B2.1 Project DPB210 Project 2 Design

Thermow

Team

Ben Muntinga, Ingmar Nieuweboer, Jelle Hamoen

Competencies
  • Technology & Realisation
  • User & Society
  • Design & Research Processes
Knowledge
  • Design Research
  • Group Communication
  • Ideation Techniques
  • Leadership
  • Programming & Electronics
  • Project Planning
  • Prototyping
  • UX Design
References

Thermow is a set of ‘smart’ pillows that act as a mediator between the central heating system of a house and the user. When the pillows are compressed they become warm and tell the central heating system to turn itself down a degree or two. The pillows give both haptic and visual feedback about their state, enriching the interaction, and allowing for other IoT devices to use this feedback for other purposes such as media experiences.

We came up with the idea, experimented and improved upon it, and made 4 working prototypes of the pillow. These prototypes contained heating wire, a pressure sensor to detect the compression/hugging, a light strip and a buzzing actuator. We then tested the pillows in a user test and made some last refinements before demonstrating them.

I immediately noticed that this would be a different project than I would be used to, mostly due to the varying personalities of my group peers. Our ideation process immediately started out very experience-based, and through rapid prototypes, cardboard modeling and sketchbattles, we explored very quickly and in diverse ways. I was used to overthinking these decisions. It was a fresh way of running a project.

During the project, I learned how to steer a group with very different personalities towards an end goal, often acting as a moderator between three very separate opinions. I tried to steer our brainstorms from incoherent discussions towards practical design decisions. Additionally, I sharpened my Arduino and Processing skills by doing a lot of work on the final prototype and demonstration.

Credits (top to bottom, left to right)

Cover Photo | by Ingmar Nieuweboer
Figure 1 | by Ingmar Nieuweboer
Figure 2 | by Zeno Kapitein