Who wouldn’t want to play with the latest tech gadgets? Following the first lesson on trends, the second lesson of the new Wearable Technology and eHealth course gave students the opportunity to test and to experiment with a wide range of wearable devices and prototyping tools. Instructor Karen Whistler first presented examples of eHealth solutions with an analysis of utility, entertainment and information within current connected products. Hands-on testing and playing with a series of connected devices consumed the remainder and majority of the class. The mandate was to evaluate the strengths and the limitations of current connected and wearable devices, with an emphasis on having fun. In addition to a collection of iOS and Android devices, the students had access to Sphero, Nike+ FuelBands (1st Gen & SE), Jawbone UP, Phillips Hue Bridge & 3 bulbs, and WeMo Motion and Switch. The students were challenged to propose ‘hacks’ and additions to the devices to push them further in functionality. Hands down, the highlight to this lesson was the use of the prototyping tool: MaKey MaKey. The entire class even got involved to create a human circuit to power the virtual piano. It was fun to see the use of a graphite pencil to draw the keys on a sheet of paper to actually trigger the playing of the piano. At the end of this lesson, the students were given the project briefs for the term. We’re looking forward to seeing the solutions they come up with.
Hot on the heels of his DD Talks presentation about Digital Trends, Nik Badminton was a guest speaker for the first lesson of the new Wearable Technology and eHealth course. He discussed trends in the mobile arena and recent industry developments such as different ways smartphones have been hacked to achieve greater functionality. The students were also given a review about the concept of the Internet of Things, which expanded the discussion possibilities and planted seeds for their in-class exercise. Nik and instructor Karen Whistler led a workshop session for the students to brainstorm ways an iPhone and an app could be used to solve human challenges for a specified area such as business productivity, home management, health and fitness, gaming, school, driving, travel, communication, storing data, and sharing data. They had to consider ways to evolve existing features and technologies of a smartphone. The students presented a wide range of ideas covering solutions from escaping a bad date to weather forecasting for commute planning. It was a great start to an exciting new course.
Our next post about this course will cover eHealth solutions and the testing of wearable products currently on the market.
Here is our brand new collection of connected and wearable devices, which we will be experimenting and playing with as part of the newest VFS Digital Design course – “Wearable Technology and eHealth” – which will be taught by Karen Whistler. We have JawBone and the UP band, the latest Fuelband, Hue and Sphero!
However, this course is about more than play—we will be using the devices for hands-on experience with emerging technology. Students will be using them to unpack and validate thinking behind the underlying tech and how systems like these will integrate into all aspects of our lifestyle in the near future. In this course, the final deliverable will be to prototype an eHealth solution. This will be shown through a Case Study video that communicates the Big Idea, initial prototype and pitches where the project would head next if given adequate funding.