From a table lamp that relieves stress before bed, to a wearable device that protects medical staff from violent patients, to a means of transmitting off-grid technology to mobile devices through movement. These are among 42 concepts and prototypes that University of Sydney students have created to manage common health and lifestyle problems.
The novel ideas belong to this year’s graduating students of Design Computing and Interaction Design and Electronic Arts. They feature in the graduation show Framing the Future that opens in the University’s Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning on Thursday, 24 November.
“Our students identify the needs, frustrations and desires of people to deliver design-driven technology that is innovative and intuitive to use,” said Dr Martin Tomitsch, associate professor in design and head of the design lab at the University of Sydney.
“The disruption that technology has brought to industries, organisations and services over the past decade has highlighted the need for more creative thinkers adept in design and technology combined. Our students are fulfilling this growing demand.”
One of the key themes of the 2016 student work is health and wellbeing, which saw common issues such as ADHD, insomnia, alcohol abuse and personal fitness tackled.
From apps, websites and games, to virtual reality, interactive toys and wearable devices, the students have experimented with emerging technology that may become part of daily life in the future.
Among the student inventions is PulseWave – a wearable, wireless device worn by frontline medical staff vulnerable to aggressive patients. It features a set of sensors and microphone that pick up an escalating heartbeat, external vibrations and sounds, alerting a central monitoring system.
LEO is a smart lamp designed to de-stress people before bed. Using light and sound, it guides a person through breathing exercises and plays soothing sounds to put them to sleep.
Octobot is a modular toy that improves a child’s attentiveness through a combination of interactive electronic parts that are playful and inspire creativity.
Motivator is a running app that uses a drone and music to spur on a runner. The runner follows the drone that is set on a particular course. When they fall behind, the music becomes softer, signaling the runner to keep up with the drone.
Volts turns a phone obsession into positive energy and activity when users are at a standstill in public spaces. It uses Pavegen technology that generates off-grid electricity through movement wirelessly transmitted to a mobile device.
Bourband is a wristband linked to a phone app that measures alcohol consumption. A tab is set up on the app to track drinks purchased via the wristband, which the bartender scans. Alcohol content is also monitored and the tab is cut when the user reaches their limit.
Framing the Future officially opens at the University of Sydney on Thursday, 24 November at 6.30pm and is on display until Saturday, 26 November (10am-4pm, 25-26 Nov).