A Touch of Me
A Touch of Me
As we chose, as criteria, to focus on the 5 senses, we found this solution innovative, surprising, feasible and enhancing the product. As packaging design today tends to emphasize on branding and solely graphic solutions, it is refreshing that a proposal of this nature comes to life!
A Touch of Me
This project is a response to the speculative brief set by French boutique fragrance house L’Artisan Parfumeur. Founded in Paris in 1976 as the first niche perfumer, the brand broke the rules in the 70s by taking inspiration from unexpected places to create some of the most intriguing, singular and deeply personal scents in the world. In 2013, L’Artisan Parfumeur is launching a new perfume collection based around bottled emotions. The creative challenge is to showcase this range by breaking the rules of conventional perfume packaging.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?
Traditional French fragrance houses are steeped in a rich history of style and imagery. L’Artisan Parfumeur wants something different. The latest collection is uniquely based around bottled emotions. The creative challenge is to showcase this range by breaking the rules of conventional perfume packaging. There are four scents, each capturing a different human feeling:
• Scent A: Passion and desire. Sex and lust. Raw and physical.
• Scent B: Perfect, sublime love. An interior emotion.
• Scent C: Excitement and fear. Adrenaline, exhilaration and thrill.
• Scent D: Elegant and dignified. Stormy yet still.
My solution to the brief is inspired by the sense of touch, the most basic way one interacts with a perfume bottle. It makes use of a simple but rather unexplored technology. An integrated circuit is built in in the bottle with touch sensitive ink extension to the surface of the bottle. Upon trigger it turns on the light within. The idea is that when the user touches the bottle, it wakes up the spirit in the bottle. The title 'A Touch of Me' is a double entendre. It can simply mean a touch of the bottle, or a small amount of the fragrance dispersed. The individual fragrances' names are synonyms of touch, each with a distinctive sense. They are built with unique materials associated with the emotion:
• Fondle in styrene for sex and desire
• Caress in velvet for sublime love
• Frisk in textured cardboard for fear and excitement
• Enfold in wood for Elegant and dignified.
To build the touch sensor, a few different methods have been explored. At first, it was achieved by using an Arduino and a tilt sensor. An LED light is programmed to turn on if the sensor detects that the bottle is held by a user and therefore titled. The method is relatively easy but has a number of defects. The sensor will not output a signal until the bottle is tilted at right angle, which will not normally happen when the perfume is being sprayed. For it to be fitted in a space as small as a bottle, the smallest type of Arduino will be needed. However, it does not have a USB port, which means the programme and the power will have to be supplied alternatively, which we do not know how. After some research, a better solution came to light. A genuine touch sensor, as opposed to a tilt sensor, can be easily built with an integrated circuit called Timer 555. This component, which has eight terminals, is as small as a little finger’s nail and costs less than £1. Hooked up with the right resistors, capacitors and battery, it will sense a slight voltage change when its terminal 2 is physically in contact with human skin. This signal will then turn the LED light on. In order that terminal 2 can be touched by the user while the integrated circuit stays inside the bottle, terminal 2 will have to be extended to the surface of the bottle somehow in disguise. The challenged is solved by using Bare conductive ink. This ink when painted on paper and dried will conduct electricity just like metal wire. In this way, a strip of this paper can be mounted on the outside of the bottle and one end of it can go inside the bottle through the nozzle and connect to terminal 2 through a paper clip.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.)
Touch sensor within a perfume bottle is a technology complete new in consumable packaging design. It adds a new dimension of interactivity between the user and the product, a fuller sensual experience in smell, sight as well as touch. As discussed, this concept is cost effectively and easily manufacturable. The main component costs less than £1, while the resistors and capacitors cost around 30p on average. In this prototype, the whole circuit takes up almost half of the space of the bottle. However, if the right facility is available, the circuit can be built again as small as a little finger’s fingernail, leaving the primary storage space to the perfume itself.