Smart Wall is a unique way to lower the noise level in an Open Office without compromising the benefits of an Open Office.
How does it work?
The glass of Smart Wall is equipped with state-of-the-art noise-cancelling technology, which significantly reduces noise levels with anti-sound waves. Thanks to its wheels, it can be set up effortlessly anywhere in the office and then easily stowed away again. In addition, it is possible to switch from simple glass to milk glass at the touch of a button. Also, Smart Wall can be used as an additional display.
Effortless set up
⮞ An acoustic but not spatial separation
Smart Wall can be used as an additional display for own purposes or to share your screen with other colleagues.
After conducting several interviews with people from different professional fields who work in open-spaces, we came up with three insights. The insight we focused on is: “due to an open room design, there are no inhibitions to address someone but inhibitions to reject someone and that disturbs others”.
Our solution for the insight is a flexible wall made of glass, which treats through various options not only one of our insights. One of these options is to make the glass milky which solves our second insight, through mutual control you feel observed and this worsens the atmosphere but increases productivity. However, the main task of the wall is to reduce the noise level in the room and create a pleasant working atmosphere for each employee in each individual working position. In order to visualize our idea of the “Smart Wall” and to present the functions in a comprehensible way, we have created the storyboard shown above.
Since the industrial revolution, work consisted of executing a certain task that was part of a process, serving to craft a certain product. In today’s world, humans want to have fun at work, they want it to merge with their private life and to eventually reach self-actualization. This is where the concept of New Work and work-life-blending comes in; a new work environment which is supposed to be more fun, social but individualized, flexible but productive, more creative but more affordable.
Open offices, coworking spaces, and home offices are meant to be offering all of these features. Their concept drifts away from separate office rooms and permanent working places to large, open spaces with flexible work desks and working times, offering comfortable places to network and exchange ideas.
While all of this sounds great at first sight, we contacted companies whose employees are working in such environments and that were kind enough to let us speak to some of them, to find out if the new work concept is as flawless and what one could improve to make it even better.
Nach unseren umfangreichen Recherchen war für uns neben den zahlreichen Insights ein Punkt besonders von Bedeutung: Unsere wichtigsten Punkte sollten sowohl von Kunden- als auch von Nutzerseite beleuchtet werden. Folglich haben wir uns für das folgende Insight entschieden: “Das Nutzererlebnis und die Kundenzufriedenheit ist überlebenswichtig für Geschäfte im Einzelhandel”. Im weiteren Verlauf haben wir uns damit beschäftigt, ein angenehmes Einkaufserlebnis sowohl aus Kunden- als auch aus Verkäufersicht zu generieren. Dadurch entstand die Idee des smarten Regals. Dieses besteht aus zwei wesentlichen Features: Ein Knopf um Beratung zu rufen und einem Sensor, welcher erkennt, ob ein Regal leer ist. Beide Features sind mit einer App verknüpft, die den Verkäufer benachrichtigt, wenn ein Kunde Hilfe benötigt oder ein Regal aufgefüllt werden muss. Dadurch möchten wir folgende Probleme beheben:
Der Kunde fühlt sich zum einen nicht durch aufdringliche Verkäufer belästigt und kann sich in Ruhe umschauen, zum anderen kann er um Hilfe bitten, falls diese benötigt wird.
Der Verkäufer kann seine Aufgaben sinnvoll strukturieren und auch während der Ladenöffnungszeit z.B. Lagerarbeiten erledigen, bis er von Kunden gerufen wird oder ein leeres Regal befüllen muss.
Dadurch kann Arbeitszeit gespart werden und der Kunde kann nach Bedarf Hilfe anfordern.
Im weiteren müsste der Video-Prototyp den Nutzergruppen vorgestellt werden. Deren eingearbeitetes Feedback kann anschließend in den neuen Prototyp eingearbeitet werden und ein neuer Prototyp kann erstellt und getestet werden. Diese Schritte können beliebig oft iteriert und verfeinert werden um im ständigen Austausch mit Auftraggebern das weitere Vorgehen für eine technische Umsetzung vorzubereiten. Gesamt beinhaltet unser vorgestelltes Produkt ein physisches Regal mit Sensorik, einen Knopf um Beratung anzufordern und eine App, die Features verknüpft und ein Interface für den Verkäufer bereitstellt.
After our interviews in different retail stores our group came to the conclusion that it is important to improve the costumer experience in a store whilst also helping workers with their daily tasks. We developed three ideas for products that could serve this purpose.
One idea we chose to dig deeper in is a smart shelf. It automatically detects when a product is out of stock and alerts a worker to fill it up. In addition it has a button that a costumer can press If he needs advice about a product. The shelf is linked with a mobile device that every employee carries around so the employee will get all the informations immediately.
This product would help the problem of product availability and make a purchase more enjoyable as a costumer would not feel like employees urge him to buy anything because he is only advised about a product if he wants to be.
Can physical stores still keep up with the digital age nowadays? Which gadgets are being used for that? Why should people buy products in physical shops and what is the differences between the big chains and individual stores?
The user-research of group 4 concentrates on the interaction between mobile devices and the internet and the real, physical shopping experience in sports stores, clothes shops and sportswear stores. We interviewed six people, shop assistants, as well as managers and owners, and asked them about the topic “opportunity or competition- ‘internet’ in retail”. Issues we talked about were about the pay desks, service schedules, communication between staff, social media, homepages and so on.
Together with the staff we applied for memberships, bought items without queuing up and looked up social media appearances and put our balance to the test in a familiar environment.
“Should we acquaint our children with the digital world as early as possible or should we prevent them from accessing the digital world as long as we can in order to protect them from the danger they may encounter in the digital world?” This is the dilemma the teachers and parents have been facing in recent years. Our Robot Benjamin aims at tackling this problem by providing guidance in fields such as the use of search engine or of social media.
Based on the idea of the paper clip from old Windows software, Benjamin helps primary school pupils find their way through the world of digitization by using sensors to detect and intervene on time when the pupils are on critical ground in the network or public software. Its physical form makes it impossible to simply “click it away” like an annoying pop-up; instead, it should meet with appreciation and friendship among children. It gives constructive criticism, warnings and applause when the pupils have consciously made the right decisions and should thus also bond with the pupils on an emotional level.
With the overwhelming amount of new technology in recent years, many teachers can’t handle to teach their lessons and learn the interaction/dangers with the new media at once. This is where Benjamin comes in to help. With the voice interaction of Benjamin, he seamlessly integrates into the lessons, and pupils can easily ask him questions about the technology as well as he gives the children warnings about dangers without the teachers looking over their shoulders all the time. With Benjamin, teachers can finally focus on teaching again.
What we could hear from most of the interviews with various primary school teachers was that even now, in the age of digitalization, the use of digital media in the classroom is still not sufficiently covered, although thanks to numerous existing learning software, work is already being done quite regularly on computers or on the Internet. The world of digital media offers many facets and dangers, especially for newcomers. Avoiding technology cannot be a solution, so we wanted to support teachers to prepare primary school children for their first contact and possible dangers at an early age.
With our robot Benjamin we not only create an emotional bond with the students, but also a safe and interactive environment for the first steps into the World Wide Web. Thus, teachers and students are relieved and can dive into an exciting universe of digital media with Benjamin.
In today’s increasingly technological world the age at wich children get in contact with digital devices is diminishing constantly. About two thirds of the ten- to eleven-year-olds own a smartphone and hardly any parent can keep its child from getting in contact with some form of digital technology. Wondering to what degree technology has found its way into the early stages of education,we decided to take a look at elementary schools.
In interviews with teachers and principals, we try to explore the difficulties they face, advantages and disadvantages, as well as possibilities in this area. Ultimately we hope to find a way to improve the current situation for students and teachers. So far the interviews have shown that most elementary schools have at least a computer in every room and a few smartboards – budget still seems to be a major issue here as well as usability in some cases. Learning-software is primarily used for basic training in maths or e.g. interactive picture books for reading, and is received well by most students and teachers.
Up to now, our user-research was very interesting, we gained good insight into the current state of technology in elementary schools and are excited to see to what results we will get eventually.
Our final product the “Holo Medic” is a system to improve the communication between doctors and rescue assistants. It allows doctors to see the accident through the eyes of the rescue assistant and let’s them debate about further steps to help the patient. You could say it’s a one way video with a two way audio call. In our video prototype we realised this concept with a HoloLens but it could be done with most head-mounted displays that are capable to process audio and video in real time. For the transmission we planed on using the telecommunication infrastructure, because in times of LTE sending a video stream in decent quality isn’t a problem anymore.
As one might already see one of the biggest improvements would be that the doctor can see the injuries right at the place of accident and would be better prepared for a possible surgery. Another big improvement would be the direct communication between doctor and rescue assistant so the doctor can advise the assistant to properly take care of the victim. The last enhancement is the ability to show additional information like a navigation system to get to the accident faster or information about the patient like previous injuries or allergies on the display.
The next step would be to make some more iterations of the methods we learned to further refine our concept. Afterwards we have to complete the implementation of the user interface and establish a communication end point for the doctors.