Class: Designing the Absurd
Instructor: Pedro Oliveira
Using found objects and available materials (cardboard, cardstock, tape, strings, etc) design and prototype an Absurd Wearable.
The Absurd Wearable should have more than one moving part.
Get creative and give special attention to the the forms and architecture of the objects and the way it interfaces with the body and its movements.
With the need for social distancing and staying inside to deal with COVID-19, the amount of screen time has increased significantly due to home-bound activities, added number of virtual meetings, the convenience of home office, and ease of access to home computers.
I need a solution that will help me improve the habit of taking small breaks in between periods in front of the computer screen.
Inspiration: Speaking of protection for the eyes, I recall the saying "eyes are the window to your soul." Maybe these "windows" need some kind of shield that blocks them away from the computer screen.
Product Idea: Why not window blinds for the eyes? It can be a set of window blinds that can be scrolled down when it is time for the eyes to take a break from the screen.
Interaction: If I can scroll these blinds down myself, that would give me way too much control of the interaction, and the product would not be productive if I resist or forget taking breaks. These blinds need to be automated to the extent that I don't have to scroll it down myself, but they would roll down on their own at their own pre-set time which can be set by me but will be self-operated.
In the below sketch, I tried to combine another function of a head exercise to the wearable. The general idea is that the product will take the form of a head wearable. The blinds and all the electronic components will be made part of this wearable. The goal is to make it light enough so it can sit on my head comfortably while maintaining its functionality.
The technical part involves a DC motor rotating slowly at 10 rpm, using an analog circuit. This DC motor analog circuit is documented in another blog post under physical computing category.
The slow speed of the motor adds to the absurdity of this product by leaving myself just enough time to finish up my screen usage for last couple seconds before they completely block my eyes from the screen.
As a head wearable, the product needs to be light and feel comfortable when wearing around someone's head.
In addition top prototyping it with available cardboard, I added a cushion on the inside of the wearable so it can provide extra padding between my head and the cardboard.
The blinds are made of the pieces of wrap found in electronics product packages. they are light and easy to roll in and out, which works great for the wearable.
The motor is nicely hidden in a custom built-in compartment/platform on top of the wearable, which adds to esthetic aspect of the product.