Technology gives us an abundance of useful and rewarding benefits. It allows us to work faster and more efficiently, to keep in contact with those far away, or capture memories to share with others.
But, despite all the wonderful things technology brings us, it often leaves us less connected with people and more connected to simulations of them. Like finding ourselves spending time with friends, but noticing every one of them engaged with something on their phone, instead of actually communicating with each other.
How can we create a screen-based interaction that encourages individuals to put down their phones and have more meaningful connections with those around them.
Despite being able to get as creative as we wanted with our solution, it was difficult to get past the contradiction of using technology to get away from technology.
We spent a majority of our brainstorming on walking through scenarios where people are with others, maybe they are at a party, a concert, or even just sitting next to each other on the bus. We wanted to understand why, in these situations, individuals feel the compulsion to take out their phones instead of completely engaging with their acquaintances.
Taking out our phones has simply become a bad habit we can’t control. Whether it’s our email, a text, scrolling through news feeds or playing a game of Candy Crush, we just cant seem to put it down. This is a hard problem to tackle, but something to consider in our solution.
The other most prominent reason we take out our phones not only when we are with others, but also by ourselves, is to capture and subsequently share the moment we happen to be experiencing. This is something we didn’t want to ask anyone to give up, but felt it was where we could make the most impact in our solution.
Our concept was smart glasses that passively capture those meaningful moments so you don’t have to “ruin” it by taking out your phone. These glasses operate like traditional vision correction glasses or sunglasses.
They will be equipted with a microphone and dual cameras for 3D capturing. With an algorithm, they can detect visually and audibly moments that are meaningful by the presense of faces it recognizes, scenery and the inflections in people’s voices.
Worried the glasses may miss a moment? With a single touch to the side of the glasses the moment capture will be activated ensuring you will have images, video and audio of the moment to reflect on later.
Despite the glasses capturing your experiences, you will likely still feel compelled to take out your phone. Don’t worry, you can still use it with complete functionality, but the glasses will have a phone screen sensor that activates a red filter over the sceen if it senses you’re in an important moment. This feature allows you to use your phone if need be, but reminds you that the moment may be more important than using your mobile device.
All of the images, videos and audio collected will packaged by event and weekly dates then sent to a personal SnipIt website. These files are only able for view on desktop or laptop, ensuring that you enjoy the moment and come back to them later to either save or share them with your friends and family.
Although we only had a few days to come up with our solution and were unable to attempt to create an actual prototype, with our research we were confident that the majority of the features we’ve outlined in our solution would be feasible.
The smart glasses were well received by the class and our instructor. He made a special note that the red filter and packaging the media content for desktop-only use were compelling solutions to help curb the preoccupation of taking out our mobile devices.