Flottr is an extension of your smartphone calendar. When your smartphone is nearby, your wristband will synchronize the appointments by a Bluetooth 4.0 connection. By tightening smoothly when an appointment is coming it will help the user to keep track of his daily schedule. Because the notification is gradually instead of an abrupt alarm, you can estimate how long you have to finish your current task, when your task is finished you have more attention for the next task.
Making your “watch” connected can be an addition within a big company. When you’re longer in a meeting and your Flottr tightens for a subsequent meeting, you can flick on the ribbed surface of Flottr, sending a message to your following meeting partner. His Flottr will relax so he can work focussed till you’re there instead of this moment of waiting and doing nothing.
In this project, we were asked to design an Adaptive and Interactive Skin. We explored the possibilities for products that provides information via their 'skin', and leave the choice to react to this to the user. It can be compared to a banana: When it's skin is still green, it's not yet very ripe and will not be very soft and sweet yet. As it gets more yellow and eventually brown, you can decide for yourself at what state you like the taste best, and when you are going to eat it.
Because of the big influence it has on people, we decided to focus our project on time. In a group brainstorm/discussion, we came to the conclusion that the 24-hour clock is no longer enough for todays time management. From an inquiry we did with 25 people, we found that the biggest influence on ones time management are the appointments. If we could find a way to design a time system that guides you through your daily planning without the stress of continuously checking a clock and comparing the time with the time of your next appointment, we would make up for a huge productivity boost.
There are already some time management tools that use the appointments of people to help them keep track of their day program, like the smartphone agenda or the physical diary. These tools are fine, but they either require the user to actively look at it (physical diary) or they use obtuse signaling like alarm sounds at the moment they have to leave. This causes them to leave tasks unfinished and hurry to the next appointment. For stress relief as well as work efficiency improvement, a solution was to be found in a device that uses a more refined approach.
During user testing with a low-fidelity working prototype and a Processing application, the gradually tightening wristband of Flottr proved to e a comfortable as well as urgent meeting reminder that provides the user with the confidence that he is keeping track of his day planning.