I am honored to be the national winner (Hong Kong District) of the James Dyson Award 2017. I developed the winning project – WOLO, during the IELM4320 Design Thinking course this past summer. The project challenged us to improve the existing problems caused when children suffer from fevers and to reduce parents’ worries. To achieve these goals, we developed a product with temperature rings, a health detecting band and a mobile app. The product monitors children’s real-time body temperatures and heart rates and sends the results via Bluetooth to their parents’ mobile. Parents can also be informed by the temperature rings which act like an emotional connection between them and their children.
The idea of temperature rings was developed in the very final stage. During our second-to-last presentation, Professor Song from CAA (China Academy of Art) offered a comment that our product was too physical and too practical, without enough attention to the most crucial element – the emotional connection. Considering his comment, we reevaluated our product and finally came up the idea of temperature rings, which satisfies user’s physical and emotional needs simultaneously.
We only had four weeks to advance the project from brainstorming to final prototype, so the product has not completed yet. I am grateful that all professors and TAs from both HKUST and CAA, especially, Professor Ravi from the Engineering School, had given us enormous help including technical support and inspiring ideas. Without their help, the idea of WOLO would not have been developed so successfully. Lastly, I learned a lot from this project, especially that when developing a product/project, you have to address the issues and put yourself in others’ shoes so that you can experience their feelings and understand their perspectives. Without this ‘empathy stage’, it would be very difficult to develop a good product.