Portable Assistance

PORTABLE ASSISTANCE FOR AIRPORTS

Swedavia approached me and my class in the spring of 2014 with a project where they requested that we would take a look at the challenges people with impairments meet during their stay at Swedavia airports. 

As my contribution to the project, I wished to create an overall solution which could be used by everyone, rather than for a selected group of people with impairments. I have tried to create two concepts which will make the traveler feel less stressed and in more control by making information relevant to you and your travel easily accessible. 

The Portable Airport Assistant is a discreet device that people can use without being stigmatised by their surroundings. Either you are hearing impaired, elderly or just a frequent traveler with a  pressured schedule, the watch will give you personal, accurate assistance and guide you to your flight in time.

5 weeks | Spring 2014

School Project | Myself, Umeå Institute of Design

Problem | How can a portable assistant provide those who just want a little bit of help with guidance, assistance and information?

Collaboration Partner | Swedavia



TARGET GROUP

My main focus was to improve the experience to those who are impaired (hearing, physical) or inattentive. 

The Portable Airport Assistant is a discreet device that people can use without being stigmatised by their surroundings. Either you are hearing impaired, elderly or just a frequent traveler with a  pressured schedule, the watch will give you personal, accurate assistance and guide you to your flight in time.

 

The result

The Portable Airport Assistant’s job is to guide and help the user catching their plane without causing stress and confusion. The Assistant is a stripped down and slightly larger version of a smartwatch, and can be borrowed at the airport. It is handed back in again when you are boarding the plane.

 

SETUP

To activate the watch, you will have to scan the QR-code on your ticket. The camera is positioned on the backside of the watch. It will load your personal travelling information and give you live updates on relevant information about your travel.


THE NOTIFICATIONS

Messages in sequenced order. The colour of the messages has a purpose. The orange symbolizes standby/wait shorty. Green symbolizes that “It’s ok to go”. Red symbolizes “urgency”, while grey symbolize “close down”. Blue is often used in the “for your information”-context, for example in information symbols and signs. This is why blue is used on messages which are connected to changes in the travel plan, such as new gate or new time of departure.


HOW IT NOTIFIES YOU

The watch notifies you through both sound, vibration and visual movement. The time starts counting down, and in this time span you should do whatever the watch is telling you to (in the example above: You should go to gate.) When the time has passed, the watch gives you another warning before it moves onto the next step. 


Construction

When traveling, you should not need to bring any additional gadgets or devices to be able to smoothly go to your destination. If Swedavia were to produce and offer the watch to rent or to buy at the airport, it should be very uncomplicated and cheaply produced. Therefore, the watch has few components and familiar, cheap technology. The material touching the skin should also be non-allergenic. 

 

PORTABLE ASSISTANT APP

The interface of the watch should also be available as a free, downloadable application. By offering this, people can change between different devices without having to adjust to a new interface. By using this application, the interface will be accessible for a broader audience of users.