How might routine appliances keep us better prepared for emergencies?
Readi is a smart home device that makes sure you're prepared the next time you lose power, face a weather emergency, or can't access cellular service at home.
This bluetooth speaker, clock, lamp, and forecast system combines routine technology into a sleek home appliance. During an emergency, you can flip Readi over to access an FM radio, a built-in walkie talkie, and a pre-programed radio service that plays weather updates with the press of a button.
AWARDS & Press
- FastCompany Innovation By Design 2016: Student Finalist
- MIT Enterprise Forum 2016: Creativity Winner
- FastCo Design, Katherine Schwab: "This Smart Speaker Becomes A Communication Hub During Disasters"
October - December 2016
SVA MFA Interaction Design
Role: Design, fabrication, and development with teammates Kohzy Koh and Elushika Weerakoon.
Readi began with our personal experiences living through Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy, the NYC Blackout, and 9/11. While we had each dealt with being stranded and unprepared, we knew others who had difficulty leaving their homes' - trapped without the ability to seek or receive help for a very long time.
Our research enforced observations that people treat emergency equipment as distinct items and delay purchasing them until disasters actually strike. Readi was designed to improve disaster-preparation within a homes routine activities, leveraging smart home technologies to help people plan for future challenges.
Readi was the result of a highly-iterative process with multiple prototypes. Guided by user-centric design principles and qualitative research, we identified an opportunity to include useful tools into the devices people already use in their homes.
A few things were key to our design decision making. One, we wanted it to be clear which face was the crisis face, and what functions were available. We settled on a red dashboard at the base of the lamp, that was activated when flipped over.
We also wanted to ensure that in crisis mode, the device's non-crisis features did not detract from the crisis features. We engineered the device so that all non-crisis features would be switched off when flipped over, allowing the user to focus on communication and alerts.
When power fails, people need light and batteries to power it. When there is no access to TV or Wi-Fi, people need a radio to access information or weather news. When there is no cell service, people without landlines need other means to communicate, like walkie-talkies. However, people tend not to buy these devices until the need has passed, or they are lost in a closet or drawer unused and uncharged.
Readi aims to incorporate these tools into a smart home device that regularly provides a Bluetooth speaker, lamp, clock, and weather forecaster – items we already use on a routine basis.
Before Readi there was Cubit: a smart clock-lamp-forcasting-disco box for the 21st Century. This playful smart object inspired a series future projects designed to bring more value to routine behaviors and home appliances.