How can variations in light be used to help workaholics treat stress and promote productivity?
Despite the ease and efficiency that technology has bestowed upon us, employees are working harder and longer than ever before. However, we often have a hard time working smarter, and focusing on taking the time to keep healthy during intense bouts of productivity. As a result, a significant percent of the working population is facing mental and physcial strain as a result of their work.
While speaking with audience members, I discovered that current products in the market are aimed at helping people feel better prior to and during sleep, but have very little to do with well-being during waking moments. Current trends also frown upon blue light and praise yellow light without considering the benefits of each. Finally, there is very little emphasis on designing for people with various levels of ability, with products focusing very little on interaction design.
The development of a new solution that alleviates stress and promotes productivity hinged on three primary factors. The first was intelligence: by auto-tuning color temperature during the day to better mimic natural outdoor conditions, customers would be able to benefit more by doing less. Moreover, aesthetic considerations had to gear size and shape towards an overall unobtrusive form. Finally, the interaction model had to be accessible and discoverable to people of all levels of motor control.
ROCK AND ROLL. How could the entire concept of lighting tools be refined to focus on differently-abled users? Accessibility is often overlooked; focusing on interaction design in tandem with hardware created a truly unique experience. After some research and tinkering, a tilt-switch mechanism was implemented. Turn the lamp on by rolling it to one side, and just roll Orbit again to turn it off.
ELEGANTLY EFFICIENT. When creating Orbit’s smooth and seamless ceramic form, the charging experience was absolutely considered throughout the development process. An inductive wirless charging process that uses copper contact points to charge up the internal battery was implemented because of the way it fit perfectly with the aesthetic of the lamp and the ease of use it provided. Simply place Orbit upon the charging pad while in the on orientation to give continued energy during use.
THE END OF THIS JOURNEY IS JUST THE BEGINNING. Listening to workaholics worldwide and developing Orbit’s form & technologies have allowed me to reflect on the value that comes from developing a solution that is meant to help a specific demographic. The true measure of a design comes from utility and adaptabilty, not just from mere aesthetics. As such, further revisions of Orbit can do more than just explore different form factors or applications of light therapy. Newer generations should explore more sustainable material usage that limits the presence of fresh plastics, and also allow for more adaptive light settings based on occupation.