Cubo is a Particle Photon based electronic product, which provides couples with a new way to communicate with each other and enhance their quality time over distance.

OBJECTS AND SPACE

Networked Objects& Users: Quality Time

Since technology is drastically altering how we spend time with those close to us – in both positive and negative ways – we must invent new ways to spend “quality time” together. Hinging on potentially the most intangible phenomena “time", this project opens up the gate to bring people a nuanced connection through design.

 

The challenge is to prototype a connected object and create different narrative storyboards for an extreme couple that knows each other well. It enhances their connection with one another through time and tailors to their relationship needs.

Client / 

CCA/ IDEO

 

Instructor / 

Nicholas Pajerski

Graham Plumb

 

Key Role / 

Design Research

Storytelling

Modelling 

Coding

Electronics 

 

Team members/ 

Karen Song

Vergil Shi

 

 

Year /

2016

 

Length/

6.5 weeks

Our team combines Particle Photon and IFTTT to bring the concepts to live

Our team combines Particle Photon and IFTTT to bring the concepts to life:

 

When a person within the couple works hard and has to deal with too many emails, the partner's Cubo 1 will glow, which is connected to the Internet through IFTTT. 

 

Then the partner can hold the Cubo 2, which senses the hand and sends a signal to the first person's Cubo 1. Cubo 1 will change color to remind him that his partner is missing him, and making him feel comforted. Also, when one of them is missing the other, but does not want to be bothered, Cubo becomes an ideal tool for delivering the thoughts. 

About CUBO

UNDERSTAND THE CURRENT STATE - DESIGN RESEARCH

How do they feel about each other?

Austin Chernobieff

22 Supervisor at Samsonite

Goal:

Wants to spend more time with Reaji  

Pain Point:

- Lacks of time to communicate when they are busy 

- Long distance relationship makes him very stressful

Insights:

- He feels comfortable to talk and stay with Reaji when they live together 

- He feels stressful when he needs to move around different cities

- He enjoys playing computer games and eating food with Reaji

 “A lot of couples keep secrets from his partner, but I try not to. I am very open to Reaji. ”

Reaji Xue

Interaction design intern at Ziba

Goal:

Wishes to share what he is doing with Austin when they are not together

Wishes Austin could complain less, and has a positive attitude

Pain Point:

- There is the distance issue between each other 

- He feels awkward bringing his boyfriend to his office 

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Insights:

- He wants his partner to grow up, so he doesn’t need to take care of him too much

- He feels that the quality of their relationship will decrease with passing time

- Leadership makes him understand how to react in different situations

“I think Austin should grow up more, then I don’t need to take care of him all the time.”  

UNDERSTAND THE CURRENT STATE - EXPERIENCE MAP

How did their relationship go so far?

Key Insights

BUSY SCHEDULES
WAYS OF COMMUNICATIONS
 SAME INTERESTS

Reaji focuses on his future professional career and school projects, so he has a very busy schedule, while Austin has a stable job during workday.

Austin likes to complain about his boss to Reaji. Although Reaji is willing to listen to him, he thinks Austin should become more mature and take care of himself. 

They enjoy exploring new things, especially having fun playing game with each other.

How might we create a pleasant way to help them

share routines with each other when they are busy in different cities?

Disrupt 

 SKETCHES
IDEATION
PROTOTYPES

Reaji and Austin both like playing computer games, so we started to brainstorm ideas that matched their interests. So, we iterated some prototypes very fast for testing- Physical pixel game/Emotional Bracelet. 

Through feedback that we got, we considered more about how this product specifically tailored to their relationship needs. 

 

INITIAL IDEAS: 
  • Make a simple and playful product that they can bring and hold it by hand and take anywhere they want. 

  • Remind each other through a toy in order to enhance their experience.

Reaji and Austin both like playing computer games, so we started to brainstorm ideas that match their interests. So, we iterated some prototypes very fast for testing- Physical pixel game/Emotional Bracelet. 

Through feedback that we got, we considered more about how this product specifically tailored to their relationship needs. 

 

A INITIAL IDEAS: 
  • Make a simple and playful products that they can bring and hold it by hands and take anywhere they want. 

  • Remind each other through a toy in order to enhance their experience.

Design 

Deliver

WORKABLE PROTOTYPES
BUSY SCHEDULES

Reaji focuses on his future professional career and school projects, so he has a very busy schedule. While Austin has a stable job during workday.

Use a LDR sensor to send signal through Particle Photon to lighten the NeoPixel on the other side

 SAME INTERESTS

They enjoy exploring new things, especially having a fun with playing game with each other.

Photon + IFTTT Testing

3D printed model & A final working prototype

STORYBOARD
MODEL-MAKING
CODING

How the product enhances the quality of this couple's time and communication:

Reaji and Austin both like playing computer games, so we started to brainstorm ideas that match their interests. So, we iterated some prototypes very fast for testing- Physical pixel game/Emotional Bracelet. 

Through feedback that we got, we considered more about how this product specifically tailored to their relationship needs. 

 

A INITIAL IDEAS: 
  • Make a simple and playful products that they can bring and hold it by hands and take anywhere they want. 

  • Remind each other through a toy in order to enhance their experience.

NEXT STEP
  • Push the physical prototyping more and potentially test this out with the users

  • Consider the shape of physical object 

  • Speculate wider storyboard on more behavior changes for the couple 

© 2019 Karen Song. All Rights Reserved.