Home assistants are of the newest hardware categories from tech companies, and they’re still ironing out what these products should look like. For the Echo, Amazon designed a product that looks a lot like a modem–an austere black tower with a bright blue illuminated halo. Apple’s Home Pod looks like a speaker. Google Home resembles a humidifier. While smartphones are moving in the same direction form- wise and essentially look the same, the accepted silhouette of home assistants is still up in the air. I thought of trying something different.
This class of devices helps you “play” music, information and services using your voice. The play button icon, after several sketches on paper, inspired an ID with a triangular outline.
The triangular footprint helps create a unique identity for the product as it stands out from the cylindrical products that are prevalent today.
Using Blender I modelled a prototype of the device, added very subtle lighting and textures, to give it a realistic feel. As interaction of the device had been my focus. I used Adobe After Effects to create the light animation and embedded that within the device. Here is the preview of the same.
While you call out say “Hey Siri” (or any other name). The device wakes up, with a blink affordance, inspired by the blink of human eyes.
Subtle bobbing motion is used to indicate a listening state, post wakeup. This is inspired by the nodding action when humans listen.
While the device reaches out to the server for a response, the indicator shows bars of light converging to the centre, depicting grabbing of information from the surrounding.
The speaking stage seeks to emulate audio visualisers, to stay in sync with the voice being uttered.
At the end of the process, the indicator moves to the centre depicting closure, before turning off.