Loop 

A smart add-on for existing wristwear that builds interpersonal relations while regulating problematic screen use.

 
 
 
 

 

 

 Design Challenge

How might we reduce problematic screen time and encourage real-life human interaction?


The response was developed as a part of Microsoft Design Expo 2019’s theme of ‘Empathy at Scale’.

 
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 Research

 
 

Primary and secondary research

“Using smartphones constantly is like cigarette addiction in the 80s and 90s” - a parent during interview

Excessive internet use leads to shrinkage in brain processing areas and affects emotional wellbeing - European Journal of Radiology

We interviewed parents and adults about their daily technology use. We conducted secondary research to explore how use of internet and smartphones affects our wellbeing.

 
 
 

Competitive analysis

We quickly realized that there is no existing solution that addresses this issue. Google and Apple’s effort at regulating screen use do not encourage social interactions, feel rigid are hard to set up.

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Key Takeaways

Phone and internet use leads to weaker interpersonal empathy and affects our ability to read human emotions

 

Screen use is changing the way interact with fellow beings and our surroundings.

 
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 Synthesis

 

“Strength of technology lies in its ability for collaboration, communication and bringing in a diverse set of opinions” - Project advisors

Seeing the severe effects of technology on our wellbeing and empathy, and through feedback from our advisors, we started thinking about how technology could be used to address an issue it created it created in the first place.

We became interested in using Affective Computing, an AI system to understand multimodal information streams and emotional states, as an assistive tool in developing interpersonal empathy.

 
 

Ideation

 

Brainstorming

We focused on two challenges for the ideation phase - regulating problematic screen use and encouraging social interactions. We brainstormed ideas that could address these two challenges independently and then merged the best ideas.

 
 

Downselecting ideas

We evaluated our ideas on factors such as ease of adoption, flexibility, and the barrier to social interactions.

 
 

Refining the concept

“One of the biggest challenges of wearables is the motivation to actually wear it …… there's a pretty clear "network effect" at play”

We quickly realized that the building a standalone wearable with a limited use case would not scale and may actually restrict it its effectivity. We decided to instead create a smart add-on for existing wristwear.

 

Key takeaways

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 Implementation

 

Prototyping

I mocked up the wireframes for the how the app interface would look like. We

 
 
 

Interactions

 
 
 

Outcome