Co & Co Wear
Graduate Studio-ID 6213
Oct. 28th, 2019
Figma, Illustrator, Photoshop, SolidWorks
Co was one of many group projects focused on Consumer Electronic Products and Haptics. The process reflected a typical design process, consisting of literature reviews, market research, interviews, prototyping, and design. At the time my group and I were interested in the Covid-19 and the design opportunities that it held for the future. We also noticed the current problems mask wears were dealing with on a regular basis. This interest in our current circumstance as well as drive to design for the future prompted us to design a wearable and mobile application to help educate users on risk in regards to Covid-19, monitor one's interactions and safety, and possibly help stop the spread of Covid-19.
Our exploratory phase consisted of consuming information from medical blogs and journals. These resources provided knowledge about how the disease spread from person to person, who was more susceptible to disease, how it could affect you along with what preventative measures you could take to protect yourself against the Covid-19 Pandemic. We later sent out a survey based on the information to see whether these facts and regulations are common knowledge. Some of these facts were of the following:
Masks should not be worn multiple times
Covid-19 is spread by droplets and contact within the face, eyes, and mouth
Risk factors vary from person to person this include age
While researching, we found a variety of applications and devices on the market that set out to solve other issues like information and risk assessments. Some of these apps were the disease such as Novid, Covid 19 Tracker App, and Covid Symptom Tracker.
Pain Points Discovery & Opportunity
Through the examination of literature and Interviews, we discovered that consumers are ill-informed and unprepared. Many participants did not know the optimum amount of time that a mask can be worn before it is considered to be ineffective, users are not observant of guidelines along with unaware of their distance from others, and that they are unaware of the risks they take when in or around public spaces. While separate applications are out there for monitoring some of these aspects we have noticed an opportunity space that no tool that is able to answer all issues regarding covid and safety.
With the pain points identified my group member and I were able to clearly understand the needs of our consumer group. My group member focused mainly on the interface while I focused on Co Wear. Though we were working on separate parts we developed a list of needs that centered on minimizing the number of external products required to keep one safe from infection. While providing just the right amount of functionality to be informative and effective in such a small, unobtrusive package.
The application needs:
To clearly and effectively display information.
To have the smallest amount of tiles possible, to not overbear the user.
To asses one risk based on location, age, underlying health, and habits.
To incorporate a fresh and flow.
The wearable needs:
To be used multiple times and quick removal.
To fit ergonomically (if placed on the body) and not hinder the user from normal tasks.
To alert the user when to close or at a high risk.
To monitor ones virtals.
The Arm Band monitor's main purpose was to document the user's vitals such as temperature while being concealed under a garment or worn.
Would be uncomfortable if worn for long periods of time.
Might be cumbersome to remove
Would have to be sanitized regularly
The Magnetic Covid Clip would be placed on the exterior of one's clothes and monitor distance as well interactions with an LED Light and a light buzzing.
Allows for quick removal.
Might be able to be lost easy since it could be separated from one clothes
Can't afford accurate biometrics if affixed to a shirt or pants
This clip would enable users to place this monitor on their masks. This monitor would display and count down the number of times a mask was used as well the risk if they didn't replace their mask.
Quick to remove and place.
Might be disposed of with the mask.
Doesn't allow the mask to create a tight secure fit.
The digital display is only useful when not on the mask.
Covid Color Mask
The Mask would monitor one's temperature through thermochromic ink located in the nose strip and the mask would alert users when it is no longer useful by changing colors.
Ergonomic (to a point).
Would be pretty costly to throw away.
Can't afford accurate biometrics due to body placement and other factors.
Doesn't connect to application
Mask and Clip
The Mask would monitor one's temperature and location in the attached device behind the ear.
Depending on placement it could be ergonomic.
Must be machine washable and water/sweat proof.
Covid Ear Clip
Attaches to the user's mask by holding the string on the inside of the device. The clip monitors temperature and distance while notifying them with a ring if they are too close to another user.
Must be water/sweatproof.
Conceptual Design: User testing
While user's were interested in designs that were not made for one-time use and worked with the mask. They were skeptical about whether prior designs would sit comfortably on their ear or around their mask. To test whether a design met these needs, rough mock-ups were created and placed on the body to identify which provided the most comfort.
Consumers preferred mock-ups that sat at the top of the either rather than at the back of the ear, the neck, or hanging onto the whole ear.
Participants worried about ear irritation and sweat
Participants also preferred the device to support the mask rather than having their ear do all the work
Conceptual Physical Development
While the prototype's design was progressing it was not required to be wired up and work. I decided to develop an Arduino mock-up to test whether components such as temperature sensors and ultrasonic sensors were able to work together.
Final Conceptual Design: User testing
Final prototypes were designed through SolidWorks and produced through 3D printers with PLA. Exterior edges were sanded to replicate properly machined edges and provide comfort. Users were given two options, the larger white clip and the later smaller black clip shown in the middle and far right. Each prototype sat on the ear while holding the mask string on the back of the device. Though the larger clip was more visually interesting it was too large and moved as well as pushed the ear. The smaller black clip sat on the ear, supported the mask, and allowed for users to have access to their ear.
The Co App
The application used a masonry grid and sorted cards to provide clear information at a glance, the application work with and gained information from the wearable to provide accurate biometric information. While assessing their risk users could receive additional information about how to decrease their risk and what mask might be best for them. Case reports can be viewed based on your pre-selected location.
Say Hello to Co. Link. Monitor. Assess. All with the tap of your finger!
A Helpful Guide to Help You Stay in Line.
Co Wear notifies you with a little buzz when you are too close to others & if your in an area that drastically increases you risk.
Fast Charging. Faster Application
Designed With Your Ear In Mind
Co Wear is built to be comfortable for all ear types and helps ease painful irritable mask straps off of your skin.
User's were able to successfully locate factors such as health and risk but deemed it difficult to find the personal assessment. Though overall feedback was generally positive, I believe we missed an opportunity in regards to case and exposure management which is another way one could control the spread of Covid-19. If I were able to go back and re-design the application I would incorporate this exposure management under reports. As for the physical prototype, I would possibly design a secondary clip for the opposite ear so that both ears could gain relief. Other iterations may consist of turning Co Wear into a set of Head or Earphones so that one may connect to multiple devices without having to choose music over safety.
Either way, I really enjoyed how the project turned out. The quick pace of this project allowed me to design on my feet as well as work with those in fields such as HCI. I thoroughly enjoyed being to give my whole attention to my side of the project while still providing feedback to my group members.