The 2010 MEX Mobile User Experience Awards

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Submitted: April 30th, 2010

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Designer
Tom Etheridge

Category
Student

Inspiration
Designed by... Tom Etheridge


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The user

In 2008 fire brigades attended 727000 fire call outs with an increase of 2% of fire related deaths in 2007. It is recognised that smoke alarms save lives. However a fire alarm is redundant if the occupant is unable to hear the device. There are 9 million people in the UK registered as deaf or HOH. Deaf and HOH are considered to be a high-risk group and face a significant increase in danger when needed to be alerted. FireFly is focused on the redesign of existing fire alarms to accommodate the needs of people suffering from mild to moderate hearing loss and people that are hard of hearing. The product is to focuses on the challenge of designing for an inclusive audience rather than creating a assistive product

Persona

John Peterson
Age 56
Occupation: Factory Worker

John has been working in a loud busy environment since the age of 18 he is not registered as deaf however he starting to find existing fire alarms hard to hear. John complains that current fire alarms are not clear enough. On several occasions John has set the alarm off cooking and it hasn’t been until his neighbour has visited that he realises the alarm has been going off. John’s neighbour has suggested to John to buy a fire alarm specialised for people suffering from hearing loss however John refuses claiming that he doesn’t require a hearing aid product.

John is a confident independent man and disapproves of the idea that he may require assistive product to aid him in everyday tasks.

The experience

Fire Fly is multi sensory fire alarm system using existing wireless smoke alarm technology. The product is a large screen fire alarm system that monitors smoke detectors in the house wirelessly and relays the information back to the user in a easily understandable visual way. FireFly is designed for people who suffer from hard of hearing and acute hearing loss, the product includes a variable frequency alarm and links to your mobile phone which acts as an tactile alert. FireFly has been designed not a assisitive product but as an inclusive device and aims to remove the preconceptions and stigmas associated with assisitive design. It addresses a need of change in user behaviour with fire alarms and therefore increasing the effectiveness of the alarm.

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2 Responses to “FireFly”

  1. N Harrington says:

    What an excellent idea, really spotted a gap in the market – and a life saver too!
    Well done Tom.

  2. Marco Ajovalasit says:

    This is an innovative idea which take in consideration human physical capabilities and cognitive abilities of the end user to fire alarm. A multi-sensory approach! This is what the market needed.

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