Designing a fictional smart backpack with its own intentions
Time frame: 10 weeks | 2 days a week | 2016
Team: 2 master students
This elective course was focused on exploring future interactive designs in a vivid and convincing manner without the use of advanced prototyping technologies. We learned to envision the interactions with our design as sensuous experiences, in which human actions and system feedbacks merge fluently into rhythms of exchange.
With the core of this project being to give form to the interactions and develop a convincing prototype, we quickly chose an object, target group and context for which to design. We saw inspiring opportunities for the design of a smart backpack and decided to target high school students. The context of the design is that of a social setting at school, where teenagers are confronted with their need to fit in while also wanting to stand out. We wanted to design a backpack that could help the more insecure students with this struggle.
The intention of Pat, the smart backpack, is to meet other backpacks. Pat senses when other backpacks are near and triggers his wearer to approach them, by means of haptic feedback. Together we devised a scenario and storyboard for the interaction, designed the backpack, made a life like mockup and shot the interaction video. This project taught me a lot about the nuances of human-product interaction. Designing from the perspective of a product proved an inspiring strategy for interaction design.
This physical mockup served to research the different smart backpack interactions.
We first defined Pat's character and how this is expressed by means of form, material, function and interaction.