Talent project

The Making of a Smart Pillow

Designing an object with intent through a data-enabled design process

For my graduation, I did research on designing intelligent artefacts, their interactions and how data could be used in the process. This was done in the context of leisure in the living room. The result of this was a smart pillow that could actively provide comfort to users through hugging and by helping them to avoid slouching. To get to this result I created an IoT prototype of a pillow that was used during user observations and interviews. This IoT pillow could sense the pressure applied on it, how it is positioned in space, and how warm it is. This allowed me to generate an extra layer of data (machine data) on top of recordings of observations (behavioural data) and transcripts of interviews (subjective data). In order to analyse this, the machine data was visualised and connected to the behaviour and experience of the participants. This visualisation is a 3d representation of the pillow with the sensor data projected on it. By placing a video of the user next to it, the direct relationship between the usage and sensor data could be seen. This allowed data to be used as a creative material and sparked a constant back and forth between sensor, behavioural and subjective data. Based on this and other insights the interaction with the pillow was designed.

UniversityDelft University of Technology
Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering
Project typegraduation project
StudentTjapko Vermeulen

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