Thursday, 6 August 2015

Catching up: Week 2: Prototyping with Augmented Reality

Create a prototype of an everyday device using augmented reality.

Augmented reality (AR) is around us, and oftentimes we even do not realize that. This idea came to my mind when I was reading a book The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Nolan. Computers, smartphones, tablets, electronic books are those devices that interact with people. 

Inspired by Nolan’s ideas, examples and arguments, I decided to design a variation of a useful and known-to-everyone device – a USB flash drive.

Image credit: Custom USB

No one doubts the USB flash drive has become a thing we cannot imagine our life without. Why is it so popular? 

Well, that’s simple:
·      It’s compact;
·      It’s incredibly portable;
·      It’s rewritable;
·      It needs no additional software to be used;
·      It works fast and thus saves time;
·      It have a constantly increasing storage capacity;
·      It can interface with any laptop or computer.

Looking at this list, it seems the device is ideal. But in fact it is not.
Have you ever tried to plug it into your laptop upside down or confused the port? I’m sure the answer is positive. Each time it happens to me, I am irritated and start thinking that a USB connector isn’t fully user-friendly and needs some modifications to be done.
“Why not to make the USB connector rounded?” this is the idea that immediately comes to my mind.

Here’s what I suggest designing instead of a usual USB flash drive:

As it’s seen from my drawing, I want to make the USB port and the USB connector rounded instead of square-cut.

At the moment, if I want to plug the USB device into the port, I need to do the following:

  • Make sure I plug the connector into a port specifically designed for the USB device;
  • Make sure I put the USB connector in the required position, otherwise the flash drive won’t work, plus it can be broken.

     Too many efforts, don’t you think?

In case of a rounded USB port and a rounded USB connector (like in the headset, for example), my efforts will be minimized – I just need to plug the connector into the port not thinking about the right side or not worrying that I can break the USB  flash drive if I plug it incorrectly.
Thus, the newly developed prototype helps to save time, keep nerves in order, and lengthen the lifecycle of the USB device.

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