Ally, a discreet wearable device, reinventing the way in which sexual assault survivors are monitored, providing an improved support system for survivors in both the impact phase and the reconstitution phase of recovery. Ally not only allows counsellors and loved ones to keep track of a survivors progress, but offers them an improved sense of safety and confidence, at all times. Ally improves the user experience for the counsellor, the victim and the loved ones.
This project was defined when a friend of mine was spiked in a night club one evening. Luckily, she was was able to escape the evening without any harm. However, after further research and stakeholder interviews, it became apparent that the prospect of sexual assault is an issue on a much wider scale.
Concept generation was undertaken based on initial research and interviews with key stakeholders. These concepts were then tested, shortlisted and prioritised to bring to initial foam prototype stage, in order to give users a better feel of concepts.
Once the final design direction was confirmed, the CMF direction could then be defined following user feedback. Black was the preferred colour direction by users, to ensure the device was subtle and compliment any colour clothing.
Secondary research was logged throughout the design process, along with continuous user testing involving aesthetic, functional and electronic prototyping throughout.
The design process could be broken down into four segments, the research phase, concept development, design details and finally detailed design development. The concept generation referred to the ideation sketching and quick foam prototypes to establish a desired form. The design details allowed for restrictions to be put in place, regarding dimensions and components within the device. Detailed design development can be seen in the image above, where 3d prints were used to define small details before producing the final prototype.
The above prototype was SLA 3D Printed and finished with and finished with a matte lacquer spray. The flexible straps were produced using vac-casting, creating a mould from 3D prints and casting multiple colours. This replicated a small scale process of how the device and straps would be injection moulded in ABS plastic. in mass production.
Induction wireless charging offers users a seamless charging experience, day after day.
LED indicators inform the user of how much charge they have left on their device. Indicators can also be found on the charging dock.
Above shows the Photo-diode Heart Rate sensors running in parallel with Electro-dermal Activity electrode plates.
All components have been considered for with regards to manufacturing and accessing standardised parts, as well as considering the electrical components required to allow features to function, in parallel with the Ally application.
Ally can be customised to meet the style preferences of any user, with multiple colour options for the straps and wrist bands.
Ally can be worn in a variety of body locations, from the wrist, waist or bra strap to ensure the device is inclusive for both males and female users. Magnets are used to secure the clip in place whilst a single strap can be slotted into place in order to wear the device on the wrist.
The Ally device can be left on the charging dock anywhere within the home, then simply pick it up when leaving the house.
Ally would present two routes to market. The primary route to market would be selling the devices directly to health institutions and sexual assault clinics in packages with multiple devices. These devices would be loaned out to sexual assault survivors on a loan basis free of charge, until they have recovered from the reconstitution phase of their recovery. The devices would then be returned and redistributed to new survivors.
The secondary route to market as seen above, would be selling through retail outlets and online platforms directly to consumers. This route to market would appeal to those who may not have suffered from sexual assault, but are looking for some added security in their everyday lives.
A proof of principle electronic prototype demonstrates how all the defined functions are viable. These were produced using Arduino, all specific components which would be used in the mass manufacture of the device, are presented in the the PCB renders.
The Ally app works in parallel with the Ally device, in offering a clear and coherent interface allowing users to access the data collected from their Ally. The app offers a number of features, including a dash board to track both emotional patterns along with fitness and activity levels. Along with this, the app allows sexual assault survivors to communicate directly with their counsellor, or allow counsellors to directly communicate with survivors. The app also offers users a community zone to communicate with other Ally users, as well as 'Calm Zone' where users can run through therapeutic podcasts, specific to their particular mood to bring their spirits up.
Each feature is presented in a user journey flow, which is represented by following from the left screen to the final on phone screen.
Ally has received initial interest from a number of healthcare institutions as well as the press:
The Mail On Sunday - Page 7, Ally
The Scottish Mail - Page 7, Ally
The Mail Online - www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5748111/HEALTH-NOTES-Pierss-diet-downfall-naan-bread.html
Design Solutions Magazine - http://www.connectingindustry.com/DesignSolutions/brunel-university-student-designs-device-to-monitor-the-well-being-of-sexual-assault-survivors.aspx
Brunel University - http://www.brunel.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/articles/An-Ally-for-survivors-of-sexual-assault