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Air Finder

An pocket tool to make user’s life easy

The Air-Finder innovative concept aims to assist individuals who are in a hurry to locate items that they may have misplaced within their living environment. The goal of our concept is to provide users with a time-effective, convenient, and reliable navigator to help them find their lost belongings within the comfort of their own home.

Product Overview

AirFinder, a device that addresses the issue of misplaced belongings, leverages augmented reality (AR) technology and mobile cameras in our mobile application to assist individuals in locating their personal items within their living environment, especially in the harshest conditions.

Background

People often misplace their daily belongings, such as keys, wallets, and phones, especially in hectic situations when they are in a rush to leave home for work, school, or various events. This can result in increased stress, anxiety, and frustration, as individuals struggle to locate their misplaced items as quickly as possible to avoid being late or missing out on important events. In such challenging circumstances, it is essential to have an effective solution that allows people to swiftly find their personal belongings and reduce the negative impact of these situations on their mental well-being and daily routines.

Problem Statement

How might we create an innovative solution that helps users efficiently locate their misplaced belongings in high-pressure situations, reducing the impact of stress and anxiety while streamlining their daily routines?

Target Audience

Our solution targets disorganized individuals and the visually impaired, promoting independence and confidence in managing belongings and routines.

User Goals

  • Easy to input the features of their easy-lost items

  • Easily locate the missing object in the home

  • Easy to learn the features and functions of the concept/apps

User Challenge Discovery

Users face several challenges why trying to locate misplaced items in high-pressure situations:

  • Time constrains: users need to find their belongings quickly to avoid being late for work, school, or events

  • Disorganization: Cluttered or disorganized living spaces can make locating misplaced item more difficult and time-consuming.

  • Visual impairment: People with low vision may struggle to locate items due to difficulty seeing them clearly.

  • Ineffective solutions: Existing methods or tools for finding lost items may not be efficient or reliable.

  • Forgetfulness: Users may not remember where they last placed an item, further complicating the process.

Concept Definition 

Designed with audio-visual feedback for quick item location, it offers a harmonious user-product relationship inspired by Taoist concepts of harmony and Laozi's minimalist wisdom. By focusing on essential functions for intuitive use, AirFinder provides convenience, security, and peace of mind.

This makes it particularly valuable for a wide range of users, including those with physical or visual impairments, as it promotes a stress-free environment while efficiently aiding in the location of personal items.

Design Opportunities

To effectively assist users in swiftly locating their misplaced belongings, I recognized the need for incorporating an electronic micro-tracer navigation system with remote audio control within the smartphone application. This would facilitate precise location identification and provide auditory feedback to users. Based on this premise, I determined four core tasks that users would need to perform with our solution to effectively locate their misplaced items:

Input Target Items: Input and store the distinct features of items they frequently misplace into the application. This aids in creating a unique profile for each item, enhancing the efficiency of the search process.

Task Decomposition: 

  1. Select the “Add New” in the home screen

  2. Place the target item in a dark background

  3. Aim at the target item until the stroke of the screen turns to green

  4. (Optional) rename

       Confirm to store

Activate the Tracker: Use the phone to connect the tracker to make sure the tracker can work remotely properly

Task Decomposition: 

  1. in the Home screen, select the “item list”

  2. in the item list page, select the “keys”, hypothetically.

  3. Follow the visual cue to find the misplaced item.

Search for the Misplaced Item: The application should guide users in navigating their environment to locate the misplaced item based on the stored features and the signal from the micro-tracer.

Task Decomposition: 

  1. Select“Account Setting” in the home screen

  2. Select “Chip” option in the Account page

  3. Expand the “Chip 1” by clicking the plus sign

  4. Swip the button to the right to activate the chip

Turn on the audio feedback: When visual cues fall short, users can activate audio feedback and the tracker for precise location, enabling them to pinpoint their belongings' exact whereabouts.

Task Decomposition: 

  1. click the “Sound” icon to turn on the audio feedback

Planning

Sketch/Low-Fi

Primary Screen/High-Fi

Informal User Testing and Modification

Usability Metrics

To evaluate the success of this concept, I identified three metrics to measure

  • Efficiency:  Users should be able to find their intended item within 1 min by scanning the host environment.

  • Satisfaction: Average user satisfaction on a 1-7 scale (1 bad, 7 good) should be 5 or higher, or at least 0.5 better than the previous month usage.

  • Effectiveness:  Average item input features  should be completed without errors at least 80% of the time.

Design Constrains

To evaluate the success of this concept, I identified three metrics to measure

  • Camera Quality: The accuracy of the scanning process can be limited by the camera's quality and resolution.

  • Item Status: Air Finder cannot differentiate between lost and misplaced items, potentially impacting search efficiency.

  • Lighting Conditions: The effectiveness of Air Finder can be hampered by poor lighting, which may affect image clarity.

  • Cost: The device must be affordable to appeal to a wider audience while maintaining durability and performance.

  • User Technology Proficiency: Designing an intuitive onboarding process is crucial, as not all users are tech-savvy.

  • Privacy and Security: Appropriate security measures are needed to protect user data from unauthorized access.

  • Technological Limitations: Current technology might not fully support the quick creation of a user's 3D environment or the efficient locating of targeted items based on their features.

Design System

Reflections

In undertaking this project, I drew inspiration from a common challenge in my daily life - misplacing my keys when in a rush to leave for work. This not only consumed time but also significantly increased the risk of tardiness.
To address this, I envisaged an AR-based mobile app to locate misplaced items within my living environment. To enhance precision, I incorporated a compartment tracker attached to the item, providing both visual cues via AR and audio feedback when visual discovery was insufficient.

The concept's realization hinged on three core user tasks: scanning the item into the storage, activating the tracker to ensure its functionality, and finally, searching for the misplaced item.

Informal user testing was instrumental in identifying potential design issues and avenues for improvement. However, due to time constraints, I haven't yet tested the refined version, which will be my next step to gain more insights and enhance the concept further.

Overall, this project underscored the importance of real-world testing for even the best ideas, to gauge their practicality and unearth potential usability problems that might not be evident to the designer.

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