Project 1: Nudgeables

The assigned article on aspects of wearability influenced me to begin considering objects that consistently live within our body space. These objects, such as keys on a keychain, already occupy a position of comfort and familiarity with the user. My intention was to integrate my nudgeables kit with a set of keys on a chain, in order to achieve a degree of inherent comfort in the design.

I chose to design and create a leather pouch that hangs alongside keys on a keychain. The pouch is an appropriate object because the space within the bag is perfect for housing the hardware in a self contained object. The pouch contains three interior pockets: one for the circuit board and battery, one for the vibrating motor and one for the button.

The user triggers the switch by reaching down and pressing the button which is encased on the inside edge of the pouch. There is currently no indication of the button’s location on the pouch, but I could potentially have added a texture of material difference in order to better communicate that interaction. Because the pouch hangs with the keys, it fits in well with the natural action of constantly checking to ensure that you still have your keys. It also hangs at the side of the user at waist height, which conforms to the guidelines to placing wearable objects on the body described in design for wearability. I tried to create an object with a certain degree of beauty that existed on it’s own as a fashionable accessory, and did not stick out as a strange or unnatural object.

  1. Placement: The pouch is placed at the outside of the hip, positioning it in an unobtrusive part of the body.
  2. Form Language: The form of the pouch is designed to elegantly contain the nudgeables hardware.
  3. Human Movement: Noticing that the action of checking for one’s keys is a common motion, I designed the pouch to coincide with that movement.
  4. Proxemics: I paired the pouch with keys, which are an object which already exists within the typical human perception of the body space.
  5. Sizing: Because the pouch is affixed to the body at one point, the design accounts for variances in human diversity. However a draw back to this is that the vibration is more difficult to notice than if it were directly affixed to the skin.
  6. Attachment: In addition to accounting for human diversity, the one point attachment reduces any restrictions on the body.

The process of crafting the leatherwork took a lot of trial and error to practice sewing techniques and get the sizing correct. My final prototype ended up being my third attempt. I also started creating some beadworks to ornament the surface of the pouch and to communicate the location of the hidden button, but after a lot of time making the beaded piece I had difficulty elegantly attaching it and cohesively integrating it with the pouch.

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