Inspired by Zen Buddhism this timer turns time into mountains.

Shiomi is a timer that gives shape to time and communicates it to other people over the internet. When someone sets a personal time of let's say 1 hour, a mountain peak appears to the other boxes (that can be anywhere in the world) and starts to decrease till the time runs out. This project explores productivity in the home and uses physical inerfaces as an alternate means to screens. 


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PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Shiomi is a timer. It allows the user to set a timer specific to a goal and have peace of mind knowing that the time set is his own. 

This time is given shape through a relative rising mountainous surface that suggests to the users' close ones not to interrupt his flow and focus which betters productivity.  The mountain rises relatively to the set time and starts going on as it counts down indicating the decrease in the pile of work.

It reversibly suggests ambiently the availability of people he has chosen and the time they require to finish their tasks. Thus the user can also approximate when to work and when to communicate with them.

We did not want to create more distractions - more pointless technology. We were soley interested in things that were beneficial to wellbeing. We set out to create a seamless intervention and interaction within a world with so much information without adding another piece but rather aiming to simplify it .

We chose a peaky mountain in Japan, Mount Shiomi, because it embodies the values of Zen that we were trying to convey with the object. The mountain is also symbolic of work 'a mountain of work to do' but is also realxing to look at. The product was almost against technology. From the outside it looks like an ordinary box.

We chose a peaky mountain in Japan, Mount Shiomi, because it embodies the values of Zen that we were trying to convey with the object. The mountain is also symbolic of work 'a mountain of work to do' but is also realxing to look at. The product was almost against technology. From the outside it looks like an ordinary box.



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USER PROBE

We asked participants to text us the moment they entered the home. We set a timer of thirty minutes and texted them back asking them to take a photo of everything they had touched. This exercise helped us understand what are the regular routines one has to go through before starting the work they needed to do. It took them approximately 30 minutes to settle down and get the chores done. This helps us also find common ground between participants and their actions.


2. WORKSHOP

The workshop was valuable to get more detailed explanations and it allowed us to discover some intricacies into the home. What objects look 'homey'? As a team we wanted to design a technological object that blended. We thought it would be a great way to figure out what are the personal objects that make the users link to home and the reasons behind it. The frequency of use, the aesthetics and the memories linking these objects to something gave us insight for the future.

Workshop was conducted in the apartment building complex of 7 buildings.

Workshop was conducted in the apartment building complex of 7 buildings.

Our categorized findings

Our categorized findings


Building it

Because the interface was sewn unto fabric there were some design restrictions regarding the stitching of it. The pattern had to be simple yet indicate the motion of the hand to set time. It also needed to convey the message of the start button cross in the middle.

Because the interface was sewn unto fabric there were some design restrictions regarding the stitching of it. The pattern had to be simple yet indicate the motion of the hand to set time. It also needed to convey the message of the start button cross in the middle.


This project was done in Aalto University, through the interactive prototyping course with Jussi Mikkonen in 2014. It was worked on with Will Brown and Reynan Shimada.