BOBY

Raising the likelihood of getting conception for couples with infertility complications.

CLIENT | PARTNER

Microsoft, Taiwan

BRIEF

An IoT device for couples having conception issues advised by Dr. Yu-Hsiu Hung and Dr. Tien-Hao Cheng.  The sensor device monitors couple's basic body temperature and the mobile app monitors the ovulation condition.

DURATION

2014.8 - 2015.8

AWARDS

This project Received 4 awards, reported by 6 media, and landed a spot on the 2015 Microsoft Imagine Cup World Citizenship worldwide finals and 2015 Tokyo design fair. 

COLLABORATION

Collaborate with software developers, hardware developers, and designers in a group of 6

ROLES | RESPONSIBILITIES

Product Designer participated in all aspects of the design process, including research, hardware product design, and interaction design.

 
 

PROJECT OVERVIEW

The 'Why' Behind BOBY

In 2015, the birth rate of my homeland, Taiwan, is the third-last in the world. In fact, getting pregnancy is a significant problem around us. One of my teammate’s sister finally gave birth to a baby after 10 years of trying. For her, It was a tough journey. For us, it was the motivation of this one year project to shorten couples’ desperate waiting and bring them the happiness.  

From a Macro Scope...

1.Average marriage age of women > 34 yrs old.

3.Over 80 million people spare no effort to have babies over years but end up getting nothing.

2.The whole world’s fertility rate is declining by years

4.many countries having birth rates under 2.0 (Less than 2 newborns / 1000 women per year)

 

DESIGN GOALS

Our goal is to increase the odds of conceiving, make it possible to monitor pregnancy status, and improve the chance of getting pregnant. Having a new baby means a lot to desperate couples!

Life is priceless. People eager to have babies would strive for it no matter how much it costs. 
 

DESIGN RESEARCH

Secondary research of menstrual cycle

With the knowledge that body temperature rises by 0.5 degrees after ovulation, females tend to obtain their daily temperatures every single day to keep track of it. 

 

In addition, the body temperature has to be measured at the moment one just wakes up and hasn’t done anything yet to ensure it’s not influenced.

 

The only existing ways to record the temperatures are not convenient enough. (ex. keeping the record on paper, in a smartphone via a Bluetooth thermometer, or an NFC thermometer, etc.)

A menstrual cycle chart showing the correlation between body temperature and ovulation day.

Current products in the market

The data typed in the app by the user themselves are not precise enough. Lots of apps have various functions like sharing pictures, instructions, community, and alarm clocks

Thermometers and apps in the market.

Conduct interviews with users and experts

We conducted qualitative interviews with 6 couples aged 30-40, and had tried over half a year but still haven’t got pregnant.

Also, we interviewed doctors from different departments such as gynecology, obstetrics birth clinic, and traditional Chinese medicine.

Research notes from the interviews.

Besides interviews, I also studied more than 10 theses to understand the necessary knowledge and find technologies and methods that the team can reference while designing the product.

Pain points spotted from the interview synthesis
  • One may forget to measure body temperature when waking up.

  • It’s inconvenient to clean the thermometer after measuring.

  • Documenting the temperature every day by hand is unreliable.

  • Users usually fall asleep while measuring.

Identified pain points from the physical model synthesis.

DESIGN AND MODIFICATION

Key drivers

I. Involve male partners

Based on the essay, a couple keeping track of body temperatures together helps correct the measurement error caused by environmental factors. Also, it makes males play a more important role in the process than before.

II. Improve users’ sleeping quality

Nowadays, most people measure the temperature in the morning. In our design, we estimate the lowest temperature during deep sleep instead.

III. Inform a couple of best conceiving timing

We expect to improve the tracking temperature experience by simplifying the App interface.

Brainstorming & prototype the hardware

We created a great number of prototypes to decide the final form.

Aside from having a precise size, its shape resembles a stork. One of the two stickers represents the beak and the other the tail. Moreover, the base template symbolizes the body of a stork.

Sketches and prototypes for the functionality and appearance of the product.

Clinical and usability testing

Clinical tryout

Boby was clinically tested by 6 couples through cooperating with the director of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in NCKU hospital. During this one month test, we collected the data as a strong foundation to better Boby and validate the medical theory.

Example of the logs from the testing. (Not from the actual participants.)

Jelly stickers testing

In order to make Boby perfectly attach to the user's’ armpits, we cooperated with 3M, who gave us different kinds of reusable jelly stickers to conduct an experiment with.

Hardware constructions

The tangible part of Boby is constructed of a cap made of silicone and ABS, a chip combined with a battery and a thermometer, an ABS bottom which can be easily opened by rotating, and a reusable jelly sticker made by 3M.

A component assembly demonstration of the hardware product.

Featured software interfaces

The daily body temperature shows at the top left side of the main page is synchronized with both the couples’ apps. They can easily send messages to each other with the icons below.

A personal reminder shows up right before the ovulation day to get the couple prepared in advance.

The temperature and the date are both showed on the woman’s cycle calendar. The couple can add statuses into a certain day on each side.

Boby’s community provides useful knowledge and skills for beginners.

System structure
 
 

© 2020 by Cheng-Hong Wang