Be2 - a communication device


What if we could be together, but still be apart? In 2011 I finalised this project as my final project at the Danish Design school. The project revolved around a video communication device that would enable people to be closer together, even though they were miles apart. It turns out that this is still very relevant in these days! 

So, I actually wanted to post the project here, in the hopes that this concept could inspire people to design better communication experiences than what we have today.

The devices

The Be2 is comprised of a set of 4 devices:

There's the base unit which is the heart of the system. This one connects to your WiFi and manages all incoming calls etc. It also contains the second device, a wireless microphone to place on your body as you carry on with doing what you want to do while still getting a clear voice transmitted to the person you are talking too.

The base unit also has an LED projector. This is projecting the video feed from the person you are talking to, to a wall of your chosing. 

The base unit is charged via Qi technology from a mat that is connected to a wall outlet.

Then there's the Handheld unit. This device is meant for more intimate conversations. It has a camera hidden behind the screen, which allows for eye contact to be more precise. Also it contains sensors and heating/cooling system to simulate the body temperature and pulse of the person you are talking to, making the experience even more tactile and intimate.

Lastly, there's the fourth and final device, a wireless camera. The camera is placed on a wall, and the LED projector will locate the camera and project on top of that. This means the camera has a frequency that is negative of the frequency of the projected images, so no light glare will be captured by the camera. Also the placement of the camera will enable a much better eye contact between the people communicating with each other. It attaches to the surfaces using a molded gecko skin material that simulates gecko feet. This allows for excellent adhesion in one direction and is still very easy to remove, leaving no trace of it behind.

The handheld unit and the base unit

The base unit with the wireless microphone.

The base unit with the wireless camera unit

*In 2011 the technologies were summised to be about 4-5 years away from being implemented. The camera behind the screen is only now coming to actual devices, so some tech has been in development for longer than anticipated.

A person can attend a celebration with someone far away and still feel like they are there.

Other scenarios developed back in 2011

Lots of process to develop this concept.

I created lots of mockups and 3D prints, as well as conducted user interviews, focus groups, a quantitative study to gain insights, to develop the concept further. I used a weighted criteria scheme to help me select among the concepts as well.

Quant study gave me insights into peoples usage of video communication

Refining the final and selected concept 

My master project at the Danish Design School (2011)

This project was my final project at the Danish Design School in Copenhagen, developed together with Cisco. I was lucky to be awarded a grant of 10.000DKK for this project. 

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