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At first, we were focusing on couples in a long-distance relationship, and we went over several discussion on how the interaction would be for the device. Ideally, we wanted to create a subtle and smooth activation mechanism, like making the device in sphere shape and people can gently rub or pat the top to activate. However, this was not feasible due to technical limitation and timeframe, so we shifted our target group to a broader audience. Noticing that all three of our group members were international students, we had all been through the stage when we started living in another country by ourselves, wanted to talk with our parents but were lack of common interests, so we began to think: how might we design an internet-connected device that is easy to use and can close the gap between different generations?

Primary Research

We conducted several interviews of international students in the states to identify user needs and pain points. A common theme was that most participants video chat with their parents 1 time per week, and they rarely share their life status with their parents, unless critical moments like getting a job offer. People said that their parents had different schedules with them and sending trivia things just felt a bit awkward.

Problem Validation & Iteration

Based on our interviews, we noticed that people had an unfulfilled need: share daily activities with their parents in a non-intrusive way. On top of this, we added the feature of customization, letting users decide what each color represents.

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