HTC Dot Case

Yesterday I told my roommate Maxime about the different problems and paradoxes I was facing with my concept. He gave me a good reference, it’s a phone case created by HTC for its model HTC One M8. It’s called the “dot case”. To make it quick, the device detects if the screen is covered or not. It it is, the screen loads colored rectangles; the dots on the case transform this rectangles in a minimalistic interface displaying useful informations. It only uses a small part of the screen. it can also display informations concerning the notifications received, and it’s still interactive. It means that you can touch, swipe, scroll. So if you receive a call, no need to open it, just swipe down. The idea is so simple, maybe it’s an alternative to the technology monster I’m trying to build, despite the fact I would like it to look simple too… I will talk with the WOMA tomorrow and see what they think of the idea.

Questioning the physical form

Last week I went to La Paillasse. It’s a biohacking space created by Thomas Landrain. His team and him created a Bio Ink. “Imagine a pen that grows it’s own ink”. I talked to him about my project. He gave me an interesting feedback and told me to contact some fablabs as and WOMA. I called Guillaume from WOMA and I have an appointment with him soon to pitch my project and explain how I would like it to be. I’m not a product nor an industrial designer. I know that some options I want to add to my connected phonecase would be tricky with hardware, so maybe there exist ways to do it differently.

I just finished my keynote and some graphic prototypes. Recently, in the subway, I has the idea to add LED wires to the phone case like vine. There would be green, orange and red wires. I wanted to separate them because the way they are attached to the cellular-looking structure of the phone case could also be part of the graphic expression of the information. A vivid red light with sharp angles doesn’t provide the same information than a round angled curved line. I can also use animation if there are multiple little LEDs inside a thin tube.  I’ll let you know soon about it!

proto-wireproto-wire-green proto-wire-red


With my meeting at La Paillasse, discussions with professors, colleagues and random people, I start to think that there are more and more people who are not confortable with the idea that my object uses energy. Despite the fact that I explain that it can be optimized at its maximum, that it updates just once or twice a day with a low signal, that it can uses solar panels, it’s still too much. I thought that it could help me explaining that my project doesn’t criticize the use of energy but it’s more about the efficiency, but I think it doesn’t work. It’s paradoxal. Or it will use complex technologies. And people want simplicity. I started to believe that they were right and I, too, thought that it wasn’t helping me at all, to have this complex machine plugged to a smartphone. Will it be heavy ? Will it use a lot of energy ? Is it fragile ? Because it’s a phone case so I need to avoid to create a phone case that also needs a protection.

I think that I need to ideate about the form and focus on the real meaning of this object. I need something that helps me explaining my concept, helps me explaining the concept of energy efficiency, helps me creating the reflex to optimize the use of our smartphones and social networks.

How can humans & machines judge ?

I called Frederic because I had some questions about data centers. We also talked about the paradox of using energy to promote environmental behaviors. And he said:

Of course we should let a tweet which can saves life spread on the Web. Because it's useful and it has meaning.

Of course I already shared his point of view. What was interesting is the notion of being able to judge the content and the context of a message on the Web. A powerful video, a powerful article. But they are sometimes hidden by “noise” generated by useful content on the Internet. How could it be added as a parameter ? How can we create a parameter that decide of the importance of a message ? Can a human do it without risks of censoring ?

Meeting Matthias

Yesterday I met with Matthias Schmitt, creator of Ga.ia [the walking plant]. During two hours we talked about the act of creating something and making it available in the market. I really liked his point of view concerning a “fair design” with a need of transparency and correct prices. I share his thoughts. We also spoke about religion and environment: there is a poetic link and a respect of nature because it’s considered as “created” so if it’s alive, it deserves respect.

  • I was also there to have some tips about the prototype I need to deliver for my diploma. I will give more details about my new idea soon but it implies the use of new technologies and hardware I’m not familiar with. The idea is maybe to deliver three things
  • a “formal” prototype which can be manipulated, touched
  • an object presenting the main interaction
    a video of the concept with the message I wan to deliver