HP Innovation Journal Issue 05: Winter 2016 | Page 21

INNOVATION SPOTLIGHT The HP Immersive Experiences Lab Jetty story I n the previous issue of this and their adult child, living apart journal, we talked about from one another. The idea was how the members of the to find situations where both Immersive Experiences Lab participants in each pairing (IXL) are creating new explor- could simply meet in person atory concepts across areas of but still struggled to find time focus such as “Authentic User to communicate effectively Experiences.” One such concept with one another. During the is called “Project Jetty,” which study, participants could see combines real-time weath- when the other member of er data projected around a their “pair” was at home and 3D-printed house inside a pho- when they were away. Figure 1: Example of “Project Jetty” with lights on and “windy” weather conditions to frame. When the residents When the “art objects” (as of the house leave for work, the lights inside pictured above. The team ran through several we described the “Jetty” devices to the study the house turn off; when they return home, the possibilities before arriving at a workable solu- participants) were first presented to participants, lights turn on again. F igure 1 shows how the tion using an HP tablet and a mirror. they asked about the technology first because house would look on a windy day. But the holographic weather was just one they wanted to know how it worked. But after This research project had humble beginnings of several technical hurdles. The team also had they lived with their “Jetty” devices for a week, in a design thinking workshop that members of they shifted to a much more human-centered the Lab conducted together. During one group perspective and saw the value of these devices discussion, IXL member Hiroshi Horii responded as useful supports for their mental well-being. to a simple question that another member had They used words like “heartwarming” to describe posed: “How can we help people feel connected how “Jetty” made them feel. The results of the without being connected?” Figure 2 shows how study were extremely informative regarding Hiroshi responded to this question: He made a the direction that “Project Jetty” could take. We low-fidelity prototype using the limited materials have already field tested a follow-up concept, at hand. The materials are unimportant, howev- but perhaps that story will be told in a future er, compared to the ideas they represent. In this issue of this Journal. Figure 2: IXL member Hiroshi Horii’s original “snow globe” case, this prototype shows a 3D-printed house idea with real-time weather information projected onto it, all contained inside a “snow globe” ob- to figure out how to 3D print houses using ba- Alexander Thayer is Senior Manager of the Immersive Experiences Lab at HP. ject. This simple idea quickly became the genesis sic photos and map data, how to reliably show He has a PhD in Human Centered Design of “Project Jetty.” presence information, and most importantly how & Engineering from the University of Washington, and is a 20-year veteran Along with Hiroshi and the authors of this two “Jetty” devices could communicate presence of the tech industry. article, Kevin Smathers and Jishang Wei worked information between them. together to determine whether the essential In the IXL, we understand the value of get- ideas were technically possible. The team spent ting our ideas into the hands of real people. So Ji Won Jun, is a Research Engineer in the a couple of weeks rapidly iterating and making we designed and conducted a field study using Immersive Experiences Lab at HP. She has an MFA from the Art Center College many physical prototypes. One of the first chal- 10 families in the Bay Area who could live with of Design and is a 2016 SXSW Interactive lenges involved trying to figure out how to display a “Jetty” device in their home for a full week. We Innovation award winner. weather using the holographic-style visualization recruited pairs of participants: an older parent Issue 5 · Winter 2016 · Innovation Journal 21