Pulse | Interaction Design

The connection starts with a hug


Design an interactive baby monitoring unit. The device and system must be user friendly and intuitive, with key interactions that integrate into your final solution. You must explore a technology that will drive your interaction and show how it is used within your final design solution.

Research showed that many parents felt nervous and uneasy when they were unable to see or hear their baby. However, we also discovered that if they were able to see some sort of representation of their baby’s heartbeat, this would allow them to relax a bit more.

There were a number of factors which caused anxiety or nervousness amongst new parents. These included SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), Cot Death, and being unable to tell their babies heart rate and check their breathing when lying still during sleep.

"I went into his room every 5 minutes while he slept to make sure he was okay. I watched him nap. I never let him out of my sight." - Sarah, Mother of three

The main findings from our primary research were that the majority of products currently on the market were not aesthetically pleasing, they were seen as an eye-sore. Through our ideation, we tried to remove the idea that baby monitors had to look a certain way. We explored the idea that they could be an interesting feature for your home while still performing the function.

The sensor picks up the baby’s heart rate and causes the orb to glow and pulsate in unison with the heartbeat. When the baby moves, their heart rate naturally increases. This in turn causes the arms of Pulse to open. The mother can then interact with the device by closing the arms with the action being symbolic of a hug. This triggers a soothing song to be played in the baby’s room.

Pulse uses an electric potential integrated circuit (EPIC) sensor. This is a coin-sized device which will be placed inside the child’s mattress. It enables products to obtain a detailed ECG reading by simply being held close to a patient’s chest or even through walls. The sensor can be integrated on a chip allowing for wireless communications capability.

Pulse aims to recreate the emotional bond between mother and child. When the dome is enclosed by the arms it is meant to symbolise the mother hugging the child.

The soothing, pulsating light created by Pulse mimics the baby’s exact heart rate, giving the parent reassurance and highlighting physical activity. Through the hug-like interaction, parents are able to feel an emotional connection to their baby without the risk of waking them while the smooth aesthetics are pleasing to the eye.

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