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Weather Aware

Ambient weather display using natural user interface


weather aware

About


Nowadays, everyone uses a smartphone app to keep track of the weather outside. But they have several issues - it is time consuming, unclear and needs constant attention.


Objective


We planned to make a device that would not only make the process of checking the weather fast and easy but also gracefully integrate with out everyday routine.



Concept


concept

We looked at something that is minimal, clear, easy to use, learn and understand; and does not require your constant cognitive attention. We went for a projected display that lights up walk upto it, shows you the current weather condition, shows future conditions when you swipe at it and fades away when you walk away. Pretty Simple.

However, we went a step further and asked ourselves the question: Is the visual information enough?



variables

To find out we conducted an experiment. We kept the NUI and the information constant while varying the audiovisual cues that 'back' up the information as well as the location of such displays to see where such a system fits best.



Prototypes


  • weather chrome
  • weather chrome
  • weather chrome
  • aniweather
  • aniweather
  • aniweather with sound


We made 3 prototypes. In the first, called WeatherChrom, the background color changes based on the temperature every hour as you swipe left and right. In the second prototype, we put animations based on the weather condition. We called it AniWeather. In the third one, we played sounds with animation.

Similarly, we tried each one of these in 3 different settings. On the ceiling, on the wall and on the objects, like fridge or the closet.



Technology


technology

The technology is simple. The Kinect connects to computer and then Java Sockets connect the feedback to web browser which receives data from the wunderground api and then displays it on the projector. However, we added a remote controller to conduct the study - to check errors and change weather.



User Studies


Study

Study


Subjects were assigned different concepts and settings based on latin square method to reduce any kind of sequence effects. In each think alound session of 15 minutes, the participants were asked to use the product in the three different settings and give their feedback at the end of it.


Findings


Most of the findings were as expected. It was more usable, intuitive and fun than the existing system. Such displays were unobtrusive. However, aniweather + sound scored less in overall experience because sounds were at times quite intimidating to subjects.


Product Demo