My focus area was health & wellness, and the product I decided to pursue was an improved interface for a pediatric scale.
The two types of pediatric scales currently in pediatrician’s offices are very hard to use. Because it’s hard to measure a wiggly baby at home, parents have to wait for the 3-month or 6-month checkup appointments to know their baby’s weight with accuracy. Parents need to know the accurate weight of the baby in order to know if the baby is thriving, and to catch any problems as early as possible.
I propose a joint software-hardware solution: a bluetooth-connected sling to contain and weigh the baby, and a simple phone/tablet application that would make reading current and previous weights as easy as possible.
To hold the baby, I investigated a series of potential shapes: “fish tank”, lotus flower, open jaw. None seemed that it would be comfortable enough. A soft (washable) fabric sling, however, could wrap around the baby and keep it secure during weighing.
With the sling, there would be two possible options to read the weight:
- A LCD monitor attached to the sling, OR
- An smart mobile phone case that hookup both monitor and the baby.
Either way, the weight sensor will be on the sling. Looking into technology solutions, Bluetooth seemed like a feasible solution, not only for cost but also because it allows the weight display to be separated from the sling and placed wherever it would be convenient.
After calculating the cost, if we use the same resolution level LCD monitor, it is more cost effective to use bluetooth-smart phone approach than using the LCD-on-sling approach.
I began sketching what a phone-sized interface might look like, and how it might work: