Wednesday, April 2, 2014

INDN 311: Competition Worries

So, I've had a wee bit of doubt over the past few days with respect to my alarm clock project, due mostly to the fact that I'm concerned about the competition that's out there, as well as trouble with expressing my form as something that could be new and interesting, without being just another lit wooden object that looks the same as so many things out there, even though I totally dig that look.

So I decided to take a few steps back. I want to create something that people can primarily enjoy the function of. I want it to be something beautiful, something that people can enjoy the look and style of. But, most importantly, I want the product to be something that people can trust to get them up in the morning. Our lecturer speaks a lot about the emotional importance of the designed objects, and how people connect with them emotionally and the emotions that the object can invoke in people.

So, the first thing I tried to do was take a step away from the traditional alarm clock, in both form and function. Perhaps the item that I wanted to create fulfilled more functions than just waking you up? Perhaps it also provided ambient lighting for your room, lighting that changed based on the time of day that it was. Basically one idea was a giant F.lux program, but FOR YOUR ROOM. Pretty sweet, huh?

Well then I decided maybe I should gravitate away from normal forms entirely, and try out some forms that were a bit less standard. I considered referencing the day/night cycle in an arching form, or reflecting the sun in the form of a globe shape that illuminated. One idea that's really stuck with me is the idea of something that projects a show onto the ceiling for the user to go to sleep to. Perhaps a miniature projector?

This then led me to consider the way that the mobile phone illuminates the room when it's placed on it's back. I love the way the quite directed display can create quite an ethereal light in the room, with a bit of care in terms of what happens on the screen itself. One idea that I liked was to experiment with the existing technology to integrate support and functionality from something that a lot of us have already, a smart phone.

The colours and shapes can be quite vague, but they are sort of distinguishable, which I really like. An idea I had with regards to that concept was the idea of projecting the light from the phone through moving water, which could give it a really nice quality on the roof. More experimentation with this is required though, as I have yet to see if a slightly broader light source has a different impact to a pinpoint light source.

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