Airome

Airome - Smart Air Purifier.

BFA Thesis @ SCAD | 3 Month  | 2015

Airome project is an exploration of current air purifier and how to improve it through user experience design. Both traditional industrial design tools and innovative interaction design methods are used to design and develop the prototype and the experience.

Deliverable includes a web-based presentation design assets and a hardware and software prototypes. This project was showcased in the BFA Design Industrial Design Exhibit in SCAD.

Airome project allows me to explore different ways to interact between traditional household application and interaction with human. Moreover, I got a chance to apply different research methodologies.Throughout the 10 week duration of the project, I learned about how the consumer industry operates, and how to resolve the complexity of it all through interaction design and systems thinking.

Tool Used: Illustrator, After Effect, Invision, Photoshop, Pen and paper, 3D Printer, Wood shop, Paint booth , Human brain

Background.

My project stemmed from a concern about breathing issue from one of my friends. Then I identified more problems such as smoking issue and allergy especially in China where lack of good air quality control. More and more people are suffering from bad air quality and seeking help. The air purifier is a hot market right now.

 

Secondary Research.

What's in the air?

Bacteria

Pollen

Dust mites

Mold

Smoke

What are the causes?

Illness

Lung cancer, asbestos, mesothelioma, asthma symptoms, throat irritation, flu. Loss of coordination, liver

problem, brain problem and kidney damage

What we have now?

I performed an extensive competitive research on both air purifier product companies and technology companies. This was helpful in identifying what features existed and why. However, most of them are Huge, Noisy, Dirty and Not movable.

Insight

The average area of Chinese apartments are small; yet they tend to have more than 3 rooms. The most of the air purifiers fail to clean the air in high performance as they promised in advertisements, like 99% of particles, because the normal room cannot keep the idea temperature or humidity as in the lab. As a result of that, some people have to buy multiple air purifiers, placing them in different rooms.

 

Survey.

I also designed and sent out surveys that I shared on multiple social media in large city in China where I knew I could reach a large number of people. Based on sample of 500 people, I researched about there living environment, acceptable price and etc.

 

After the interview and survey, I organized all the data and made sense of it by coding all the answers, creating affinity maps from our interviews and analyzing the results of the survey. To be more clear about the what the user needs.

Affinity Map

User Journey.

I illustrated the situations described by people that I interviewed to gain a better understanding of the situationI and created some scenarios based on some typical user journeys. It helped me to understand the particular pain points that user's experience, and how I can best solve these problems with the product.

Usability Insight

  • Doesn't need too much human operation

  • Take less space/no space

  • Reduce the time to change filter/ Easy to change filter

  • When the air purifier turns on, it will not disturb the user

Concept.

After multiple rounds of Brainstorming, I drew inspiration from Internet of Things. What if instead of one device taking care of all the rooms, only one device is responsible for one room. All the devices connected together, transferring data they collected individually through cloud and learn the schedule. 

When the device detected the user is in the room, it will automatively turn to quiet mode instead of bugging the user. Howeber, if it detect the high level of polluted air(smoking), it  will still operate to prevent user from harm.

Instead of buying a huge chunk of box with high efficiency, Airome only takes care of one room.That is the reason why it can be small and elegant.With more than one Airome, they can interact with each other, leaning you schedules and be your best assistant at home.

Ideation.

 

After defining the style, I start to sketch a bunch of variation of the look of the hardware. I was attracted by the idea hanging on the wall so that it can save a lot of space and also be decoratively. 

The opening hole can lower the visual weight but also be the place where the air goes in. I am looking for the form that is simple to fit into most of the modern home interior, but also with enough details that people knows it is an high tech air purifier.

Final Concept.

 

Available in different color and finishes

The left side is where you change filter and water.

Filter

Opened from side (where the air comes out ), the case of Airome's filter  prevent the user to change filter without getting dusty.

The opening hole is where the air goes in

Structure

After study the structures of multifple different

air purifiers, and different types of filters, I

shrink the whole size of the hardware down to

40cm, the size that the user doesn’t need to

change the filter too often, but it is still elegant

to hang on the wall.

User does require to

change the water very often due to the

filtration of the large particales by water; yet,

it is quit convenient for the user to acesse to

water.

 

Materials

 

The aluminium alloy is what to keep the hardware light enough to hang on the wall.

Lightning

The aluminium alloy is what to keep the hardware light enough to hang on the wall.

Interface Design.

 

I did a few user tests on different design. 18 people help me settle down with this one because it has enough information that people need to know, but not too complicated that the user gets lost. The main change from the feedback of the users: The whole point of having everything connecting together and machine learning and is to minimizing the use of the hardware since it

might be far away from the user.

As a result of that, I changed my whole interface design to that every time the screen lights up, it restart to the homepage, the control panel, which is the one that the users want to see the

most often.It is also why I combine lightness, humidity and air control into just one screen. Due to the feedback, they won’t stay with the device for too long.

BREATHING LIGHT

 

The opening hole also has a breathing LED light, indicating the air quality of the room

Red means really really bad, orange means bad, purple means sort of bad, green means ok, blue means perfect

LET IT LEARN YOUR WAY

 

It learns your schedule and automotive

determines when to operate.

You can also manually check and modify

the schedule. It memorizes.

 

LIGHTS UP

 

With motion sensor, It lights up when it detects that the user is getting closer

With your figure scrolling the dots, the lightness changes.

The upper dots control light, the down blue dots control the air purifier modes.

App Design.

Design iterations & decisions

 

In this fast-paced project timeline, I took all the design decisions I made for the app - but sometimes I was hesitated and confused as well. Through the process, I was able to communicate to a few of people who already own air purifiers and constantly getting feedback from them.

I conducted multiple user testing, compared and convinced, talked to users and experts before making decisions alone. I kept open to suggestions and always felt lucky to fail early. It worked.

App interface

 

After collecting the feedback, the interface of the app was designed to be very simple yet a little bit playful with the colorful homepage and weather animation. The tabs on the menu were narrowed down to 4: home, a general view of all the information, lightness control, Airome control and account.

Same User Behavior

 

Designed for consistancy so that the users would be easier to understand how to use it, the app interface is very similar to Airome device interface, you can also use your figure to scroll to change either modes or lights.

Thank you for watching!
 

Hardware Prototype.

 

Made with 3D Printer, Clay, Blue Foam and Led Light

© 2019 Xinbei Hu