Enabling parents to bond with their prenatal baby through a poetic melody.

The goal of this ten-day project was to imagine and develop a concept that utilizes sound in a new and meaningful way.

Project Info

10 Days Execution Time
Sound Design Course
Umeå Institute of Design

Teammates

Engin – Industrial Design
Mariano – Interaction Design
Rebecca – Industrial Design

Meet Ilvy

“Ilvy” is a medium for a pregnant woman to develop an emotional bond with her unborn baby by using sound as a language. Whenever the mother places “Ilvy” on her belly, the baby activity generates a poetic melody to which the mother listens. Heartbeats, movement, hiccups and kicks are monitorized to create a unique, artistic and relaxing experience. This way, the mother is encouraged to talk or sing to the baby. In return, the baby receives more care, attention and its senses are stimulated, benefitting its overall development. This creates a unique interaction loop, in which mother and baby connect emotionally in a way never experienced before.

1. Placing Ilvy on the belly

Mother places Ilvy on her belly, Ilvy turns on and starts monitoring the baby's activity.

2. Baby activity turns into melody

The baby's activity is translated into a human-like melody which invites the mother to talk.

3. Mother relaxes, talks or sings

The mother relaxes, talks or sings to the baby, which ultimately leads to an emotional connection.

Using Ilvy, fathers and other relatives can achieve a high level of involvement and emotional support that was not possible before. Because of the fact the baby’s activity is activated through sound, even absent fathers can now remotely start to connect with their unborn children.

.: 5 November 2015, Umea Institute of Design :.

The Process of designing Ilvy

The project was a ten-day collaboration with two students from the MFA in Advanced Product Design. The short timespan made the process extremely high paced. Still, we started off really broad, looking for potential contexts where sound could be utilized. After framing around the pregnancy context we dived into brainstorms and created many mockups. After we had developed a common vision about the user experience we divided the work. Because the interior and exterior were built simultaneously, we still had to communicate a lot.

Design Challenges

Translating the baby’s activity into a human-like, emotional sound, to which the mother would feel connected, was the biggest challenge. Many sound explorations resulted in technological and artificial sounds. Besides that, we tried to avoid sounds that could be associated with a medical device, so that the mother would misinterpret the baby’s wellbeing. We achieved this by finding just the right balance between a melody and generative art. Another challenge was to design a product that wouldn’t distract the mother but would enable her to fully focus on the baby instead. We aimed to design an unobtrusive product that would naturally fit into the context. In terms of interaction this meant we stayed close to a pregnant mother’s natural habits such as talking to the baby and placing the hands on the belly.

hero_process

Concerning form, we tried semantically to achieve an inviting, friendly and human shape, while considering ergonomics.

Role in Team

I worked in a multidisciplinary team, consisting of two interaction designers and two product designers. As one of the two interaction designers, I had an important role in envisioning an experience in which our product was unobtrusive, enabling the mother to fully focus on the baby. This vision fundamentally guided both the interaction and the form of the final product. Besides that it enabled us to execute the project in just ten days.

shorter

I worked in a multidisciplinary team, consisting of two interaction designers and two product designers.

During the implementation phase I focused on coding and building the interior of the product. With the other interaction designer, we explored different light patterns to support a relaxing experience. In order to remotely control the behaviour of the light, we added an infrared sensor to the Arduino. Thanks to this, we did not have to disassemble the product before usage. During this making process we communicated closely with the product designers to ensure the electronics would fit into the final product.

arduino

During the implementation phase I focused on coding and building the interior of the product using Arduino.

Finally I worked on visual presentation material of our concept. I did some branding, including designing a playful logo that showed the relation of the product with sound. logo

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