Jump to content
Product Design Forums

Treasurebox
Sign in to follow this  
Guest dmac

Increasing Vocabulary

Recommended Posts

Guest dmac

Hi everyone, this is the first competition I've entered here, sounds like a good challenge!

 

I intend to design a product to help grow and enhance people's vocabulary.

 

Having a family member who grew up with a learning difficulty, I understand how important vocabulary is in reading.

 

The product is not just for people with reading difficulties, as in general the population at large does not have a high literacy rate. (New Zealand for instance, used to have a mean reading age of around 12 (I' can't find any current statistics) and this is supposed to be high!)

 

One of the difficulties that can frustrate people reading books is encountering words they do not understand, thus the product I intend to develop will adhere to the following criteria:

 

• lightweight.

• compact/discrete (some people with reading difficulties are embarrassed of their literacy).

• able to use in low light conditions.

• ease of use.

• able to update.

 

but most of all:

• educate in a efficient manner.

 

-Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest dmac

Just some inital exploration… Currently looking at an OCR device to pick up misunderstood words on a page and translate into digital to search a onboard dictionary for meanings. synonyms etc.

 

post-8242-1166391502.jpg

 

Going away from the Pda form, for more of a pen/stylus. -> more compact and discrete.

 

post-8242-1166391934.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest dmac

Starting to look at more form development via freehand sketching.

 

Currently I am investigating using OCR technology to identify characters into words, but rather than using scanner technology, am opting for a b/w ccd similar to whats used in optical mice, this will store a bunch of images in flash ram which are captured as the device is tracked over words and letter on a page.

 

It will have onboard software that may be updated - both firmware and the dictionary via a mini usb 2.0 port => this will also provide a charging port for the device.

post-8242-1166615491.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest newt @ MWE

hey

 

i like your idea. good thinking. maybe it could clip to the book or something so it doesn't get lost. other than that, i think its a great idea.

 

i think playskool or fisher-price came out with a toy that did something like this a few years back. not sure what its called, but may be worth checking out.

 

newt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest dmac

Hey newt

Oh, stink I thought this was fairly original :) Yeah a quick search yielded a company called wizcom which makes a similar product for translating language. This hasn't deterred me however, I believe the competitive advantage I will have in this product will be in it's ease of use and interface design (the next part I must work on!).

 

Thanks

Dave

 

 

big_9(main).jpg

 

Hmm.. I guess my challenge, as I hinted at in my brief is to remove the stigma attached to such a product as looking like an assistive learning device. I'm currently working towards a form that resembles more of a status symbol like product such as an mp3 player.

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest dmac

Two form studies out of green urethane foam.

 

The top one has its display along the top.

the bottom one uses the side for the display.

 

I'll post more later, it should be clearer then :)

 

Dave

 

post-8242-1166661426.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest dmac

post-8242-1166665883.jpg

 

User One:

Sarah is currently in her second year of studies at law school. She is 22 years of age and has an excellent grasp of language skills. However her studies have made her realise there is much more vocabulary required for her to process if she is to excel in her career. Sarah finds the product comes in handy while browsing through legal documents, as Sarah needs to understand unequivocally what is being communicated. Sarah likes the small size of the product and styling and it easily fits into her pockets or handbag. Being able to save scanned words has helped her more quickly understand meanings associated with words and she has regularly begun to use a wider vocabulary in her studies.

Sarah has updated the standard Oxford English Dictionary with a legal dictionary sourced via her university.

 

User Two

Jo, a fairly ordinary 14 year old girl at first glance, she suffers from a learning disorder. She has had already to repeat a year at school due to difficulties reading. Initially it was just english Jo was not strong at, however difficulties reading are now affecting her in other subjects such as maths and science.

The pen dictionary has come in handy for Jo and she doesn’t feel embarrassed to use it in front of her classmates. Infact many of Jo’s friends wish they had one. The pronouciation (text to speech) function has also helped increase Jo’s vocabulary and she feels more confident as school. Jo used to find reading a chore, but with the pen dictionary shes more regularly reading. Although Jo, will always have her learning disorder to some degree, products like the pen dictionary have helped her keep pace with her education

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest dmac

The form of the product currently doesn't lend itself to having a clip defined in it, although to be honest I haven't really explored this with the 2 above concept developments.

 

I feel it shouldn't be clipped onto a book, its too obtrusive a way to store the product. I think it could work as a keyring? (maybe only the small one) What do everyone else think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest newt @ MWE

hey

 

have you thought about having the unit talk? meaning you scan the word and it says it outloud. my thought process being that if you scan a word you don't know and the screen shows that word again, you are not taking alot away from that. if the product scans the word and then says it out loud, the user will hear the word compared to the spelling, its pronounciation and learn the word.

 

just a thought, this may be the competitive advantage over the existing.

 

newt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.