— Tommy Dykes | Design

Project Blurb

The photoBot concept emerged while exploring novel ways of encouraging those people with little or no design experience to come up with design ideas, which were then built for them to repeatedly test and improve (Iterative Deployment).

photoBot is an alternative to the ‘point and shoot’ photography, building on people’s desire and passion to document aspects of their lives by taking and sharing photos online.  Using ultrasonic sound the product detects the location of people within the vicinity and then automatically takes a photo of them.  This automation allows people to enjoy an occasion, such as a party, in the knowledge that the occasion is being documented photographically without the need for them to do it themselves.

While testing early versions of photoBot, some users felt the device could be used for surveillance or spying.  The deliberately anthropomorphic design was therefore to create a sense of trust and fun that quickly dispels any concerns and instead emphasises the playful nature of the product. Importance was also given to ensuring the products functionality was apparent, highlighted particularly in the visibility of the lens and the display screen, which instantly shows photographs as they are taken.

Exhibited At

10/12 I am Seeing Things, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh.

o6/12 Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) Degree Show 2012, Edinburgh.


Andrew Grant Prize 2012, Product Design, Edinburgh University.

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