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SmartEar

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Revolutionize the way people use their ears to improve and simplify everyday life. SmartEar’s devices and technology platform will bring voice to mobile applications.

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My Role
  • Principal Designer

  • UX Researcher

Methods
  • Customer Journey Map

  • Brainstorming

  • Personas

Duration
  • Scenarios

  • Sketch

  • Prototypes

May 2016 - July 2016

Introduction

Founder Kinuko Masaki gave a real scenario where the user interacts with her SmartEar to help her accomplish a few tasks to start her day.

Our challenge was to create a storyboard and mobile screens that show how SmartEar helps Kinuko accomplish her daily tasks thru WeChat SDK and other popular applications. The goal for this client, is to be the first complete voice computing platform.

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Storyboards

We begin the storyboard by following one of our personas, Kinu, the CEO. It includes preliminary voice commands as well as mobile screens of the application being launched as she commands it. The storyboard illustrated here is the action the user takes with SmartEar, either by speaking or by touching the device and giving it commands to accomplish her tasks.

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Process Work
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  • Discovery Process

  • Sketches

  • Application structure

SmartEar integrated WeChat's mobile SDK in their app to allow users to login and register through WeChat, and users can directly chat with SmartEar within WeChat. This enables users to have faster and more efficient access to other applications.

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User Flow

There are specific applications which are at the top of the users’ needs lists. Launching those applications easily from WeChat and properly linked to other relevant content is of utmost importance. Exploration was made into different options based on different types of applications and feature options. Here is one of our personas user journey.

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Case Study

UX Research

Target audience: Drivers - hands-free, for people of all ages, vision impaired, athletes, gadget lovers.

Industry Insights: The global earphones and headphones market size was valued at USD 8.7 billion in 2015. The current hype persisting in the earphone & headphone industry is not a fad; it’s the future of the industry. The rise in the adoption is ascribed to the fact that several people are tethered to their smart devices, such as music players, mobiles, and tablets, for a significant portion of their day, primarily, for listening music, watching videos, or playing games. A majority of customers seek fashionable and trendy products. The future of these products is anticipated to rely on technology, appearance, and design, which suit a customer’s values and promote his/her individuality. These trendy products exhibit the ability to penetrate all the three existing segments: Low-range, mid-range, and high-range products.

Personas (3): Visually Impaired, CEO, Pilot

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Age: 53

Work: Finance, San Francisco, CA

Family: Married, 2 kids

Tech Adoption: A little behind but familiar with popular apps and tools

Health: Visually Impaired

Goals: Accomplish tasks through audio commands instead of touchscreens.

Need: Filter out noise for quality audio, clear understanding of speech while giving commands, jump from application to application.

Age: 36

Work: CEO, San Jose, CA

Family: Married, 0 kids

Tech Adoption: Literate, early adopter

Health: Good

Goals: Faster way to get to applications on my phone.

Need: Jump from application to application with speed. Long battery life.

Age: 41

Work: Pilot, Sacramento, CA

Family: Single, 0 kids

Tech Adoption: Literate, early adopter

Health: Good

Goals: Accomplish tasks through audio commands instead of touchscreens.

Need: Filter out noise for quality audio, clear understanding of speech while giving commands, jump from application to application. Hands-free is must.

Machine Learning | Artificial Intelligence (ML|AI)

These next generation intelligent hearing devices systems require three specific elements:

  • Energy-efficient wireless connectivity, which gives them   access to external computing power.

  • The ability for filtering out noise to the highest level of audio quality at all times—even in real-world environments.

 

  • Mobile phones with sufficient computing power to run AI on-device, which support the dynamically responsive intelligent hearing devices and provide the additional benefits of protecting user privacy and reducing the mobile device power consumption associated with cellular connection to a cloud based server (which would have been needed if the AI was run in the cloud rather than on the user’s mobile device). The first element enables the latter two, while the latter two elements give end-users access to the best combination of human and machine intelligence.

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Audio Machine Learning
  • Automatic Auditory Scene Analysis

  • Voice Tracking

  • Noise Robustness

  • Speech Recognition

  • Language translation

Benefits:

  • Customization without touching your device

  • Unobtrusive & seamlessly integrate with daily life

  • Learns what the user wants and needs.

Market Research

Who benefits from hearables?

  • 1.1 BILLION Youth Risk losing Hearing

  • 33 MILLION Hard of Hearing

  • EVERYONE in noisy world

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