We’re already starting to think about our final project for Physical Computing, which will be due on Week 12. I’ve put together a sketch and some thoughts on an idea that I’ve been interested in for a little while.
As I mentioned in class, I’m really interested in creating pleasant experiences for the home environment. Maybe some products could serve a utilitarian purpose, but for the most part, I’d like to focus on products that will simply make a person’s day-to-day at home just a little nicer.
There’s a particular moment when you’re at home that I’ve been wanting to design for—the shower. Everyone these days has busy schedules with a hundred different things to do and people to see. However, there’s one moment that they have to themselves. It’s the 10-15 minutes they spend in the shower. The shower is this introspective moment where you can think about your ideas, disconnect from whatever stresses your dealing with and just focus on yourself. I’m interested in heightening both the relaxation and introspective elements of the shower experience through aroma therapy.
I’d like to create a device that can sense when a person is in the shower using humidity or temperature sensors and deliver high quality aromas based on the appropriate time of day or setting. For example, when you’re trying to relax at the end of a long day, you would get a lavender scent which is known to help with anxiety and relaxation. On the other hand, you would get something like a eucalyptus scent in the morning to invigorate you and help you wake up. Here is a sketch of what it could look like. It’s shape is slightly inspired by a tulip.
I think the user would want control over when they use the device, and what scents they’d receive in certain situations. Therefore, the top of the device (i.e. the section that’s shaded) would rotate and act as a dial where they would select what scent/setting they wanted. Currently, I put a sun icon for morning (i.e. invigorating scent for morning) and there would be a moon icon for nighttime (i.e. relaxing scent for the evening). I am not set on using this iconography as there could be conflicts in using this contextual logic. For instance, you may want a relaxing shower experience during the dat which maybe be confusing with the sun/moon settings. They way I label the scents and categorize them is a work in progress.
As far as how it would work, I see a humidity or temperature sensor recognizing when a person is in the shower and that would turn on an LED behind the button. This would notify the user that the device is ready to use. Then they could select their scent and press the button to release the aroma.
Another thing that’s not 100% clear is whether I use a vaporizer to deliver the scents, and whether I’m able to build such technology, or if I go more the route of essential oils that I heat to release.