Project Sustain-a-Stack’s Final Presentation

Posted on: Wednesday, May 7, 2008

So here it is folks, the concluding presentation of Team Octobox’s Sustain-a-Stack project.

(note it may take a moment to load)



Open House Post-Mortem

Posted on: Thursday, March 6, 2008

Based on the feedback our team got from the Open House, here are the results and refinements we will be considering as we develop the Sustain-a-Stack:

Conceptual Refinements

  1. Year Round Gardening - We never did consider how changing seasons affected gardening until one interested lady came to talk to us. True enough, planting indoors would be great for planting fresh herbs for Christmas dinner! As an extension of this, the climate our product is capable of generating can also serve as a guide for suggesting a wider variety of potential vegetables and herbs that can be grown.
  2. Senior Citizens as a potential User Group - Many seniors suffer from ailments such as arthritis but may still want to grow some plants. Our product would allow for this interaction through our easy-to-use system: the seniors would only have to push two buttons to grow plants!
  3. Nursery- The sustain-a-stack could also serve as an incubator for seedlings to grow until they are strong enough to survive the outdoor environment. Since it will be inside the house, they would get the attention they require in a controlled environment.

“Experience” Refinements
(that can improve interaction)

  1. Watering Feedback- although we had the water spray working, we had taken this out in place of just a light that would turn on/off to avoid “flooding” the box as people would click on the widget. For our usability test, we might want to consider taking it out again but improve the feedback and make it more obvious to simulate the act.
  2. Light Feedback- Using the widget, the light inside the box would turn on and off but since we only had a few inside the box, the brightness wasn’t that evident from the user’s point of view. The feedback of this aspect will also have to be improved.
  3. Rethinking the shape- The group has to consider how to access the plant easily without taking the whole box apart. We’ve been concentrating too much on how to take care of the plant using this complex technologies but now we have to think of how you can physically interact with it.

Technical Refinements

  1. Lighting synchronization with widget- we noticed that the light timer in the box to turn the light on and off every 30 seconds did not totally synchronize with the widget. The widget was not able to detect when the light was already on as set by the timer and would still read as off and vice versa.
  2. Temperature & humidity sensors- as we had this aspect working as well, we were not able to show much on how this changed or would affect the lighting and watering of the plant or even alert the user during critical status.
  3. Overall look of the prototype- thought it is a draft of what we imagined, we could still work on refining the prototype we have.

Space Requirements

Currently, we are looking at a place to store. While the laptop lockers seem to be the best place- we have not been able to file the necessary requests to reserve one for the prototype. As far as testing goes, we have secured our access to the Fish Bowl (3400) and we find the room suitable to run user testing. However, the open space doesn’t quite fit with some of the project ideas where spaceis limited. Therefore we may do some of our user evaluations in team rooms.

Work & Preparation (Table)

With the work & preparation required for the Open House, we had to create a schedule that would work for all of us, and to make sure that each part of our project was taken care of.

Work & Preparation (Planned & Actual TABLE)



Midterm Presentation

Posted on: Friday, February 22, 2008

Team Octobox pulled off yet another presentation!

We’re happy to report that our midterm presentation was a success based on the feedback from our instructors. The strongest point that we had was our iterative process (specified in the previous post) wherein we decided to take a step back and re-evaluate our product and concept. Kurtis did a great job on elaborating on this aspect as an introduction to our report. Second to that was Andrew’s genius use of icons to represent our ideas in the slides, clear, simple and cute. Kudos to Manuel for making the sexy widget.

On the other hand, there was still room for improvement. The slides would have been more complete with a few images that would give a short narrative to the construction of our prototype. We also felt that the prototype itself needed work… a LOT of work. We got the lighting and watering working, however, it was not controlled by the widget. It was far from the sleek and simple aesthetic we were going for but the schematics helped our instructors have a better idea on what it we intend it to look like eventually.

Another note is that we had re-branded ourselves as you can see through our website, poster and midterm presentation. A new look for the new semester!

Download the Octobox Spring 2008 Midterm Presentation



Manuel, stop stealing my slides!

Posted on: Thursday, December 6, 2007

Thanks to Thecla and the 402 crew for giving us an extension for our final presentation due to various problems. The presentation was a success and here’s the copy of our delicious presentation. Do excuse the long loading time as we were concerned with the quality of the images.



Oh and Manuel, if I haven’t told you already, stop stealing my slides!!!

- el prototipo rapido



Octobox Sustain-A-Stack Design Brief

Posted on: Friday, November 9, 2007

Much thanks to the Octoboxers who took the courage to step up and put together our submission for this assignment. We misinterpreted the assignment details and ended up having to scratch together a last minute piece. It still turned out quite well and we are pleased to submit this design brief.



Week 6: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (Post-Presentation)

Posted on: Thursday, October 18, 2007

So, congratulations to us for a successful presentation this week. Although it went rather well, we expect to be better prepared (in terms of team organization) for future presentations. Big thanks to those of us who pulled an all-nighter and worked up to the very last minute to put everything together.