stop