Conceptual Design

Use Scenario

Our target user is a dog and their owner. The dog doesn’t need to have any specific age range (though younger might be ideal from the human user’s perspective, as they would still be in the trainable range), nor does the dog need to have any computer skills or a specific occupation. The human user is likely out of teen years, as we’re imagining a home owner/renter. The human doesn’t need any specific computer / occupational skills either; they will, however,  need to be able to attach the sensor to a specific structure, like a doorframe, and will need to own a dog.

This system attempts to solve the problem of a sneaky dog who’s gotten out of their owner’s sight. If a dog has been left home alone, there is no way to prevent them from entering a room they aren’t allowed in, or getting into trouble – like unrolling a full roll of toilet paper, or chewing a new pair of shoes in their owner’s closet.

In using sensor technology, we propose a dog collar with a proximity sensor, and multiple readers to place around the owner’s house. When the reader sees that the dog has entered a forbidden space, a signal will be sent to an interactive ball. When the ball is activated, it will start making noise, lighting up, and will start moving in attempts to distract the dog, and bring them out of the forbidden space.

We imagine this system as a series of readers attached to doorframes of spaces like closets, restrooms, formal dining rooms, and other spaces to which the owner doesn’t want their dog to venture. The sensor will be attached to the dog’s collar. The ball(s) will be placed around the house, outside of the restricted areas, to lure the dog away.

We find this to be a useful system, because dogs are frequently left alone, and this is when they get into the most trouble. We want the dog owner to feel comfortable leaving their dog alone, and knowing that their home will be left as they want it – without chewed possessions, messes in certain rooms, etc.

This system would also be helpful in the owner’s presence – if the owner is on the phone or in another area of the house, they can still feel comfortable letting their dog roam freely without getting into trouble.

Use scenario 1: HOME ALONE

Problem: The dog takes out the books from the book case and chews them when the owner isn’t around

Task: User attaches the device tracking the dog’s proximity to the book case

Value: As soon as the dog approaches the book case, the toy is activated, and the books remain intact

Use scenario 2: BUSY OWNER

Problem: The dog takes out the books from the book case and chews them when the owner is in a distant part of the house

Task: User attaches the device tracking the dog’s proximity to the book case

Value: As soon as the dog approaches the book case, the toy is activated, and the books remain intact

 

2) Visual design:

3) Storyboard:  

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 9.21.28 PM

4) Low-fidelity prototype:

Materials used:

Construction paper, post it notes, a paper clip, tape, and scissors

The orange piece is a representation of what would be attached to the doorframe, or other piece of architecture or furniture in the user’s home. This will hold the RFID reader (or proximity sensor technology) to pick up the sensor of the dog’s entry into the designated area.

The blue container is attached to a collar, and is to hold the proximity sensor tag. This container can be securely fastened to any dog collar.

This prototype shows a rectangular container to hold the tag, but we realize the sharp corners could potentially harm the dog who’s wearing it. The final design will therefore feature rounded edges, which you can see in our design sketches.