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WORK

BENTON HUMPHREYS

DIVI

Divi is a universal ice and beverage dispenser designed to consolidate several kitchen appliances into one convenient system.

Initial Design: 5 Team Members

 

Gregory Chernov (Engineer)

Beau Muniz (Engineer)

Andrew Krause (Engineer)

Paul Haney (Designer)

Benton Humphreys (Designer)

Refinement: 1 Team Member

 

Benton Humphreys (Designer)

Initial Design + Prototype: 24 hours

 

Refinement: 2 months

Location: FirstBuild / GE Appliances

 

WHAT'S IN A KITCHEN?

 The ultimate goal of Divi is to increase the usable space of the kitchen while benefiting user convenience. Ice dispensers and taps are located in different places throughout the kitchen, typically requiring a user to make several stops in order to fulfill a simple action like preparing a glass of ice water. A secondary action is also bypassed - that of cleaning up spilled ice or emptying a drip tray. Any resulting mess will be caught by the sink. Additionally, Divi clears up valuable countertop space by incorporating other beverages of the user's preference. Simply attaching new modules allows the user to dispense hot coffee, soda, or even... bourbon!

IS IT POSSIBLE TO CONSOLIDATE ALL OF THIS?

Washing Dishes

Dispensing Water and Ice

Pouring your favorite drinks

 There can be many actions involved with fulfilling a simple desire, like filling a glass of ice water or going into the refrigerator to retrieve your favorite beverage. Carrying out these actions often involves walking all over the kitchen, sometimes returning to the same point in the kitchen several times during the journey. Sometimes secondary actions accompany the original - for instance, if one spills ice on the floor while filling their glass, they must then divert from the original journey to clean it up before continuing. Divi attempts to answer the question, "is it possible to consolidate all of these actions in a convenient and intuitive solution?"

 

The target audience is tech-savvy and future-oriented. They are always looking forward to the next update or generation of a product, and are typically the "product guinea pig" of their social circle.

THE TARGET CONSUMER

PRODUCT VISION

subtle, yet bold   ▫   confident   ▫   approachable   ▫   unassuming

INITIAL CONCEPT & IDEATION

 

I began ideating on Divi by attempting to define what elements were absolutely necessary and what key features could be added with out becoming too distracting. I decided that Divi would be a kitchen hub and replace the kitchen faucet while adding key usability features and extras. At the very least, it must be able to do what a kitchen faucet does, all while adding extra value.

 

In order to increase user convenience, I decided to incorporate individual spouts to dispense the different beverages. These would include proximity-sense dispense for a quick interaction, and either a connected app or display screen for more control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAPPING THE INTERFACE

If the user desires:

If the user desires:

If the user desires:

 

 

Attempting to increase convenience also means reducing any distracting qualities to the greatest extent. While at rest, Divi attempts integrate itself with the rest of the environment by "sleeping" all digital and illuminated interfaces. However, as the user begins to interact, Divi comes to life - showing off its touch screen and proximity sense features.

 

Additionally, Divi has a mobile "wand" unit that can be easily detached from the base. This feature is reminiscent of a sprayer that typically accompanies a faucet, and is intended to aid the user in washing dishes, cleaning the sink, or in any case where reach is necessary. In the interest of simplicity (both of use and manufacturing), the ice dispenser is incorporated into the base and therefore permanently affixed to it.

 

 

INVISIBLE IN ITS ENVIRONMENT

STORYBOARDING

 

As the concept developed, I found it necessary to apply it to real world situations. I put Divi in the context of ideal situations - those in which I believe a user would most recognize its value. These storyboards provided valuable insight by opening different applications of use that I'd previously been unaware of, and reassuring me in the areas that I was designing for.

 

 

 

If the user wants a quick glass of water or ice, they will simply place their glass under the corresponding location on the dispenser. Sequentially, an icon (water, ice, or a default custom beverage) will illuminate on the spout, assuring the user that they are about to receive the correct beverage or ice. At this point in the sequence, the user is granted a 2 second window before anything is dispensed. If no changes are desired, the selected beverage will then be dispensed until the user removes the glass from the proximity of the spout. However, if a predetermined temperature or pressure setting is desired, the user can tap the icon and adjust a graduating scale on top of the spout. Replacing the glass initiates the 2 second window again, and if no other changes are received, the selected beverage begins dispensing. Additionally, the spout needn't recognize a glass before being interacted with, meaning the user can preset pressure and temperature before placing their glass within range of the spout.

 

If the user wishes to make a quick adjustment to the pressure or temperature of the water while in use, they can interact with the graduating scale on the top surface. All controls (icons and scales) are located in a neutral place on top of the dispenser, providing a consistent point of interaction whether the spout is stationary or being used remotely. This placement lends itself to being used one-handed as well as at the touch of a finger.

 

 

The connected app offers more control and a wider range of options. Within the app, the user is able to select default settings for water, ice, and custom beverages. For instance, they can select the default pressure and temperature at which the water is dispensed, or whether that water is carbonated, filtered, or tap. Additionally, if the user wishes to dispense a custom drink (cold brew, soda, or... bourbon!), it is here that they can select their drink of choice.

 

 

 

HOW DIVI WORKS

USABILITY FEATURES

Icons illuminate to reassure the user that they are dispensing the correct item

 

 

In order to remain visually light and promote user accessibility, Divi makes use of negative space in the center of its structure. The two supports on either side of the negative space house the ice and beverage channels, respectively. The ice dispenser is permanently affixed to base, while the water and custom beverage lines are connected to the mobile wand for greater reach and accessibility.

 

OPEN STRUCTURE

 

 

Most of Divi's controls and signifiers are integrated directly into its form. The icons signify the different locations to place a glass to receive a desired beverage or ice type, and also serve as touchpoints for which to manually control the dispenser.

 

Once the user places a glass under a dispensing location, the respective icon blinks twice before dispensing to confirm the user has selected the correct choice.

 

 

INTEGRATED CONTROLS

 

 

Divi's mobile wand separates from the main structure, providing greater reach and mobility. The asymmetrical form on the face of Divi provides a place for the thumb to rest naturally, while adding an interesting aesthetic.

 

While in "mobile mode," the dispenser is activated only by manually pressing the water icon. This limits unwanted spillage and only dispenses water where the user needs it.

BETTER MOBILITY, BETTER ERGONOMICS

 

 

Divi is offered in three neutral, yet bold, style to complement any environment.

DESIGNED TO SUIT YOUR TASTE

Stainless Steel

Luxe White & Asphalt Accent

Gunmetal Grey

 

 

Divi began as a 48-hour collaboration between two designers and four engineers for the 2017 "Hack-the-Home" Hackathon competition sponsored by FirstBuild.

 

Divi won first prize.

 

 

AT HOME, IN ANY HOME