In the fall of 2019 I was invited to participate in IDEO CoLab's makeathon. CoLab is a specifically future-looking branch of IDEO which tries to solve problems that will arise from future technological development. Our project was on how to leverage connected devices to better serve the needs of those with chronic healthcare conditions, which resulted in a device we designed called InsideOut.
We only had four hours to construct our project, so we concentrated more on storytelling as opposed to building high fidelity prototypes. Because the goal is to look forward decades into the future, we had a lot of flexibility in imagining the types of interactions that would be possible.
The goal was to build something that would give patients agency and allow them to interact with their symptoms in a more tangible and controllable way. In otherwords, to bring what was going on on the inside, out.
InsideOut is a soft robotics device that is capable of collecting biometric data from the patients as well as interacting with the cloud. It can receive and relay calls through bone conduction, it can vibrate or warm up as a signal to the user, and it can serve as a soft input device where the interfaces are squeezing and tugging.
The target markets we focused on were diabetes and Alzheimer's/Dementia. These patient groups are both tied to and feel defined by the devices they have to remember to carry, or the tasks they have to remember to perform. InsideOut allows them to control the public perception of their medical device by making it unobtrusive and fashionable.
All of us were involved in all parts of the process, including the ideation and design, storytelling and storyboarding, and pitching. However since I was the only one on the team with electronics experience, I also built our looks-like prototype, which was able to show the types of interactions that one could have with their InsideOut, plus or minus some acting.