THE CHAT HAT

ES22: Design Survivor

May 2018 (Week Long Challenge)

For this challenge, my team aimed to use technology to help promote social activity in the winter. Over the course of a week, I worked with a team of  five people to design, build and test the Chat Hat -- a hat that promotes social interaction by heating up when one user is within a certain physical proximity of another. 

During this process, we initially began looking at users impacted by Seasonal Disorder (SAD), and figuring out how can we minimize some of these symptoms. During our research we found that in addition to lack of sunlight, the decrease in social interaction  during the winter months contributed to symptoms and that many people avoided these social interactions because of the weather and the inability to feel warm. As an intervention, we built a hat with warming technology that registers whether you are physically with another user and when physically together provides heat to help ease the pain points of winter socialization. We also built the hat with three expected user cases: individuals, partners and group settings.


More information about our hat's capabilities and use cases can be found in the powerpoint to the left.