Min Jae Kang / Seoul National University of Science and Technology
This idea had the confidence to remain singular and simple. It could afford to do so as the possible market could be vast.
The goal of this project is to make an additional feature for a safety belt in a vehicle. To make a safety belt indicate itself, I added a light inside of the buckle, designing a simple mechanism which helps people to find the buckle easier than before. When the user pulls down the seat belt to buckle it up, the buckle on the seat automatically begins to indicate itself. After the user buckle it up, the light is turned off.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
When passengers get into a car in the dark place or at night, a light on the roof is turned off in less than 10 seconds after they get in there. If passengers spend a time for some reasons such as small talk or checking the message from the cell phone, it would become dark and it would be hard to buckle up the seatbelt at the first try. Especially for those who ride other’s car or the elderly who cannot find the buckle easily, it is the moment of irritation even though it takes little time to do it.
It was difficult for me to choose the method for the solution, because there are many methods to give a user the information; such as physical form, sounds, visual indicator and so on.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
The two things I considered most when I was processing the project were to make a simple solution(or mechanism) and to maintain its previous function. The main function of safety belt is the safety itself, and it should not be ignored or replaced. For this reason, I avoid to apply the cutting-edge technology for the indicator. Instead, I focused on user’s behavior or intuition, and I tried to find the best method and spot to maximize people’s attention.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
What I did right after I start the project was observing safety belts, and passanger’s behavior in my daily life. I tried to observe as much as I can, while riding vehicles from Japanese, American, and Korean manufacturer. Also, I looked for the design patent or patented formula about the buckle of the safety belt as well as its indicator. In addition, to verify the possibility of the design, I searched for the smallest LED component at the market. I measured the size of each component to strengthen my assumption.
I think that car manufacturers would have interest in my design, when they promote their detailed features inside of the car. The careful concern about small buckles would be appreciated by users.5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
When it comes to dragging people’s attention, ‘Reaction’ is one of the most effective ways. Users are apt to pay attention when something responses to their action. Many people forget the importance of the safety belt when they sit in their seat, and they think that fastening the safety belt is bothersome. A light inside of the buckle can make their experience more acceptable and joyful, and they can recognize the importance of the safety belt.