The Waker Upper (Pressure Project 3)

Selected exclusion area: Hearing

We have created a system called the Waker Upper which is used as an eye mask alarm system for the people are are deaf and blind. This system works with your mobile alarm or alarm clock.


People that are deaf would not be able to get up from the sound of an alarm. There needs to be some sort of outside stimulus other than sound and it must be large enough to be able to wake the person. Due to this disability, deaf people are part of an exclusion area associated with little to no hearing.

We decided to create a system for the deaf along with anyone who has trouble waking up in the mornings (like us). This idea was inspired and brought up as a product of our own personal difficulties waking up in the morning.


When sketching our product we already had the little bits put together because messing with the little bits was part of our brainstorming process. So the design we came up with is meant to build around the little bits.

First we thought of making a case that would hold a smart phone and had a speaker at the bottom to pick up the sound. We also wanted there to be an adjustable lever on it so the user could adjust how strong he or she wanted the lights and vibration to be.


Next we sketch


The pictures below show the steps we took in order to start up the entire design process of our system. In each step we added one or two extra components which we felt would help make this system more functional and reliable for the audience we were designing it for.

Step 1: Started off the system with the battery and cable being plugged in to the power switch and a sound trigger.


Step 2: Added a wire extension and two long LED lights


Step 3: Added in the pulse device to get the LED lights to flicker through sound (with the help of the sound trigger).


Step 4: Added in the vibration motor mechanism.


Step 5: Added a slide dimmer to make the lights and vibration motor look and sound less intense.


Step 6: Reassembled a couple of the little bits for better functionality.


Step 7: Final product where we added in the phone (which has the alarm clock) and the sleeping mask (in which we placed the LED lights).



Individual Reflections

Pranavi – We all came up with different obvious ways to helping a certain audience but I was thinking of things limited to the LittleBits kit we had. This did not help me think outside of the box. Once we came up with the idea I thought of adding in the vibration motor to help people who are deaf also use this system to their benefit. With Alisher’s help I created this blog, took the needed pictures and videos to document our journey in creating this system and posted all of them on the blog. It was funny creating different scenarios as to how a person would use this device but thanks to everyone’s input and ideas we made a small prototype for something that could be executed and built into a more important and meaningful product.


Alisher – The entire project was definitely a collaborative effort. We all started off brain storming different possibilities for exclusion areas and then settled on the struggle of deaf people and waking up to sound alarms. This branched from the fact of some of us having trouble getting up in the morning and also how one of us noticed that the 2 LEDs that came with the box looked like eyes. We then started to talk about different ways we could use the sound from an alarm to wake up a deaf person.

Once we came up with the idea of using a sleeping mask along with a sound sensor and stimulators, we started playing around with the LittleBits kit to see if we could find the optimal set up. For me, this was the most enjoyable part because of the sheer amount of combinations a LittleBits kit provides.

Overall, it was awesome to work with a LittleBits kit to come up with a quick prototype for something that could help people across the world. The process was enjoyable and it is always a learning experience with each new pressure project.

Latika – This was harder than the other Pressure Projects we had done. I thought the probe kit was a great introduction for this project since it made us put ourselves in other people’s shoes and try to design for them. That being said, it was considerably harder than the probe kit since we had no stereotypes to base our knowledge off of. A strategy we discussed in class on Tuesday was to pretend we had the disability for a little bit to get a better idea of their needs. Once we were pretending to be deaf and coming up with ideas for products, the hardest part was making sure the designs could be used by a larger audience instead of just the deaf community. We all did a great job of collaborating on ideas and feeding off of one another for this project.

I loved working with the LittleBits too! It is incredible that we can build out complex ideas through playing with the toys. Since it is so easy to interchange parts, it was especially easy to brainstorm ideas and to change up our design. Overall, I had a great time working with this technology and learned more about inclusive design!





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