SYSTEM CONCEPT STATEMENT
Lucidus Virtual Reality Sleep Pod is a state of the art gaming system that for the first time ever allows gamers to enjoy their favorite past time while in REM sleep! With biometric login, holographic interface, an ergonoically designed zero-point gravity sleep space and the newest technology in subconscious virtual reality gaming, the Lucidus Virtual Reality Sleep Pod brings the luxury of intergalactic space travel upgrades to the home of the elite gamer. Any personal virtual reality video game uploaded to CloudSpace can be downloaded into the LVFSP mainframe for gaming enjoyment. LVFSP monitors vital signs and will pause and save game and awaken the user in case of emergency - even for a trip to the bathroom! The user can also activate EnvironmentAlert which will awaken the user if there’s an important call coming in or someone is at their front door. Lucidus Virtual Reality Sleep Pod - for the serious gamer!
A typical gamer plays their favorite video game at least 5 hours a week. When asked, they state that if they had more time they would play way more. Their games collect dust when they go to work, do house work, do homework, play with their children - even simple daily tasks such as running to the store and showering take away from game time! How do we solve this dilemma? Why not create a game system the user can play in their sleep and then wait for technology to catch up!
This prototype consists of combining a state-of-the-art hyper sleep pod with a futuristic virtual reality video game system. Qualitative research was conducted on hyper sleep chamber technology, the evolution of the sleep pod, and virtual reality gaming in the present day format.
While hyper sleep chambers such as those that have graced the big screens in movies such as Aliens, The Fifth Element, Prometheus and Interstellar do not currently exist, an interesting fact research turned up is that NASA and Atlanta-based SpaceWorks Enterprises are both conducting studies of how to utilize this technology. NASA is now working on "1st Generation hyper-sleep stasis pods" which they want to be used in the Mars mission that is expected to launch by 2030. (https://www.nasa.gov/content/nasas-journey-to-mars)
Sleep pods have evolved over past three decades - from the first capsule hotel built in 1979 in Osaka, Japan to the GoSleep pods at the Dubai International Airport, even pods designed for office and home spaces such as MetroNaps. Ergonomical design, acoustic sound and a partially enclosed lounge space makes these chairs the napping choice of all future generations.
Virtual Reality video game systems are still considered new in 2018. New VR companies are springing up every time you blink it seems but there are twenty that stand out with Facebook/Oculus VR, HTC Vive and Samsung Gear VR leading the pack for non-gaming systems. Currently Sony Playstation is the only game system on the market with VR capability - in an article by Sean Hollister for cnet.com, the head of Microsoft's Xbox division, Phil Spencer, was quoted stating that "Would we ever do our own VR device? We could, if we thought we had something unique to add, I don't think the unique add is to plug into the Xbox One console." Speculating into the future, virtual reality gaming could have no boundaries as soon as the futuristic devices that tap into a human's subconscious we see in shows like Altered Carbon become reality.
A contextual inquiry was conducted by an online survey via social media - a series of questions asking gamers how they interacted with their own current system interfaces. These questions were asked so as I designed this futuristic system I would know what most game system users do when they first turn on their system including how they turned the system on. To clarify a design strategy issue a question was also posed to respondents on whether or not they were claustrophobic. It was found upon analysis that among the first four respondents one was actually claustrophobic therefore the design of the overall system had to be changed. Originally it was thought that the system would be in a bed shape with a glass lid - in the fashion of cryosleep chambers seen in movies. Once the user climbed into the system, the lid would close and the interface could be projected upon the lid. With just one of four potential users not being able to withstand small, enclosed spaces I felt the entire prototype idea needed an immediate overhaul before the design of the interface began to be able to accommodate these gamers. This is where the sleep pod design came into play and it was decided that the interface would be holographic, only being displayed once the user sat in the seat. Once where the interface would be displayed was established, user task flows were created and the design of the wireframes began.
FEEDBACK AND REDESIGN
Feedback on the wireframe user testing was useful and hilarious. Upon completing a heuristic evaluation session with fellow designers it was noted that a "how does this work/what does that mean?" section was not available. Being under the assumption that the user would actually read the user manual upon setting up their system was one reason this was not included initially but upon research most users do not bother to read the manual unless there is an issue therefore a "frequently asked questions" section was added under the "settings" menu. As the saying goes - assuming makes an *** out of you and me. An instance of funny user tester responses - one user tester who only buys the Microsoft Xbox platform used the "gamer war" terminology - "it looks like gaystation" (meaning the Sony Playstation system.) And it did - especially the main menu screen! In retrospect the original design may have been influenced by the fact that I am a Sony Playstation owner and have been one since Playstation 2 was released in 2000; in fact, I still own a Playstation 2 and a Playstation 3 although I now game on a Playstation 4. So I put my own gamer bias aside and went back to the drawing board and did further research on what people speculate interfaces will look like in 15-20 years from now and how the users would interact with them. For user testing, I kept the background black and did not add the futuristic design for placement yet updated the color palette and icons to what would be for the Hi-Res format with the interactive background as seen in the prototype video.