pacific strip.png

Pacific

A concept wearable device for creating a personal "Silence Bubble" in the urban environment.

Overview

Pacific is a conceptual wearable device that lets users create a personal "silence bubble" in public spaces, and regulate the noise in their surroundings. Taking active noise cancellation (ANC) technology to the extreme, Pacific envisions a world wired with speakers and microphones to allow people to use the device to personalize their auditory environment.

Pacific was designed for my B.Des final project.

My Role

End to end research & design

Timeline

Mar - Jul 2018

Skills

User Research

Ideation

3D Product Design

3D Prototyping

 
01 | The Problem

We live in a noisy world. Noise pollution impacts millions of people every day and can cause serious health consequences

From traffic noise to rock concerts, loud or inescapable sounds can cause sleep disorders, anxiety, hearing loss, high blood pressure, and heart diseases. According to WHO, it is one of the most dangerous environmental threats to both physical and mental health. Noise is harmful to humans' attention and concentration abilities, and has severe effects on one's mental state, especially in unique population groups such as young children or people on the autistic spectrum.

 
02 | The Solution

Imagine a world where you could adjust and manipulate the ambient noises around you to suit your needs and current state of mind.

Pacific is an Auditory Mixed Reality device concept, aimed to enable users to design their own soundscape when out in the urban environment, and share their Silence Bubble with others.

 
03 | Research

Domain Exploration

Having to deal with a noisy environment is a problem shared by many people from diverse populations with different needs.

To better define the target audience, I researched and mapped possible usage scenarios.

I decided to focus on well-being and everyday use scenarios, in order to propose a new auditory experience for users in the urban environment.

scenarios.png

Qualitative Research & Analysis

To better understand how noisy environments affect people's daily lives and well-being, I conducted six semi-structured interviews with participants familiar with the scenario domains. Then, I used affinity maps and thematic coding to understand and analyze the data, revealing 4 major themes:

Social Perception

"Sometimes I am perceived as distant or snobby when I need quiet, so it would be nice if people would realize that I am just in "quiet mode"."  - Guy, B.A. Student

Sharing The Silence

"It would be amazing if you were able to “share silence” with someone, like sharing a favorite song, creating a bubble of intimacy in public places." - Dori, Entrepreneur

Customizable Silence

"Noisy" and "quiet" are very subjective. What may be considered a peaceful silence for one can be unpleasant or even disturbing to others." - Hadar, Designer & Lecturer

Physical Proximity

"When meditating, we strive not to physically obstruct our bodies from the world, so it's best not to seal the ears with headphones or earplugs."  - Nati, Meditation Practitioner

User Personas

Ron
32, Yoga Instructor

 Bio 

Married and father of two from Tel Aviv. Ron is an M.A student in behavioral sciences and spends most of his time in the yoga studio where he works and at the university.

 Interests 

Reading

Photography

Hiking

 Motivations 

Live a healthy and relaxed lifestyle with his family, without compromising on the convenience of living in the busy urban environment of Tel Aviv.

 Frustrations 

Ron dislikes using headphones because they isolate him from his surroundings, but often he has no choice but to use them when practicing yoga outdoors.

 

Design Goals

Stress Reduction

Improve overall well-being and quality of sleep, and lower stress levels

Maintain Physical Health

Reduce the risk of hearing loss, cognitive performance issues, and cardiovascular problems.

Quietness as a culture

Raise awareness and foster a culture of respect for the auditory space of others

04 | Ideation

Research results’ analysis dictated the project's continued development as a concept project aiming to provide an innovative mixed reality auditory experience.

Based on Silentium's Quiet Bubble™ technology as a verified infrastructure, I designed an innovative wearable device concept that pushes the technology's limits.

The System

Active Wearable Device

Actively tunes down surrounding noises to create a personal island of silence

Plays various environmental soundscapes  according to user preference

Paired WatchOS App

Displays a variety of soundscape playlists for the user to choose from

Allows fine-tuning of the balance between the urban environment and the played soundscape.

Sketching & Prototyping

The sketching phase focused mainly on exploring physical anchors for connecting the accessory to the head area, positioning the device very close to the ears to maximize the ANC effect but without sealing them.

After determining the configuration, I proceeded to sculpt a 1:1 scale model, which was later 3D scanned and transferred to CAD software for detailed design and styling.