This was a group project for a course called “Interactive technology design” in which we chose a theme, in our case “Traces of use”, combined with a secondary theme “Time”. The purpose was to create prototypes and iterate them by testing them according to interaction qualities such as “calm and gentle”.
The design goal we had for this project was to make people worry less about the exact time.
To do so, we wanted to create a time piece that would display time with different modes: vague, half-way and precise (as shown above). The vague mode, which is the default one, only displays the hour hand. The half-way mode adds an indication of the quarter of the hour. And the precise mode is more traditional.
An interaction would be required to switch modes. That is where prototyping was required.
Two prototypes were made with different ways of interacting with those modes.
The first interaction idea was to gently tap the top of a clock to reveal the next mode (as shown above).
Through role playing and user testing, the interaction became based on the winding of mechanical watches. To go from the default mode to the next one, the user would need to wind the watch.
This little effort would ensure that the user would feel less inclined to do it when unnecessary.
A gently vibrating alarm was also added to remember to take breaks.
A prototype was made based on that interaction concept. I modeled the product in Solidworks with working gears so it could be 3D printed. Once assembled together with the electronics, it was tested once more at the final exhibition where all prototypes could be tested.
The casing for that prototype was mostly wood that was turned to create rings around the 3D printed parts.
The copper ring is right on the gear and can be turned to “wind” the watch and show a more accurate time. It was connected to a 360 servo to detect when it was being turned so the light under the minutes could be lit up and the minute hand could pop out to show the exact time.
The bronze plates at the top were laser cut and connected to an Arduino connected outside of the watch with the batteries. The bronze plates sent a signal to set a quarter break (in blue) in the hour to plan a pause. When the time comes for the break, it starts gently vibrating.
The final design was rendered and was the size of a normal watch.
The following movie, which I filmed and edited, was to be used during an exhibit at TU Delft to showcase our working prototype.