Davide Zhang: Research, Synthesis, Ideation, Storyboarding, Prototyping
Clare Liu: Research, Synthesis, Ideation
Melody Wu: Research, Synthesis, Ideation
Type: Final Project for MIT 4.051 The Human Factor in Innovation and Design Strategy
Instructor: Lee Moreau
Time Frame: Sep 2020 - Dec 2020
Keywords: Service and Interaction Design
While the trend of digitization has transformed services and experiences in many industries, bringing the physical and the virtual closer than ever, there are a few fields that are slow to embrace the digital. This gap is made all the more consequential because of COVID-19.
This project partnered with the world's largest live music and events promoters, Live Nation, and specifically focused on its venue on the Boston waterfront, the Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion.
The audience are struggling to build emotional connection with the artist, especially in the context of a pandemic.
HeartSync is a set of experience designs that rethink the concert experience and seek to improve the emotional connection between the performer and the audience in the age of social distancing. The experience is comprised of a smart wristband that collects and transports heart rate information, an on-site projection of visualized data, and a mobile application.
The design process is based on the well-known "Double Diamond" method pioneered by the UK's Design Council and is illustrated below. It is worth noting that this project lacks iterations and testing due to time constraints.
Close observation of traditional live concerts to take note of the artist and audience's behavior.
We established learning goals and set up the interview framework including research stimuli to better facilitate the interview process.
A few test interviews and 5 complete interviews were conducted remotely due to the pandemic. We decided to focus on the college student demographic. Some information is redacted for privacy.
We categorized the information obtained from interviews into themes with accompanying quotes. Those themes were then developed into 3 opportunity statements.
How might we improve the emotional connection between the performer and the audience who are both on site and remote?
We brainstormed ideas for each opportunity statement and I decided to pursue the idea of improving the emotional connection between the artist and the audience using heart rate tracking and visualizing.
In the prototyping phase, I envisioned the journeys of both an audience member and the artist using two different methods, a traditional slide deck and a live Zoom presentation.
I prototyped the wristband, the on-site projection, and the mobile UI. Because I would play the artist "Jackson Wang," I utilized Hyprmeet's real-time 3D avatar face-tracking technology for better immersion. It was accompanied with a. animated Zoom video background made with After Effects.
Because of the pandemic, the venue welcomes both a smaller, socially-distanced crowd and those joining remotely via livestream.
Everyone, including the artist, receives a smart wristband, which tracks and transmits their heart rate information. It is designed to be unobtrusive and even attractive and could serve as a form of merchandise.
Thanks to the tensile membrane structure of the venue, projection is a great way to visualize and animate the heart rate information of both parties. Here the animation is synced to the level of excitement of the crowd. Lyrics could also be synced with the singing and with the heartbeat of both the artist and the audience. A study has shown that the heartbeat of the audience could synchronize at a live concert [source].
Streams of the remote audience could also be projected to the tent as a way to bring their presence to the venue.
A mobile application for both the artist and the audience serves as a way to digitally extend their emotional connection beyond live concerts.
Overview of past performances with heart rate graph and location overlays.
Select a card to explore your emotional journey and data dashboard.
Drag your heart rate graph and re-experience the various emotions by watching curated videos and pictures at a particular moment in your emotional journey.
Get a summarized and curated overview of your emotional connection with fans, including how many times your heart rates are in sync, their prominent emotions, and so on.
Heart rate sharing
See yours and the fan's collective heart rate visualized in real-time. You could press to share your heart rate animation with your fans as well.
Revisit the emotional videos and photos of you and the fans, categorized by date.
I learned a lot about the methodology of human-centered design, as well as what constitutes a great live concert experience. I'm excited to explore this project further in the context of augmented environments powered by expressive biosignals.
Things that I liked:
• Project engages with different scales (mobile UI, wearable, architecture)
• Stepping out of my comfort zone to perform a live Zoom skit
• Positive reception from Live Nation and critics
What could be improved:
• Actual working prototypes of wristband and projection, as opposed to concepts
• More iterations
• User testing