Wearable mobile computer

I am working on a wearable mobile computer device. One aspect of this concept is expandable OLED for better viewing when needed. I want the screen to be visible even when it’s contracted, but with minimal information. Reason for this is because I don’t want have to create two display screens. I’ve also considered using roll out oled, but it seems much harder to achieve mechanically. Anyways, my main object is to have the screen minimize when not in use and maximize when a program is in ues. This is a student project, so I can get away some conceptualization as long as it’s believable.

Instead of landing on one concept right away, from a student I would like to see at least 50 concepts. Is the wrist the best locale for this considering its vulnerability to getting knocked around and the bulk? Does it have a screen at all? What other solutions could their be for acessing data?

Open the project up beyond deciding between folding and rolling screens!..and flush out some concepts through sketching.

my 2¢

Thanks for replying. Sadly, this is result of doing many concepts and looking back through them thy’re all similar. However, this project is coming to end soon, so I’m finalizing it now.

I havn’t mentioned entire scope of this project. We’re actually using given technology as basis, but I’m abided by consent not to say what it is. What I can say is this, it uses similar technology as the virtual keyboard. Exept mine is more like virtual computer mouse that you’re able to access data from your fingers in space.

So here’s the thing. Three key points: mobility, quick access, and smart interaction. One scenario might go something like this: You’re a student. You stop by starbucks to get a cup of coffee before going to class, but you find yourself at the end of a very long line. Instead of wasting time while waiting in the line, you use the time productively. So you access the internet to log on to on-line class to view the latest topic, then send a text message to a friend for a get together, and finally make a appointment to see your counslor without having to make phone call that may last forever. All that before recieving your grande latte.

One constraint is I have to make use of the fingers in order to use this technology, and preferably worn most of the day. The display have always been a problem. I’ve had ideas where the display is a size of a small laptop, but problem with that is it started to resemble a laptop and loses benifits of the technology.

well designer always have deadlines…interesting scenario, I agree with your idea of a rolling OLED, it is beliavable, with the concept of screen on your clothes is getting common around us, I am sure a rolling screen could exist. Anyway how is this product would be a better solution than a PDA? how is the styling, could you show us some?

How is this better than a PDA? That’s a hard question to answer. The only thing I can say right now is this device gives you more mobility and easy access. I know, lame answer (it is so hard to come up with solid concept). I don’t know. Well, may be I can say it can communicate with other devices, such as your own laptop, pc, cellphone, or even tv using special wireless frequency via bluetooth.

I havn’t gone too much into stylizing yet. I’m still thinking about materials that’s going to be on this thing. Anyways, here is the list of possible components in this product:

the roll for oled (if it’s roll up screen)
pc board
encoder chip
flash memory (also acts as a hard drive)
wrist band

Here is a quick sketch:

It wouldn’t be so bulky as it seems. I’m pretty sure it can be more slim. May be little bigger than the rhino model shown on the top of this thread.

I think business people would be more likely early adopters of this technology. Check out this true story. I go into the bathroom at work, and one of the execs of another division is emailing on his backbury…while simultaneously taking a leak in one of the urinals…dude, take a pee break. Most execs and midle managers at corporations are fully blackburied and PDA’d up. If this could do what both of those devices do in one small, discrete unit, you would have something. I don’t see students dropping the cash when they are allready shelling out for laptops and so much other kit, but you never know.

I still don’t really buy the wrist location, unless you put some serious time in to the semantics of the styling of wrist based products. This is a very sensitive part of the body and you don’t want this to become the calculator watch of the new milenium… Do some benchmarking and market analysis. Check out some of the watcches in Robb Report. There is a new Bugatti watch that costs 250,000k and all it does it tell time. If this is going to cost some green, it should look like it. Chances are people would spend a bit more if it looks like what it promises to do.

For instance the average resin watch band only lasts 12-14 months. If I was dropping cash on a serious piece of wrist based tech, I would want it to have a metal link strap, or something like a Skagen perhaps.

Just my take. I think it is a great start and an exciting project.

Good luck, it seems really cool, though if you have a lot of properitary stuff going on, it seems riskay to post it.

Just an idea about materials, but I was reading about electroluminescent displays, seems like they might be a little better suited for a miniturized unit like yours. I think they take less power and are thinner(or can be made thinner). Maybe easier to make it a managable size, unless you are required to use oled screens

As for teh band, I agree w/ Yo on the need for something durable, but I think you could go in one of a couple of ways with it. You could make the bands interchangeable (brown shoes, brown belt, brown watch band: Black shoes, black belt, black watch band), or you could make them a permanent with more expensive/durable materials such as metal links or mesh. But I think the main concern would be that if an exec was going to buy this and wear it it should match the formality of a suit (ie plastic would probably look a little cheesy with a black suit and tie).


see, automaticly people are telling the answer of my question for you… my point of view…it would be better than a PDA, because it could be a part of the fashion, it’s wearable…right. I think technically it would be like a PDA, but asthetically, it would be more stylish. See, it’s been my habit to look for the advantage of a design, than any other design (formal eductaion doctrin).
I don’t think that this product should be aimed to early adopters, because this kind of product (mobile computer) is already familiar for the market, i think the industry calls this kind of product a “market expansion”.
The interchangeable band is a good idea, you could also consider the way apple has used new materials for electronic products. Not telling you to copy the idea, but to use it as an inspiration, and to explore more ideas.

Thanks for the feedback. It really made me think about what my goals are. I could see how this could be geared towards business market, but I think this could be just as big for students or young professionals. I don’t mean to drive new product towards them to empty their pockets. Although, average college students do buy PDAs and ipods in addition to laptops. I am aiming to replace the ordinary PDAs and other clustering gadgets.

I still don’t really buy the wrist location, unless you put some serious time in to the semantics of the styling of wrist based products.

This is the best place I can think of since my objective is to make it wearable. As for styling, I’m trying to give this product a new form of expression. By that I mean giving it certain gesture of how you use this product. One example would be the flip phones, flick of the thumb is very iconic that people would recognize it if you were to mime it. I may be able to achieve that by coming up with something completely new. Well, I guess that’s not really styling. Hope that made sense.

Materials are where I have trouble with. I was thinking stainless steel for the casing and incorporating with translucent polycarbonate or pvc. I’m not sure about leather.

Good luck, it seems really cool, though if you have a lot of properitary stuff going on, it seems riskay to post it.

The agreement was that I don’t reveal the basis technology. Right now this product could be anything, so I think I’m safe. Although, I am allow to show it in my portfolio, so I don’t know what that exactly means.

EL sounds cool. I am considering using it as secondary screen, because it dosn’t seem to output complex images. I need capability to view web page at least. I am not required to use oled, but just seems appropriate, and it’s still developing technology. I’ve thought about interchangable parts, too. Perhaps even customizable to the owner’s pref. I don’t want it to look cheesy either.

I want this product to have zero learning curve in usage, but yet familiarity could backfire if people think it’s same ol’ thing. I agree, market expansion is a good idea. What would you suggest to make this product become expandable? And speaking of Apple. . .

Why aren’t you regulated to use an OLED? On my last project of designing a Court’s vehicle, I designed with a fuel cell (it’s still developing too). I think if the future has a promise for these new technology, why don’t we use it, this is a project aimed for the future right?
I think you already have some good ideas that can be done to expand this product, like the idea of interchangeable part, dual screen etc. Might as well do and develop the styling seriously. I’ll tell you if i come up with a new idea.

Anyway i’ve seen that new forecasting Apple’s product. And i do agree with the comment in that site,that says that those product dosn’t have the apple’s magic touch. Although they are a nice product! (i am not underestimating pentagram’s designer)

cool, I’m starting to see where you are going.

Look this over:

I’m designing a user-interface on a legacy product in which the display size was chosen by engineering without regard for the UI. A common problem that forces me to make compromises on uncompromising features.

My advice is to develop the UI in tandem with ID to develop the optimum user experience. Start with the user and their goals. You mentioned one use-case…Is that it?

For instance, if the screen is for displaying terrain maps while the user is stationary, what size map is usable? What dimensions are appropriate? If the screen were for displaying information while running, what size/shape would it be?

Sketch out some quick User-Interfaces for the appropriate use cases using the most appropriate size and form-factor for each. Then find a happy medium and redo the UI’s to work at that size/proportion.

What about the ergo of the device itself? Can a shirt sleeve easily slide over the watch? Is it ambidexterous?

Wira- I am using oled. It’s just hard to determine the exact properties.

yo- thanks for the link. I didn’t read the entire thread, but give me ideas about detailing and materials.

cg- Right now I have rough UI chart. I havn’t done many UIs before, so I’m using already familiar layout.

The screen size is about 2x3in when it’s expanded, and half the size when closed. I thought of having zooming and panning capabilities for the over sized images. It will also have a cursor like on a reg computer where you point and click.