A crowdfunding video pitch for a smart coaster with an embedded scale.
Timeline: 3 weeks, team of 3
Role: co-designer, script writer
Keywords: video, script writing, storyboarding, advertising, crowdfunding, product pitch, internet of things
Create a video pitch for a product that incorporates a wi-fi enabled scale and demonstrates user experience of that product.
We created a video that encourages crowdfunding backers to contribute money to the production of a set of smart coasters that help restaurant workers keep track of which drinks need refills.
I learned how to find a user need for an existing 'raw' technology, and build an idea for a product. I also learned how to communicate a product experience using visual storytelling and advertise an idea in a way that inspires others to get involved.
As a team, we brainstormed use cases for products that incorporated a connected scale. We thought about applications in homes, businesses, and cars. Some of our initial ideas included:
Generalized Smart Scale for Home Use. A scale that you could place in different seats and connect to various devices in order to automatically personalize the experience. For instance, a computer could automatically implement supervised controls or limit TV channels based on a child's weight in a seat. Placed under a crib mattress it could help reassure parents that a baby was safely sleeping, or even just make sure your favorite channel automatically came on when you sat down in your armchair at a certain time.
Eventually we felt that this product was too generalized and did not have a clear use case. It also had technical problems in terms of weight changing based on heavier clothing or having things in ones lap.
Smart Bowl for Recipe Creation. A bowl that uses a scale to help keep track of ingredient additions, in order to make recipes out of your on-the-fly creations. Connects to an app through which you can share recipes with friends and family. It can also help you figure out what you did to a recipe "that one time" when it came out perfectly.
We decided that this product was not a practical solution to the problem because the soul of a recipe isn't just a question of recipe weights but also of timing, temperature, ingredient quality, and physical technique.
Smart Coffee Cup. A coffee cup with an integrated scale on the bottom that keeps track of when you're running low, so your waiter can come around and give quick refills to the people who need it.
This product had a clear use case but was limiting in terms of cost and style (forcing a restaurant to use a single type of cup), and in profitability for restaurants since coffee isn't very expensive. We decided to think more about how we could change the design to accommodate other drinks.
Smart Coaster. A coaster with an integrated scale that helps restaurant workers keep tabs on beers and wine glasses, so that they know when to swing by tables and take refill orders. This idea aligns with restaurants business models (alcohol often being the most profitable thing on the menu), server's schedules (allows them to prioritize their tasks better during a rush) and customer's needs (not having to wait for refills). It also helps restaurants keep tabs on consumption of different drinks, so that they can make smarter ordering decisions.