Consumer Buying Experience

We went to COURTS on Saturday to check out the current products in the market.

Courts had isolated listening rooms (3 walls) with speakers scattered all over the place (for the surround sound effect). They would demo with action movies like Fast and Furious, Transformers, and other Michael Bay-like movies that had a large “boom”
for the customers to FEEL THE BASS. It was pretty impressive.

It was a great experience, particularly with YAMAHA as we realised that while their stuff doesn’t look that impressive, they had some pretty good stuff like a SOUNDBAR WITH FOURTY SIX DRIVERS!!!!

While it was eye-opening, we realised that there isn’t really a clear selling point of these speakers (besides quality and price), and hence we need to come up with some breakthrough idea that will shock the market!




Following up with the idea of misdirection, here’s a TED talk! The speaker is a pickpocket who talks about how to control people’s attention and what he does with it. It’s amazing.


Personality and Space

Our team is moving towards incorporating personality into our invisible speakers and thus into the space. I went online and looked for articles regarding personal space and personality to better understand this.

Based on the article, people are able to judge another’s personality quite accurately purely based on their bedroom. There are two factors by which a person is able to “inhabit” and personalise a space.

  1. Identity Claims
    1. This refers to the decorations or symbols that the user chooses
    2. It may be the choice of colour of walls/ceiling in the room.
    3. There is both self-directed and other-directed, where some things are chosen simply because they like it while other objects are intentionally placed to portray a certain image to others.
  2. Behaviour Residue
    1. There are two types, external and internal residue.
    2. External residue refer to the objects that don’t naturally belong in the place but are still placed there because of the importance to the user.
    3. Internal residue refer to the way the person arranges items, perhaps due to importance or maybe a character trait that is guiding them to act this way.

According to the study , through one’s space, people are able to determine (or rate) the user on Extraversion, Conscientiousness, and Openness to Experience.

Other traits like Emotional Stability and Agreeableness were not exactly accurate.

I feel that we can use this study to better understand our users and where our product fits in their space and lives. We may be able to tap on little hints that will help to portray the user’s personality without explicitly designing it.



Recess week Meetup

We met up during the recess week to discuss how we can move forward with our project. We felt that we needed to find our user personas, therefore we came up with a list of possible people that we could interview. These people could personify our user persona (Zoey, Kumar, Adam, Dylan). We also came up with questions that we could ask them to decide whether these few people could fit the personas we came up with.

Next, Daniel proposed that we started prototyping. He suggested that us, EPD people assist him in designing the speakers for his UROP which we will be doing on Wednesday and Thursday. Besides that, Daniel introduced to us a software(WinISD) that lets you model the frequency response of different box designs.

PS: We did a personality test for fun. Do try it out when you are free!

You are walking through the jungle and you come across an animal.  1) What kind of animal is it?  You keep going, and you come across another animal.  2) What kind is it?  You see a lake.  3) How many swans are in the lake?  You come to a house and see 10 candles.  4) How many candles do you light?  You come across a waterfall.  5) How fast is it moving on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the fastest)?



Personality test solution:

1) This animal represents you.
2) This animal represents your partner.
3) This number represents how many good friends you have.
4) This number represents your generosity.
5) This number represents your sexual drive.

Thank you!


Kickstarter 3D Headphones

I found this particularly intriguing headphones by kickstarter. It is called OSSIC X.

OSSIC X is the world’s first 3D audio headphone that instantly calibrates to the listener, increasing the sense of auditory space, and acoustically recreating the way you hear the world everyday. By pairing advanced 3D audio algorithms with head-tracking and individual anatomy calibration, we deliver incredibly accurate 3D sound to your ears. Experience music like never before. Get more immersed in virtual reality. Bring gaming to the next level.


OSSIC X calibrates to the individual listener’s head and ear features, increasing overall sound quality and ensuring the most accurate sound placement, making for a listening experience that’s ten times more immersive than current technologies.

  • Increased audio immersion
  • Hear your movies and music like never before
  • Increased sense of space with your audio content

I felt that this headphones was very useful for us. Since we are hoping to achieve an immersive experience, is there a way for us to make our invisound a 3D listening experience as well?

OSSIX X link here

Enhanced Listening Experience

I recently found a few interesting products that have not been launched in the market yet. As compared to the previous speaker precedents we have found, these products were unique as they do not just focus on producing high quality sound, but they sought to personalize the enhancement of the users listening experience. The products generally try to customize the sound to the user needs to give them the best possible listening experience.


The Ear.IQ basically aims to let the user hear smarter, as seen in its tagline. Users take a simple hearing test, and the app then uses a “correction algorithm” to adjust music based on those results. The final outcome is a song that is better suited to how the individual user hears. One idea would be to try assimilating similar technology into our speaker system to customize the sound to each user in partnership with the user directed sound technology. This would greatly enhance the user listening experience as it maximises the quality of the sound produced relative to the users tastes and preferences.


Doppler’s HERE Active Listening System also takes sound innovation straight to the source. The system pairs two wireless in-ear buds with an app listeners can use to control a live audio environment — whether it’s a sporting event, music festival or city bus. The system does not stream or play music directly, instead acting as a “studio in your ears” for whatever sounds are around. It allows the user to reduce the sound they do not want to hear for e.g. baby crying etc. Such technology could also be incorporated into our speaker system to amplify or reduce certain atmospheric/man-made sounds to specific users.

Now You See Me

This was not a film I was expecting to get inspiration from as it was not a “sci-fi” film of sorts. Instead this film was centered about a key concept in magic, “misdirection”, where the magicians distract the audience from their actual trick by showing them something completely different. Often the trick (or the switch) happens not during the “Abracadabra” but before or after. This reminded me of possible applications with our project Invisible Sound, which is somewhat an attempt to create a magical experience with technology. Perhaps our sound can be made invisible with misdirection, leading the users to believe that it is coming from one location when infact it is not.

invisible sound