Inertial navigation peripheral/Design phase


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The first phase in our project is to look at various design considerations, in order to build a user-friendly, user-desired prototype.

Ideation and idea picking

Notes from this session can be found at Olin university chapter/OLPC peripheral development/90208

Initial characterization

The first questions we have to address are "who are our users?" and "what are our limitations?" Once both have been answered, brainstorming can begin.

Target users

  • 10-12 years old
  • have access to food, water, housing, and some form of electricity (i.e. XOs can be recharged)
  • have either XS or direct internet access


We started by describing what qualities an interaction with our creation should have, and then brainstorming ideas (rule #1: there are no bad ideas in phase 1 brainstorming) that would then be narrowed down. Considerations when narrowing the range of ideas include desired interactions, limitations of the XO, and budget/timeline.

What kind of interaction do we want?

  • FUN!
  • related to livelihood
  • does it need to be tethered to the XO?
  • encourage interactions between kids (collaborative)
  • challenge
  • something that can't already be done on an XO

What do we have to work with?

  • microphone
  • trackpad
  • speakers
  • input sensors
  • USB


  • minesweeper
  • compass
  • inertial navigation
  • pedometer
  • karaoke
  • music keyboard
  • accessibility
  • interactive globe
  • abacus
  • dummy GPS
  • flow rate sensor
  • weather sensor
  • tablet for drawing
  • geospatial art
  • USB pet
  • physical location tamagotchi
  • USB furby

Idea refinement

After discussing various ideas and gauging team interest/enthusiasm, we narrowed our options down to three ideas:

  • geospatial art
  • USB pet
  • mesh weather sensing

Final design idea: "geospatial art", the idea of making art on the XO by interacting with the physical world (running around)

User considerations

User values

Creating a set of user values, designer values, and parent/teacher values gives us a lens through which we can evaluate our ideas. It also provides a basis for requirements that will lead to technical specifications.

User values

  • friendship
  • fun
  • exploration
  • visible progress
  • storytelling
  • satisfying curiosity
  • freedom/autonomy
  • uniqueness
  • peer respect

Designer values

  • ease of use
  • fun (to build)
  • encourage collaboration
  • functionality
  • cheapness
  • versatility
  • interactions understandable by 5 year olds
  • durability
  • safety
  • encourage physical activity

Parent/teacher values

  • "will it keep kids occupied?" - entertainment
  • encourage collaboration
  • enjoy with kids
  • safety
  • cost/money
  • education

Interaction narrative

Interaction narratives show how a user would interact with a product, highlighting changes that the product would make and clarifying what the design is and why it is compelling.


From our user values and practical limitations, we can abstract a set of technical requirements for our project.

  • USB connection
    • use for power and data transfer
  • rugged production
  • production design smaller than 3"x3"x1"
  • INS capable of tracking heading and travel in 3D with 75% accuracy
  • no sharp edges
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