Yesterday was Demo Day! For my studies and faculty this is one of the most fun and stressful moments of the semester. All the students worked for half a year on a project which they at Demo Day usually display in real life at the faculty at our University. I displayed VERSO! A device to help you finding balance in your life.
For my first master project I worked together with Maud Oomen and Rick van Schie on VERSO. The guidelines for the project were ‘easy’, namely ‘SlowTech for personal health’. But was IS slow technology? Slow technology devices react or act very slow. Maybe they are even irregularly active for only 3 times a month. Devices that contain this characteristic sound dumb, but are actually very interesting. Since they create a moment of reflection, memories and the slowness helps with creating a completely different bond with the object than we do with regular devices in our lives.
Since we work a lot at home, my team mates and I saw that the division between work and relaxation is missing. Usually we travelled from and to work. Though, since the pandemic, we stay home whole day. But people need a good division and need to wind down from work well. This will help with a better sleep, but also with a more productive next day.
.What is VERSO?.
VERSO is a device that is ghosting your past actions. This sounds a bit creepy, but it is actually very useful. You use VERSO as a physical switch between work and relaxation by turning it. The tilt will be registered in a time-stamp which will be collected. A week later, for example, VERSO displays this data to you and invites you to keep that same pattern or to reflect on your previous behavior. Over time, VERSO shows the average of the switches. This way you can see your routines better.
Due to the moment of reflection and invitation to stop or start working, but also through the physical switch we assume that you will get a better work-relax balance in this ‘always-on’ culture.
We deployed the first iteration of VERSO at three different homes for two weeks. This deployment gave very interesting insights! We already have a lot of points of improvement if we had the possibility to work longer on this project.
What you see on the pictures is VERSO made from warm and soft materials, to give it a home feeling. The top part has light in it now. This light will switch to the other side when it is time to switch states. If you do not comply with that change, VERSO starts to wiggle a bit as an invitation to switch states. This is an invite, and not an alarm. Though it might be a trigger to stop.
In the video below you can see the concept better and how it works! We made this project at the University of Technology Eindhoven. And we are very grateful for the knowledge and resources that helped us creating VERSO.
You can also find more of my projects at my Portfolio!