Morning Dashboard is a proximity alarm clock that encourages users to get up in the morning by engaging them with their notifications and feeds in an active manner rather than staring at their phones.
This was a school project where the requirement was to utilize a Microsoft Kinect proximity sensor to address common problems.
Students often have a difficult time waking up in the morning, and can often end up abusing the “snooze” function of their alarm clocks, leading to oversleeping.
In order to better understand our target audience, I conducted a survey asking various students about their morning habits and routines. From the 59 responses gathered, I created a persona to present the target user.
Lawrence is a student who has trouble waking up in the morning. He often over-snoozes which results in him running out of the door late almost every morning. He is also very active on social media and would often check his notifications and tech news feeds as a part of his daily morning routine.
To make use of proximity as per project requirements, I worked around the idea of having a large ambient display which functions as a typical room clock until the user decides to further engage with it. There are two stages to this alarm clock.
Stage 1: The use of proximity to automatically dismiss or snooze an alarm by detecting body position. By forcing the user to physically engage with the display, it will prevent them from ignoring the alarm and going back to sleep.
Stage 2: Once the user is mildly awake, the display has to engage them with another activity to prevent snoozing. My survey reviewed that many people check their phones first thing in the morning, which became a major inspiration for this design. The user has to use physical gestures to interact with their notifications and feeds, which will help kickstart their morning rather than sitting in bed and scrolling on a phone.
In this stage, I focused on fine-tuning the interface and the interactions that the user can use once out of bed.
The display uses detection zones and hand gestures that will get the user to move around if they want to engage with information. In a student’s digital powered world, nothing is more enticing than an unread social media notification or an interesting news feed headline; therefore, the interface divides this information into distinct columns.
I created a storyboard to help illustrate a typical use case for this system.
The prototype consists of an alarm clock that automatically dismisses and snoozes based on the body position of the user. The dashboard component first shows an overview of the user’s notification and feeds. They can use simple hand gestures in order to change the view and see more information. See the video above for a demonstration.
It was developed using the Microsoft Kinect API along with the .NET WPF framework.