1. Dash Button + Amazon Prime Now
Dash Button is an Amazon product that allows users to easily reorder their daily essentials with a single press of a button. The idea is that you place a button on the side of where you keep your daily essentials, such as Tide laundry pods, toilet paper or shaving cream, and when you find that your inventory is low, you simply klick on the button and Amazon will take care of the rest. The outcome of such product is that your essentials will never run out. Here is a link to the products homepage.
Prime Now is a service that guarantees a 2-hour delivery at any day when a costumer shops on Amazon and ships to metropolitan areas in US. By integrating their storage system and delivery service, Amazon made this service both time and cost efficient. This service requires a subscription of Amazon's Prime membership and an app on smartphone.
My design inspired by the two above is a programmable set of buttons that provides an easy way to order grocery and have it delivered to the costumer with in 1-2 hours.
Just like the dash buttons, these buttons will be located in places convenient for access, like on the side of the fridge or microwave. The buttons are connected to a computer or a smartphone via Bluetooth, where users can modify what actions to perform on pressing each button. In my design, each button each button represents a dish or course. For example, button 1 represents baked potatoes while button 2 represents Mu Shu Pork.
When a user gets up and is thinking about cooking a meal for lunch, he/she simply presses a couple of buttons and all the ingredients for the chosen dishes will be delivered to him/her shortly. Because the amount of the ingredients for each serving is pre-determined, no ingredient goes to waste, the user always eats fresh, and it is very easy for the user to keep his/her calories intake.
The idea is that currently people (especially single people) who live in cities are facing a dilemma: eating outside or ordering takeouts are both expensive and unhealthy, yet buying groceries and cook is time consuming, not to mention groceries go bad quickly, wasting peoples money and at the same time compromising their health. With the newly designed "dash buttons", all the ingredients are prepared (diced or shredded, for instance) for the users before they are delivered, so that the user simply needs to focus on the cooking. It is fast and convenient, and everything happens behind the scene, without user realizing what's going on. The goal is that users will cook more, always eat fresh, and no food goes to waste.
2. Ozmo Smart Cup + Apple Watch (or any other fitness tracking wearables)
Ozmo Smart Cup is a kickstarter project that aims at using a smart cup to measure a person's water intake, so that it could suggest the users to drink water and stay hydrated. Here is a link to the project.
My design is to use the cup's idea and function, but to put it into other fitness tracking devices like Fitbit or Apple Watch, and help users understanding their bodies' needs better. I believe that in this wave of wearables, sensors are the key. By making the sensors small and energy efficient, i.e. light enough to wear on human body without causing discomfort, we can recreate everything in hour lives and add new meanings to them.
By putting a sensor in the cup, like the creators of Ozmo cup, now we understand how much water we are drinking daily. But there's still one problem: we don't know how much water we have in our bodies, and whether I need more water this very second. That's where the wearables come in. Imagine a wearable that has all the body sensors built-in into a watch-sized wristband, and the battery can last for years. It is constantly measuring the body's blood pressure, heart beats, blood sugar level, BMI, and what kind of activity the user's engaged in. By collecting these data silently in the background 24/7, the software gets a better understanding of what's going on with the body than anyone else in the world, and when it detects that the body does't have enough water, it will remind the user, not by beeping the cup, but beep on the user's wrist. In that case, the user do not need to pour water into that particular cup and drink, but to drink from any cup, and sensor will notice this intake from what it's been tracing. It's not about how much water we take in; it's about whether the body getting what it needs when it needs it.
3. Dobot: Robotic Arm for Everyone + Notification
Dobot is a robotic arm that can perform various of tasks. It has a couple of sensors so that it is able to identify and recognize certain objects. So there's a certain level of intelligence inside it.
Aren't we all a little tired of being told about what to do by our phone's notifications constantly? And I can say for everybody, but even if I got a notification to do something, either routine or important, there is a good chance that I end up not doing it anyway. The problem is not what we don't know it's time to do something; it's that even if we know what need to be done, we are not able to get around to (aka. too lazy to) do it.
What if instead constantly remind us to do something, now the smartphone redirect the reminder to our robotic arm, or perhaps in the coming future, our robotic servant? For example, if it's time to take your medication, instead of reminding you to do so, your smartphone tells your robot, and the robot pours you a glass of water in the temperature you prefer and bring it along with the medication to you. All you need to do is to put the pill in your mouth, take a sip of water and swallow, and then go back to what you were doing. The same goes to watering your plants, feeding your cat, paying your bills, etc. Basically, the robot lays down the ground work and you simply take seconds to do your part. By simplifying the tasks, users would feel more encouraged than simply being "notified" to do stuff.