Investigation
Along with sketching potential form factors that the lamp could take, I also had to contend with the added technical constraints of the electronics I had to work with, and how those sensors and actuators would fit into the physical form. I learned that electronics can be very buggy, and that physical changes as well as code modifications are often necessary in order to work around those inherent problems.
Initial form sketches
Testing the capabilities of LED strip (left), Fitting electronics to chassis (right)
Prototyping
Using foam core as a fast prototyping material, I created a rough form that could house the electronics I needed in order to test and refine various interactions. Once all of the LEDs and break-beam sensors were in place, I was able to test several different interaction techniques through changes in code. I experimented with ideas such as gesture speed, but after testing these with users, I decided that using the location of the break-beam sensors to manipulate brightness was a more direct and satisfying interaction.
Interaction prototype
Views of sensor and LED placement
User discovering the interaction
Imagining
While it was great to have a physical prototype to test new ideas and interactions, I also wanted to imagine a more refined form factor that could be used as a product in the real world. Taking into account the physical constraints of the internal electronics, I created several CAD renderings to serve as a proof of concept.
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