So the very first iteration of our concept has been created and we have had the opportunity to present our ideas to the rest of the year. The presentation went well and gave us the space to have our prototype critiqued  by our peers. The presentation has brought up several issues that we must now focus on and improve before work starts on our second iteration.

 

People reacted positively to our idea and liked the tactile nature in which we conveyed information.

People liked the idea of creating an atmosphere in a window but questions were raised about how obvious the interaction needs to link with this initial window form.

People were interested in how we would differentiate between different types of rain and to what extent we wish to accurately represent them.

The main point that caused a lot of talk though was whether or not the final device would still incorporate sound. Many people were so taken with the idea of it being ‘Rain in a Box’ that they felt that sound would complicate the final outcome and detract from its personality. One of my fears though was in the event that there was no rain forecast in the future there would be no response to the user and that this could be mistaken as a fault with the device. Conversely, Graham brought up the idea of ‘white space’ in design and how the interaction of nothing could be just as powerful as the haptic response of the rain. Personally I feel this is an area I think that has to be explored once we have the rain element fully functional and create an experience prototype around it.

So looking toward the future we have several areas that we are going to specifically look at for our second prototype:

We are going to re-think the form of the device  and ask ourselves if  such an obvious interaction is the best option.

We are going to study materials and how water droplets hitting different surfaces alters the natural sound of the device.

We are going to look at different methods of droplet creation other than a perforated tube.

We are going to look for a water pump that is more suited to our needs.

Ever since we have begun working on the ‘Rain in a box’ idea I have been trying to think of where we could source a powerful battery operated water pump. This was until a couple of days ago when I was talking to others within my year who are also working with water and they told me how they had sourced a caravan pump. How on earth I didn’t think of that after all the years my parents took me caravaning. The small device is fully submergible and runs off a 12V battery pack that we can link to our Arduino via a MOSFET transistor. This pump has reduced the size constraints of the final device greatly.


Read more from James Rice at http://www.jamesricedesign.wordpress.com