This project stems from research currently being conducted by Ian Culverhouse as part of his PhD study, investigating the potential for rapid low fidelity prototyping techniques for information appliance design.
Information appliances present a number of challenges to designers, largely due to their complex nature of combining software and hardware. A number of groups having been working on interactive prototyping methodologies for some time. However a number of important factors have been overlooked.
This work presents an experimental toolkit that hopes to allow product designers to rapidly create flexible low fidelity interactive prototypes during the very early sketch development stages of the design process, with a goal time of 1-2 hours. The approach taken speeds up the prototyping process in a number of ways. A large reduction in time and effort is achieved by removing the need to hollow a prototype out and embed electronic hardware. Instead a conductive substrate is attached to a foam sketch model, to which input controllers can be simply pushed into. A wearable reader is then used to detect the triggering of the input controllers and transmits the ID of the relevant controller to a near by computer via bluetooth. This allows for rapid iteration of interactive concept models by simply removing and reinserting the input controllers to the substrate.
To see a demo of the system in use check out the demos page.
If you are interested in finding out more about this experimental prototyping approach, would like to use it in a project, or simply want to know more about who is behind the work then please get in touch by emailing Ian Culverhouse.
Experimental Prototyping Toolkit Illustration