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Noise is an IoT device that includes three components, the sharing point, projector, and the app, to let users immerse themselves in their loved ones, live time. With the visualization of human white noise, people can feel the presence of their family, friends, and maintain their sense of belonging when far away from home.


6 weeks, May 2021 - Jun 2021


Joanne Chen, Yuna Shin, Jasper Xie, Gwenna Gram


Research, Ideation, Ecosystem Design, Prototype, Design language, Motion Design

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design challenge

How might we help people across different living spaces stay connected with one another and maintain their sense of belonging?

contextual inquiry

To start, my team was interested in the topic of untraditional homes and what it means to be at home. We started by interviewing individuals to gain insights into some of the challenges that people were facing. Through the interviews, we synthesized and sorted out the key insights that guided our design direction further.



  • People with split family

  • Student living in an urban and city home

  • Worker who has long work time in offices

What We've Learned

We initially explored a lot of different user groups and thinking about what it means to "be at home". As a group, we were interested in people living across different spaces and the need to connect through distance. We interviewed the individuals that fall within the category and from that we learned...


Individuals living in one or more place need a way to feel the presence of their family members when away in order to feel more at home.

Research Key Insights

"It’s the people in the space that makes it feel like home, there isn’t much emotional connection to the objects."

"I feel frustrated that there is never a time when both parents can see what is happening in my life at the same time, but I’m grateful that we share a texting group chat."

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 design statement

With the quotes that we gathered from our participants, we realized that people who live in multiple homes due to family issues or work often lack connections with their family members. And they would benefit from the feeling of their family's presence when they are away. With that, we took time to define our design principles to make sure the product we deliver adheres to the most important values.


Individuals in untraditional living circumstances who are away from home for periods of time often lack connection with those they live with and lose the comfort that comes with being “home.”


Being aware of the complexity and conflicts that arise in relationships over a long-period of time.


Taking precautions around data privacy and unwanted surveillance.


Displaying information in a visually accessible way.


Focusing on human relationships rather than objects.



To better understand and gain empathy for our target group, we also defined our user group to make sure we are creating the product with the specific users in mind.

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8 year old, elementary student

Background: Spends every other weekend at her dad’s house.

“I feel frustrated that there is never a time when both parents can see what is happening in my life at the same time, but I’m grateful that we share a texting group chat.”

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35 year old, doctor

Background: Spends long periods of time at hospital away from family.

“Under so much time pressure, the small actions really warms your heart.”

“It’s the people in the space that makes it feel like home, there isn’t much emotional connection to the objects.”

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20 year old, college student

Background: leaving her long-time childhood friend and family for college.

“I'm going to miss them so so much, I won't be able to see them anytime soon.”

"I don't know if connecting through the phone will feel the same..."

concept exploration

Below are the two concepts we have developed with storyboards to illustrate the point. The first concept is a far-fetched speculative tin-can concept that evokes emotion passively and abstractly. We then transferred the idea to our second concept, which is the more plausible visualization of motion.

concept development

Next, we created a user journey and an ecosystem map to understand the device touchpoint within their day-to-day life, identify the features of each device within the system, and mapped out the user flow for our app to make sure we have the desired features implemented.

design decisions

Through the design process, we were constantly having the conversation of privacy and how to track motion in a way that is not invasive, plausible, and fits with the principles we defined. Below are some of our thought processes and how we ended up with the idea.



Using Location Data In Phones


  • Motions are not tracked when the users do not have their phone with them.

  • Certain user groups do not use smartphones (i.e. kids, grandparents)

  • Experience becomes too digital.

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Projectors Also As Detectors


  • What you want to detect and where you want to watch your loved ones, are separate things.

  • The combination of Projector/Detector makes it easier to identify each individual (and what they are sharing)

  • Overlapping detectors & ranges can be confusing.

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Using One Detector Per Home


  • Simplifies connecting experience and multiple networks

  • Creates for a larger, more interesting space to detect motion

  • Solves issues found with other detection methods


We also took some time to create a mood board to visualize the design a bit more. I then started to design the motion graphics, the different color codes, and the meanings.


Final Design


Human white noise made visual.

IoT devices that helps individuals feel the presence of family and friends when away to feel more at home.

How does it work?

3 Devices





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Sharing Point

Each home has one motion detector that picks up motion data across the span of their Wi-Fi range.