A lamp like product that connects family members in distance with novel interface through the sense of smell.
*This product is extrapolated from some technologies that don’t exist yet but may become reality in the future from reasonable speculation.
Rannie L. | Una Z. | Victoria H. | Zhengxuan J.
Tool Used
Google Form
3D printing
Adobe Aftereffects
Initial Research
Photo Study
Competative Analysis
Participatory Design
Victoria H. | Zhengxuan J. | Rannie L. | Una Z.
Victoria H. | Zhengxuan J. | Rannie L.
Zhengxuan J.
Rannie L.
Zhengxuan J. | Rannie L.
Design & Prototyping
Experience Design
Industrial Design
3D Modeling
3D Render
Visual Design
Rannie L. | Una Z. | Victoria H. | Zhengxuan J.
Rannie L. | Una Z. | Victoria H. | Zhengxuan J.
Rannie L. | Zhengxuan J.
Zhengxuan J.
Victoria H.
Rannie L. | Una Z. | Victoria H. | Zhengxuan J.
Rannie L. | Una Z. | Victoria H. | Zhengxuan J.
Project Duration: 3 months
1 - 6 weeks
7 - 10 weeks
User Research
Every family is different. Family relationships are at times full of love and support, or difficult and tumultuous. Every family has their own rituals and traditions, how might design enhance those traditions?
Under the influence of COVID-19, families in distance have been searching for a new way to connect as well as to maintain their family rituals.
Our Approach
As today’s technology has already allowed visual and sound communication through distance, we decided to tackle a new possible sense that can invoke people’s memories most -- the Sense of smell from family recipes.
Contextual Inquiry
To jump start our research we selected participants from different generations for Questionnaire, Photo Study,  and Interview.
Targeted User
Primary User
Family members living in distance needing to reconnect.
Excluded User
Individuals with mobility or olfactory difficulties.
Questionnaire and Interview
Our questionnaires are meant to gather general information from targeted users about  family recipes and eating habits.
Make their family recipes at least a few times a week.
Don't live in the same district/county as their family. (33.3% don't live in the same country)
With the general direction we organized from the previous step, we came up with a personalized interview to dive deeper into the relationship and the experience among food and families.
“Because of the coronavirus, I’m at home more, and I’ve taken up certain culinary duties. I reminisce about my mom, and then I follow the recipes as she guides me, and we sit down and eat it.”
Covid is allowing participants more free time at home, which is being used to practice family recipes again.
“I am an international student from China, sometimes I would try to replicate traditional dishes with ingredients I could find here. However, the taste and experience could never be 100% the same. I think those recipes have to be made with the ingredients grown from back home.”
Remote family relationships are hard because of a lack of physical connection. Some physical aspects can be advantageous for homesickness.
The practice of making traditional recipes can come in various forms. One constant is the end result of people enjoying the dishes.
Here are three different examples of the first ideation process.

Cross-generation Cookbook,
Aroma Dispenser,
Smart Countertop,
Participatory Design
In order to understand the necessary function and search for a better olfactory interface, we came up with an one-hour participatory design workshop consisting of four sections: Ice breaking, Telling, Making, and enacting.
draw your favorite meal (10 min)
The practice of making traditional recipes can come in various forms. One constant is the end result of people enjoying the dishes.
verbal role-play (15 min)
Participants were asked to answer questions based on the following role-playing prompt:You have been given a device that can help you and your family/friends share your cooking aromas. 
build a dispenser (20 min)
Participants were informed that our team is working on an aroma dispenser that will carry out the responsibilities of the robot in the previous activity.

They were then prompted to sketch out their ideal aroma dispenser and were reminded to label their aroma dispenser’s features and/or other unique functions
“This product should have a function to hold the smell until recipients want to open it. Just like Instant Messaging apps, senders should be able to send olfactory messages anytime, and recipients can experience the smell after pressing the accept button.”
enacting (15 min)
Have participants collect a small object (i.e. tissue box, candle, etc.) to begin a role-playing exercise. Ask participants to vocally walk the interviewer through the following steps:

where will you place the dispenser for receiving & releasing scents?
when might you hope to receive cooking smells? 
when might be a bad time to receive these smells ?
show us your thoughts / reactions during and after receiving smells.

The device should not focus on scent alone. Combination with other means of sharing, such as visual or auditory cues, can assist in enriching & enhancing the scent-sharing experience.
Considering the device’s daily usage, participants expressed the most value for convenience, aesthetics, privacy, and additional functions to allow them to have control & comfort with their device.
Participants wanted a portable aroma dispenser that could both function well in a cooking environment and act as a centerpiece for the dining area. 
For consumers to trust this device, participants suggested including privacy settings such as an on & off option to avoid awkward time conflicts with scent sharing.
How Might We
enhance the experience of sharing and preparing family meals through the sense of smell.
Design Principle
Our product should be easy to use for all generations within a family
Each family has their own tradition already, our product should only accentuate the experience
In order to fill the gap with remote relationships due to COVID, the product should be engaging to users in different aspects
*Tap or hover to see Smello! light up
10 × 10 × 12 cm
240 g
129.99 $
Foco Black
Sweet & Warm
This product uses pioneering technology to enhance culinary sharing for long-distance families and friendships. The device allows users to communicate their culinary ventures through the sense of smell, all while enveloping their heartwarming experience in a squishy, cuddly orb.  Simply squeeze to record a favorite dish, and Smello! will automatically send aromatic information to its supplementary application. Serving as a vehicle for convenient communication, the app allows users ease of sharing and organizing their beloved aromas.
Humane Feature
Interactive Structure
Users can interact with their squishy Smello! device to enjoy fragrant puffs of their favorite aromas. When not emitting smells, squeezing the device triggers the device to soak up and record scents like a pipet.
Experience Design
Status LEDs
When Smello! is ready to emit a smell, the device’s squishy bulb glows a soft pink. This notifys users that their device is ready to squeeze and sniff!
Modernized Charging
Smello! rests on a sleek base, which protects the device’s recording nodes when not in use. The base also features a port to charge the device wirelessly.
Today is JJ’s birthday, but he lives so far from his family and friends He can’t help but reminisce about his mother’s home-cooked meals and the happy memories that accompanied them.
Suddenly, JJ’s smello! dispenser pings, notifying him that he has received a scent transmission from his mother.
The aromas of his favorite dish prompt memories of positive, heartwarming memories and remind him that his mother and her cooking are never too far away.
On his cell phone, JJ’s smello! app notifies him that he has received the aroma of his mother's spaghetti and transmits a supplementary birthday message from her as well.
He begins to prepare a meal of his own, all inspired by his mother’s thoughtful transmission of cooking aromas.
With a meal of his own cooked up and ready to serve, JJ reciprocates the favor back to his mom, reminding her that he–too–is thinking of her.
Together, JJ and his mother’s hearts are now drawn closer together through the nostalgic aromas of good, old home cooking.
Demo Video
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