The functional prototype utilised an existing kettle, retrofitted with an Arduino Uno, BLE shield, temperature sensor and LEDs to provide feedback. This bypassed the later issue of getting ethical clearance to allow users to later test the product as the mains electricity element had been left untouched.
The physical prototype combined the physical features (curved element housing, control pour ‘nose’, jumper) with a feedback system. The model was designed for and with mass manufacture in mind, then streamlined and optimised for SLS printing. This rapid prototype was then hand finished, electronics imbedded and used in testing with consumers.
In order to fully demonstrate the concept, Bluetooth communication was essential. Custom apps were written for both prototypes, based off of the Software Development Kit from the BLE Shield developers. A developer’s license was purchased to allow the apps to be tested on phone hardware.
In conjunction with this, Bluetooth communication was integrated into the Arduino code that ran the sensing and feedback systems. From this, the functional prototype could be turned on via the button on the kettle, or via the app, and when boiled, the kettle would send a message to the phone to alert the user.
Combined, the two prototypes covered all the areas of the user experience, and so were used with the experience map to crosscheck, test and prove the concept.