With Anna, we went to visit the elderly, we showed them our mockups and asked them a lot of questions about it.
For example, we wanted to see how they were handling with the device in their hands, or if the size of the text was big enough.
Our main conclusions from this (hilarious) experience are the following :
– the text must be limited to be sure a certain size is kept (we know approximately what size)
– They don’t perceive the logos the same way we do, we have to adapt the logos to their knowledge. We have tested some logo (for example a logo that would mean “back to the gallery”, with the cultural gap between us and then it has to be adapted)
– Doing user tests on older people is definitely not a cup of tea. It is hard to have them understand that they are not being tested but that they need to test and give their opinion.
Overall : As you have surely noticed, we are a very hard-working team and despite the easter holidays, we have been working on our device. We are proud to be able to show you the result of our screen withing the mockup of the shell of the device. We have received a new screen, which is of a better quality and is a capacitive touch screen.
Here you can see our shell, with our new screen inside. The black piece that you see is the beaglebone.
Nothing is connected yet (but our beloved Jonathan and Igor are working on it ! )
We just wanted you to see where we are right now and (very) soon you’ll be surprised by what those two are capable of !
In the mean time, Anna and Dina have been working on what we call an “application scenario”.
Basically we have been thinking about the features the users of the application talked to us about and have been trying to deisgn an application that can answer to the main features in the most logical way .
Here are the first sketches of what came out :
WEEK 7 :
Here is a first draft of what our charging station could look like. If you have followed our latest news, you would have seen that we have chosen a wireless charging system.
The device only has to be on the station to be charging. The users won’t have to care about plugs or anything. They just need to bring the device on the station in whatever position and VESTA will be charging.
Here are the 3D designs of the device, it already contains all the electronic composants. You can either have it stand as it is on the pictures here or you can lay it down on the other side of the device.
Here are the latests mockups of our VESTA device, we have added the componant we use to charge. On the left picture you can see it in both positions that are usable. Either have it stand as a picture frame or use it laying down more like a tablet. We have tried to make the screen fit in .. and it works ! Some pictures are going to follow ! 🙂
The block diagram below shows the interactions between the website and the Vesta software
on the tablet. As you can see all the files are stored on the website thanks to the mySql
database. When the pictures are sent, the vesta tablet receives a message and can
open or display it. The Vesta Software on the tablet works on a linux OS that manages the
At the beginnig, the Vesta tab initially check for the wifi connection and all the hardware
(accelerometer, touchscreen…). The touchscreen creates an event when someone touch it and change the image displayed. It lets the user naviguate between the different messages. Every minute the software checks if a new message is received.
On the website, a page lets the user send a message to a tablet. The user needs to give the
tablet number or adress, the image and the message. When the user clicks on the send button, the informations (text, image) are saved on the mySql database. When the tablet checks if a new message is received, it connects through a php script to connect to a database.
Field study :
First, we want to go to the Swiss market. We think it is a good market because the swiss population is aging and it is a market, which we are very closed to and the we know. We won’t have any cultural suprise going on the Swiss market. In our point of view, it is a small market that is good as a “test market”. We also think that the swiss market is a good entry to the German market.
Since we will translate all our documentations / websites and other stuff in german for the german part of Switzerland, we might have less work to go on the german market. Also the german culture is not so much different than the Swiss one, especially the swiss-german one. Last but not least, Germany is also a very aging country with a population over 65 years old that is more than 21% of the overall population.
WEEK 6 :
Yippee Yeay ! We have a first mockup of the functional device. Here is a little demo of a video showing you how the pictures that we sent on Jonathan’s website, end up on the tablet. It is a little bit slow because we didn’t put any storage in the device. The tablet still needs to upload all the pictures from internet everytime. But apart from that and the quality of the screen, we are very happy and proud of our work !! We hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do !
Design : On the design side, we have a first mockup.
As you can see, this is the first physical mockup in 3D of our device. The cool thing about it, is the fact that it fits the screen we have ordered. And with this form, you can use the device in two different positions. Either laying down when the user is sitting at a desk, or on a more standing position, which is better when the user of the device is further from the screen.
Hardware and software engineering : We now have a functional graphical interface that is capable of receiving and sending picture through a wifi ! We are still working on it (especially our beloved engineers Jonathan and Igor), especially to have a good quality of pictures.
We are also very excited to present you our brand new website : www.vestaconnect.com
It is still work on progress, so please don’t be too judgy if you decide to go and visit it ! 😉
WEEK 5 :
Overall : As we told you last week, we are changing the name, from Visio to Vesta. You might be wondering, “what means Vesta ?”. Vesta was a roman goddess who was in charge of the family protection.
Anna our designer has been working on both a new logo for the device and the logo of the app.
WEEK 4 :
Field study: Since it is very hard to get informations from elderly, we have decided to first take an appointment with a chief officer of an “EMS” (a home for elderly). She gave us a lot of valuable informations and insights.
The main elements that came up of our meeting with here were that she told us that having a touchscreen is a better idea than having any button.
She also told us that pictures are the element that most of the people will want to have.
About the mobility of the device, she agreed that it has to be light, mobile and she added that it should not be breakable, which was a very valuable comment since we hadn’t thought about that point.
Since the device will be mobile, we will be needing a charging station to avoid the cables, which could become dangerous. But she warned us about the fact that our users might not have the same precision than we do, which leads us to have to think about a station that will be bigger than the device.
She also told us to be careful not to overload the users with too much information since they don’t have the same attention as we might have.
To finish she reminded us that it is the device that needs to adapt to the elderly and not the contrary.
Design: A lot has been going on since our last update. Here are some sketches of a newer version with a more “inclined” screen, which is better for our users.
As we were telling you last week, we have ordered our first materials. First of all we have oredered a beaglebone blacke, which is the CPU. It works on the LINUX OS and has 1 GHz. We have also ordered a wifi card (to connect to the wifi) : esp8266.
Of course we have ordered a touchscreen, for the moment it is a “resistive” touchscreen but the real one we want during our last iteration is not going to be resistive but capacitive ! We have also oredered a switching power supply (to have some power to use the device ;-))
On the software side, Jonathan has been doing a great job, he began coding a website and will be programming our device in C++.
WEEK 3 :
VISIO is changing… its name and identity are getting transformed since we now have a clearer idea of the device’s identity.
Happy group !
Just got the confirmation of our first order of pieces !
Here is an idea of the use of our device “in the real context”.
You can see an iphone sending a message and the “visio device” getting this message.
Technical specifications :
This is our new block diagram, as you can see, we have added a touch panel to the screen and have taken off the single button. The user tests have showed us that the users of our device will be more confortable using a touchscreen than having to handle the buttons.
We have also taken off the speakers, since we also found out from our user tests than the sound notifications would be too disturbing for the elderly, which don’t have the same attention as we might have.
To finish, the last difference you can see, is the fact that we have added a battery-power management. The user tests have been showing us that we need to have a mobile device, which should be recheargeable on a charging station.
First drafts of the device :
First idea of a logo :
First brainstorms on the VP canva and Business model canva !
Product description : Our product is basically a simplified tablet. It has a touchscreen to display images and text. It is permanently connected to the internet and more precisely to a service linked to the sender (the connected family members). It can be connected by wi-fi or by 3g. It also saves many messages to have a history that can be displayed as a diaporama.
As we want to make it a simple as possible it would be better to make it fixed, meaning the user places it on a piece of furniture in the home once and for all. No batteries would be needed. But this depends on the users wishes so this still has to be defined with the user tests.
Some LEDs and a speaker with a tune are used to notice to the user that a new message has arrived.
The user can interact through a single button and an incremental encoder. The button is used when a new message has arrived to wake up from the power saving mode to display the message. It can also be used anytime to wake up the device to see saved messages.
The incremental encoder is needed at least to enter the wi-fi password the first time. It may also be used to scroll through the history of the messages (not defined yet).
The service is a website where the younger user has an account and through which he can send images and text messages to the elderly user. The website could also be used to configure things like the tune of the notifications, the brightness of the screen and other parameters of the tablet.
Technical strategy : As time is limited our strategy is to use open hardware components or at least ones where we can get the electronic schematics and assemble them first in a wired prototype and finally on a pcb. We look for components which are well documented and well tested.
We are looking more at a processor than a microcontroller as we have to drive a screen and display graphics. It will also be much easier to program the web client. For this single board computers are a good solution because they are often open source, they are relatively simple and quite powerful.
The other components such as wi-fi chip, 3g chip, screen will mainly depend on the chosen single board computer. Indeed we are going to choose components which have already proven to work with the single board computer to gain time.
Product specification :
specs: – must be able to drive a decent screen
– min 700 Mhz CPU
– min 3-4 GPIO with PWM for LED brightness
– Usual UART, SPI, I2C etc…
solutions: BeagleBone Black, open source, open hardware, CPU 1Mhz 4 GB flash storage,etc..
Has been interfaced with many components we need (wi fi, 3G, screen, etc…)
– LED backlight
– Size Between 7 and 12 inches (to be defined by the user tests)
Resolution min 480p : 720 × 480 would be nice 720p: 1,280 × 720
HDMI or (LVDS?)
solutions: we have to familiarise more with the different technologies to make a selection
IEEE 802.11 b/g
solutions: ESP8266, BeagleBone wifi cape
We might not need 3G as the communication doesn’t have to be in real time
solutions: https://techship.se/products/novatel-eu850d/. BeagleBone cape, SeeedStudio GSM (not 3G), interesting chip
The other components have yet to be determined.