Hey yaa - product concept & prototype

Area: Product concept, Interaction design & Prototype
Client: Undergrad Thesis
School: Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial
Tutors: Pedro Luiz Pereira de Souza & Denise Fillipo
Year: 2010

Hey yaa is a ubiquitous interaction system that supports deaf communication by triggering it through a sensory-motor alert. Hey yaa intends to be an alternative to call people who are not able to hear. It was built as a pair of belts, with electronic components and conductive thread, and then tested in several users, including young people, adults, elderly, hearing impaired or not. The project research also explored scenarios of further uses, foreseeing the incorporation of more advanced technologies to the concept of haptic and ubiquitous communication.

Hey yaa was my undergrad thesis, in which I freely decided to explore the power of technology to improve people's lives in a daily basis. Getting to know Lilypad, I had this idea of using wearables to support disabled people communication. During the project, I did an exploratory research to understand the impact it would have in deaf lives, I built a prototype and created scenarios based on potential user's insights during the prototype evaluation. Results were compiled in the video below and published in the CRIWG Conference.

Hey yaa was built as my undergrad Final Project for Bachelor in Design. My goal was to explore how new technologies can be used to change everyday life. I was very interested in using Lilypad as I believed in the power of wearables because of its ubiquity.My stepmother used to teach deaf children and during my research I interviewed her to understand the biggest problems for hearing impaired. From the ones she pointed out, using lights as door bell and drawing kids attention in classroom were the most interesting. They sometimes can't see the lights when it is daytime. A wireless haptic connection seemed to be the answer for both problems.

Once I had my idea, I first arranged to meet a group of deaf people to validate it. It was a great meeting and they mentioned several uses for my project. I built the prototype and brought it back to them. I was very happy that day to see how amazed they were to see that working.

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