From Pregnancy to Preschool.
During the winter of 2013 we had the opportunity to sponsor a project with Western Washington University's senior industrial design studio. The assignment was timely: define and design for the emerging Social Wearable Health market.
The students had to identify a market need, and then design a wearable device that contributed to a healthy lifestyle. This included a stationary dock for charging/data transfer and the user interface located on a smartphone or tablet. The results had to unite under a consistent design language while also accomplishing their individual, functional requirements.
Hearing is one of the first senses to develop in the womb. The fetal heart rate increases upon hearing familiar sounds and voices. After birth, infants recognize and are soothed by the sounds and voices they heard while in the womb. Both pre- and post-natal bonding are instrumental in the positive mental developed of a child, as well as in reducing complications during pregnancy.
Our goal was to develop a product that extends the benefits of prenatal bonding from conception through childhood. The wearable device uses a digital stethoscope to monitor the fetal heart rate, which responds to audio stimuli. Others who want to be involved in the bonding process can place a call through the phone application and directly communicate with the fetus through the speakers in the device.
The interface adapts to changes in the pregnancy, automatically adjusting playback volume in line with gestational development. The interface also recognizes if the device is docked or free and adjusts the display functions accordingly. Once the baby is born, the docked device acts as an automatically responsive sound machine, notifying baby monitor, and brightness-adjustable night light. The microphone senses sounds of distress from the infant, and responds through the speakers on the dock with familiar sounds heard while in the womb. The device can be taken on the go as a personalized sound machine for baby.
WWU Sr ID Professor
WWU Sr ID Class of 2013
Spark Concept Award - Finalist