Product Design- The Transwallmer

It was night, I was lying on my bed, staring into the empty space before me thinking hard to come up with an interesting new product. But my mind was like what I am looking at, completely blank. My mind went off topic and I started thinking about the stunning starry skies I have seen in the movies, the magical scenes in Avatar, the beautiful sea in Pi and then it hit me! I finally got my light bulb moment. I sat straight up, couldn’t get that big fat smile off my face and I thought to myself what if?! What if I can replicate those scenes inside my own bedroom every single day! That would be epic. It would be even more awesome if I can change the theme to what I want whenever I want. Hence, I name this product, the Transwallmer! Cool name huh.

Brief history of wall and wall decorations/ wall-art

Traditionally, walls have been built for the purpose of defense, privacy and protection. “The English word ‘wall’ is derived from the Latin, ‘vallus’ meaning ‘a stake’ or ‘post’ and designated the wood-stake and earth palisade which formed the outer edge of a fortification” (Mark, 2009). Humans have always seemed to be attracted to beautiful beings. Whether it is diamonds, crystals or other beautiful humans, we are just drawn to what we perceive as appealing. This included the desire for being inside a beautiful place. “Ever since man could pull himself to his feet, he has had the need to write on walls and to decorate his living space with art” (Jayjay, 2015). As for wallpaper, “…the wallpaper itself may be indicative of the function of a room, and will often reflect the age, status or gender of its inhabitants or habitual occupants” (Victoria and Albert Museum, 2016).

There are many types of wall decoration/art which have developed over the course of history. Each one has their own unique characteristic, culture and stories. The Ancient Egyptians have their own famous wall art. Its prime purpose was to record their history. Before them, there were the cave drawings as mentioned above, also records stories and history of tribes. Later on, there are the Romans, “…wealthy Romans loved to decorate the walls of their houses and villas” (Jayjay, 2015). They use coloured plasters, family portraits were popular too; along with paintings of their gods. During the middles ages, fabric and glass became popular to cover walls. This was adored by the European culture and common in most Churches.

The most commonly seen approach used to change wall appearances in the modern society is with the use of wall paper and wall paints. The first known wallpaper actually dates back to 1509 by Henry VIII. Wallpaper became widespread in 1712 as painted, printed or stained paper and served as hangings. In 1836, designers in England was encouraged to produce wallpaper of complex designs and was popular in the Victorian ages. In the late 1960s, Vinyl, an oil based product which was cheap and easy to print was introduced. This basically boosted the consumption level for wallpaper since it is affordable for the majority.

Type of common wall decoration:

  • Wall art – wood, iron, stone, acrylic, canvas etc.
  • Wallpaper, wall paint
  • Wall painting – modern/tradition/graffiti art
  • Wall sculpture art
  • Wall lamps
  • Wall furniture
  • Appliques and borders
  • Combinations of the above

…and many other strange, creative and interesting possibilities people are coming up with.

Demographic considerations: target audience

Transwallmer’s primary targets audiences are residential who age around/between 20-50 of age, owns the house and wants to add something fancy and a change of scene into their living space. The target aim for those who owns the house because the product requires installation during the renovation (small/big) or construction process. Tenant are unlikely to have the power or authority to make such a big decision. The other target of owners around 20-50 of age is out of considerations based on various critical factors. Firstly, it is unlikely for someone to own a house before the age of 20. Secondly, for those who are older than 50, it is more unlikely for them to be interested in an electronic product that creates a magical theme in their living space. A concern to do with the technological gap and comfortless around electronics. Thirdly, those around 20-35 of age is highly likely to be interested in having a room with changeable themes. One example of this is the increasing popularity of themed hotel and motels, as well as themed houses.

For the older ones of the spectrum, many are parents with at least one teenager/child. This highly increases the chance of someone in the family wanting a room that can change theme based on their own personal interests and preferences. Both for the amazing look and also a cool place to play with their friends that they will never get bored with. And most important of all, make them jealous. Transwallmer will be able to offer a wide range of themes that are appropriate for kids, teenagers, grown-ups even elders.

 

Design process

Product overview:

Transwallmer is a product that will produce 360 degrees of a visualisation based on different marvellous themes inside the room that can be changed when wanted. It will cover the entire room surface which includes every single side of the wall, all of the ceiling and optional floor coverage (doors and windows excluded). Themes can be changed through a control panel with a display screen that would be installed on the wall, or anywhere you want really. There will also be a simpler remote controller for lazy access. Transwallmer will offer a wide range of themes that are appropriate for kids, teenagers, grownup even elders. It can range from stars, galaxies, magical forests to princess castles and scary dungeons eventually something for everyone.

Design details

I did some research to gather my thoughts around the components to make this product and materials that can be used.

Installation process:

Firstly, all of the walls and ceiling (floor optional) inside the room will be covered with graphic display/projection screens of matching the size (measured and made before installing). This will be made with the ones similarly used in the Stardome planetary observatory. An extra layer of walk on the glass will be added on top of it which will be transparent and strong for the protection of possible damage (e.g. water, dust crashing etc.). A cheaper option of clear polycarbonate plastic wall will also be made available. There will be a small 1cm gap to reflective the light between the space and create a solid/3 dimensional visual effect. This will all be done by trained professionals.

Power source:

I first looked at the energy supply. Since the product will be running all the time, efficiency and power saving will be important. So I decided The Transwallmer will be operating primly on renewable energy like solar energy and automatically switch to the backup electricity option when required. This will increase efficiency and ensure sustainability and it will all be done during the installation process.

Product programming:

Moving onto the specifics, as the purpose aims at being able to change themes, a computer system that enables this action will definitely be essential. The system will first be programmed and there will be a special group of designers who comes up with creative themes. To keep the product interesting and wanted, designers will be continually working on newer scenes and themes which users can later download from the control panel. Some will be free and others will charge a small fee.

Product hardware parts:

1.Projection/display screen

2.Protection layer: Walk on glass or clear polycarbonate plastic

3.Remote control

4.Control panel installed on wall

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User guide

1.The Transwallmer will first need to be installed into the room and cover the room surface during the renovation or building process.

2.Download themes you like from the wide ranges of existing choices in the system using the controller panel on the wall.

3.Simply tap and choose the theme desired from the controller panel and be ready for an instant change of views.

4.There will be different modes available to choose from, and these can be customised on the control panel.

Example modes:

  • Night: starry skies, galaxies.
  • Day: beach, forest.
  • Reality: famous sites, destinations
  • Magical/fantasy: scenes from famous films like Avatar and Pi.
  • Motion or Stationary

There will be many possibilities to be designed and explored!

5.Themes can be turned off

 

Bibliography

Absolute Glazing. (2016). Walk On Glass Floors. Retrieved from http://www.absoluteglazing.co.uk/walk-on-glass-floors-roofs

Ackerman, J. (n.d.). Different Types of Wall Art and Decor. Retrieved from Building Materials 365: http://www.365jcw.com/decorating/Different-Types-of-Wall-Art-and-Decor.htm

Alibaba. (n.d.). Clear Polycarbonate Plastic roof panels for walls. Retrieved from http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Clear-Polycarbonate-Plastic-roof-panels-for_1697973177.html?spm=a2700.7724857.29.30.5Oi0JH&s=p

Boyce, L. (2013, June 20). 10 Amazing Man-Made Substances. Retrieved from Listverse: http://listverse.com/2013/06/20/10-awesome-man-made-substances/

Energy.Gov. (n.d.). Energy Sources. Retrieved from http://energy.gov/science-innovation/energy-sources

Jayjay. (2015, September 19). History of wall coverings. Retrieved from Hubpages: http://hubpages.com/education/History-of-wall-coverings

Mark, J. J. (2009, September 2). Wall. Retrieved from Ancient History Encyclopedia: http://www.ancient.eu/wall/

Stardome Observatory Planetarium. (2016). Who We Are. Retrieved from http://stardome.org.nz/about-us/who-we-are/

Stefan. (2010, October 10). 7 Types Of Wall Décor You Can Use In Your Home. Retrieved from Homedit: http://www.homedit.com/common-types-of-wall-decors/

Victoria and Albert Museum. (2016). A Short History of Wallpaper. Retrieved from http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/short-introductory-history-of-wallpaper/

Wikipedia. (2013, March 18). Category:Transparent materials. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Transparent_material

 

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