patch

Young Glory / October Brief Entrant / Max Gallin Agency / Publicis Kaplan Thaler

The Situation
7:45AM En route to work. Grande coffee (cream, no sugar) and sesame bagel (light cream cheese, please) in hand. I need curtains. I’ve needed them for three weeks. My neighbor Eric saw me lipsyncing to Billy Joel this morning. This ends today. I’d write myself a note, but, uh, bagel and coffee. I’ll remind myself at the office. 8:15PM Arrives home, curtain-less.

The Problem
Siri’s no good when she’s stuck in my pocket. My cries for help are unintelligible, muffled demands when Siri’s locked in my denim back-pocket prison. My relationship with her is faltering – I’m not getting the most out of her, and she’s certainly not getting the most out of me. It’s unfortunate, because she has so much to offer. She could make me a much better person. She could remind me to buy curtains. I wouldn’t be embarrassed about my “We Didn’t Start the Fire” pre-work dance routine. I really need curtains.

The Solution
Patch is a clip-on, hands-free gateway to voice-controlled technology. Attach Patch’s Bluetooth microphone to your collar, shirt-pocket, or lapel, and have immediate, unimpeded access to your smartphone’s voice-activated technology. Think of it as a lifeline for your relationship with Siri. Patch keeps your smartphone in your pocket and its screen out of your face. Use your free hands to do things (like shaking other hands, making gestures, or opening physical and metaphorical doors). Using voice-activated tech shouldn’t be a process – holding your phone in your hand, pressing a button kind of defeats the whole purpose of this being a hands-free tech, right? Patch cuts this out.

patch

“Hello Patch, remind me at 5:00PM to buy curtains.” Patch bypasses bagel and coffee, bringing you to Siri’s doorstep with minimal obstacles. With reminder created, phone in pocket, you become an efficient machine, utilizing your technology with minimal on-screen interaction. Plus, you’ll go get curtains.

The Process
What’s out there now?
Google Glass. Galaxy Gear. Nike FuelBand. The current crop of wearable tech exists as either an onscreen or HOD interactive technology (i.e. Google Glass, Galaxy Gear) or has a hyperspecific function (i.e. Nike Fuelband, Bluetooth Headset). Most of this stuff is really gaudy and techy – as sleek as they’re portrayed, these technologies fail to seamlessly integrate with the body. Someone wearing Google Glass looks nerdy. You wouldn’t wear Nike FuelBand on a first date. Subtlety is not exactly a priority.

Why is Patch different? What is Patch’s purpose?
Patch maximizes the potential of a service that you already possess. You’re not adding any computational power or ability by wearing Patch – you’re simplifying the process of using voiceactivated technology. Patch accesses voice-activated commands without a physical interaction with the phone, simplifying the user-Siri relationship to a pure hands-free interaction. Patch wants you to stop neglecting Siri and use this fascinating practical technology. Patch’s success is attributed to its subtlety. Users would be reluctant to walk around talking to a bulky microphone roped around their neck – the image of a Secret Service officer comes to mind. Patch’s small monochromatic square design speaks to minimalism, assuming a marginal presence on the user’s person. Patch’s adds practical technological value without becoming a noticeable accessory – it aims to blend into the user’s style while remaining easily accessible.

How does Patch work?
Patch is connected to a user’s iPhone via Bluetooth. Information is recorded and sent to the smartphone via a Bluetooh microphone, and information is broadcast using a Bluetooth speaker. During set-up, Patch recognizes and distinguishes your voice from others; this enables the user to consult Patch in crowded, noisy environments. User remotely activates Siri via Bluetooth microphone by saying, “Hello Patch” – Patch signifies Siri’s activation by playing the Siri “ding-ding”. User then speaks command into microphone, and typical userSiri interaction ensues. Feedback from Siri is played over Patch’s Bluetooth speakers. User-Siri interaction is ended with user saying, “Thank you, Patch.”

What would Patch look like? Any specs?
A 1.5cm x 1.5cm x 0.4cm polycarbonate square. Comes in black, white, or stainless steel. Potential for other color alternatives (i.e. iPod Nano). Attaches via magnetic latch on backside of accessory. patch Microphone and speaker located on side A. On/Off slider located on side C. Micro-USB port

A

B

C

on side C for charging purposes. Connection button for Bluetooth located on side B. Small, blue LED light signifying Bluetooth connection on side B. Small LED light signifying charge level on side B.

Notes
Priorities for tackling this brief:
Convenience – the goal of wearable technology should be to simplify the user experience, to minimize the user’s interaction with the technology Subtlety – “gaudy” and “bulky” are adjectives that resonate with existing wearable technology, particularly Google Glass, Galaxy Gear, and Bluetooth headsets; a technology wearable in all circumstances was crucial, something that remained minimal yet accessible Accessibility – the physical accessibility of the technology is paramount; how can we use our technology without interfering or interrupting our daily experience Integration – not focusing on adding computational power (we have smartphones, for god’s sake), but integrating with the technology we already possess