So I used the filming day as a chance to see how the helmet would hold up over an extended time of use, and also how it would work on different female and male heads. There were some big issues that I need to solve:
1. Fit – Joanna’s hair did not fit under the helmet, it pushed the sensor band way up her forehead. This is a big problem as the sensors must sit tightly across the centre of the forehead for accurate readings. The helmet must fit properly on different types of head and hair.
2. Gender neutrality – Seeing the helmet open on the male model I realised it looked a little feminine, sort of like a giant flower. With-out getting into a debate as to whether flowers SHOULD be feminine, they are still considered by many to be so, and one of my potential user groups for this is young men. I don’t want anyone feeling silly, or uncomfortable, so I think I need to reconsider the form once opened.
3. Felt form durability – Felt has a grain, sort of like wood, and is stronger in some directions then others. The current design means some of the components are hanging in a position that will, over time, cause it to shift unevenly with the others.
With these lessons learned I basically went back to the drawing board, it’s a shame as I really love the current form, I’m sure there would be a way to get it to work, but I also had some other ideas that I wanted to explore. My main thought was to simplify, why was I using 5 flexible parts when I could achieve the same practical function with 1 or 2?
I also needed to integrate the sensor technology, the Muse Headband, better into the design. I 3D scanned the Headband so I could model directly onto it in Rhino. I printed a quick test to see that the fit was good and can now proceed to more complex modelling to included the motor, Arduino etc.