Wearable Sleep Band for Virgin Media
This product was the outcome of a fast turn around freelance project for Virgin Media. The aim was to create a wristband that fitted the product language and brand guidelines of Virgin Media, whilst integrating technology built by students at the Manchester Creative Studio.
An excerpt from the Virgin Media press release gives an overview of the product.
"Turkey with all the trimmings, one more sherry and hours with the in-laws: no wonder one in five (18%) of us are expected to fall asleep on the sofa on Christmas day.
With Brits watching around 4 hours of festive viewing on Christmas day, people are set to miss up to 51.3 million viewing hours including shows such as Strictly Come Dancing, Downton Abbey or the expected killing off of Gail Platt in Coronation Street.
Luckily for us, Tech savvy teens, Ryan Oliver, 15, and Jonathan Kingsley, 14, students at Manchester Creative Studio, teamed up with Virgin Media, as part of its Switched on Futures initiative to create ‘KipstR’ - wearable technology to rescue sleeping Sofa Bears from the Fear Of Missing Out (F.O.M.O) by automatically setting their TiVo boxes to record whatever they’re watching if they fall asleep in front of the box.
Ryan and Jonathan were commissioned by Virgin Media to help develop the 3D printed wristband which uses a pulse-oximeter to sense if the wearer is asleep or awake and then mimics the users’ TiVo remote control to pause, record or resume a show appropriately. "
As this project lasted only a couple of days we went from sketch to prototype within 48 hours! This did mean many aspects of the product were not thought through in depth, however the solution worked and showed the concept in a fairly decent form. Initial sketches were used to explore different executions of the brand in this form and these were then used as the foundation to create quick illustrations of various routes. Once the client had selected the design, the wristband was built in CAD software and the. Sent to 3D print.
For me personally I don't see a real need for this product and, as it was created mainly for marketing purposes, I doubt it will ever be put on the market. Having said that, it was interesting to explore how wearable technology could be integrated into more use scenarios other than sports tracking, a second screen for your phone or step counter.
Crucially I will always work on a project that supports young designers who have an interest in technology and actually making something with what they know!