An interactive and customizable light system
that indicates flow of time quietly.
A Little Jar of Time
Setting a timer is common in everyday scenarios - in presentations, meetings, and at work. However, in some scenarios digital timers might have negative effects triggered by the precise display of time or the alarming sound.
People feel anxious triggered by precise time display and alarming sound.
Alarming sound disturb others and too intrusive for a non urgent task.
Alarming sound would interrupt the conversation during meeting.
HOW MIGHT WE
Help people set up a quiet timer without being intrusive and disturbing to ongoing tasks and surroundings?
The light flow serves as you customizable timer.
To reset the timer, simply tilt the jar.
Connect the light wirelessly to your phone to customize the time.
change is indicated by rise of light
the jar to reset the time then the light start filling from the bottom.
your light wireless through bluetooth to customize the
Product Solution & Material
Switch and Bluetooth
Tactile Button Switch*2
Bleached Mulberry Paper*2
Individual Addressable 144 LED light strips*2
Clear Acrylic Sheet
Tilt Ball Switch*1
PLA(3D printed Caps)*2
Breadboard and Wires
3D Modeling and Printing
We ideate different shapes of hourglass as the container of light. We wanted to use the form of hourglass to represent the concept of flowing time. Afterwards, due to the limitation of technology, it’s hard to have LED strips fit the hourglass shape, we compromised to use a cylinder shape.
Two strips of LED lights are powered by Arduino board. Each LED is programmed to have its blinking speed corresponded to timing duration
Considering its organic texture and diffusion ability, we use Mulberry paper as the light cover. (figure 1) We 3D model and print the two base. (figure 2)Inside the light, we laser cut 27 rings on a clear acrylic sheet and glue them together to build the body of the jar.(figure 3,4)
We put all LED light strips inside the jar and assemble all wires and components together. Power it, it works!
1 female and 3 males are recruited on the prototype. Their age range from 20 to 30 years old. 1 is a student from UW; 3 works in Seattle based companies. We recruited these four people because of their level of technology literacy and their professional working experience in technology.
After the jar was preset for 1 minute, we compared 2 modes of light by asking
our participants to
1. spot differences in given pictures
2. talk to the moderator about their work
For each of the task, we asked the participants to turn on or reset the jar and remind the moderator when time was up.
Two Light Modes
Mode A: Light rises up from bottom to top and gradually fills the whole bottle. When time is up, the pulsing light lasts until the user turns it off.
Mode B: Light rises up from bottom to top. When time is up, the light turns off automatically.
The power button should be resigned to be more reactive to tapping and have buttons at both top and bottom
When participants are asked to turn on the jar, 3 out of 4 needed guidance to "press harder." P3 and P4 used both hands to press the power button. P2 tap the top of the jar to switch on, and P4 verbally expressed the same intention. we inferred that the button should be tappable on the top and bottom of the jar.
Inverting the jar to reset the time is desirable, but the size and shape of the jar should be optimized ergonomically
When we asked the participants to flip the jar to reset, 4 out of 4 expressed different levels of compliments. However, in the debrief session, 3 out of 4 mentioned that the jar was too big to be inverted easily.
Participants did not notice that time was up until they finished the tasks in both prototypes.
P2 and P4 was focusing on the given task and did not notice time was up with both prototypes immediately. Whereas when talking to the moderator, he ended the conversation when he noticed that time was up. They claimed that they preferred Prototype B because it was more obvious to them.