mica: a social assistive platform
The purpose of this project is to explore a new market opportunity for a social network. Through an exploration of emerging and adjacent technologies, we considered the definition of social networks, how they are accessed and how they might be shaped to bring value to their members.
Team of 4
what i worked on
research, strategy, video making, graphic design, prototypes, business model, product strategy, pitch development
defining the problem
social network analysis
A social network is an ecosystem of distributed information and communication between connected humans.
A social artifact is a product, service or thing existing in the market that can build and sustain a social network.
A social agent is an active entity (human or non-human) in a social network that can facilitate companionship between humans. Furthermore, we believe a social artifact can be a social agent.
EMERGING AND ADJACENT TECHNOLOGIES
Connected devices and IoT technology provide seamless experiences, but lack the activation of social media and social robots.
Connected devices may be seamless, but they do not learn and they lack human qualities. These products rely on human input and control to be effective.
Social media and social robots are highly connective. However, these artifacts differ in perceived affordance due to the robotic nature of social robots and the human-like qualities of social media. Should social robots develop human-like qualities, these qualities could potentially enable social robots to become activated participants of a social network.
The variation of perceived affordance in voice assistant products is more varied than other product categories. Subtle variations of voice tone, personality, responsiveness, conversationalism, etc. could be in part responsible for these variances.
CHOSEN SOCIAL NETWORK
We considered social networks with key problems:
Lack of access to distributed information
Lack of access to members of the network
Lack of connection to members of the network
Lack of sense of community
For people with early-stage dementia and their network of families and care providers
who want to feel confident in the present and future,
our social agent ensures all members of the network are up-to-date with the patient’s health status while providing the patient support with daily activities. We do this by monitoring health stats, sharing health information and setting reminders for daily tasks.
Unlike existing connected devices and health monitoring systems, which lack integration and don’t distribute information to a user-designated network,
our product empowers patients, extends independent living and keeps the network involved every step of the way.
Elderly care networks struggle with lack of access to shared information and communication, which results in a poor health experience for elderly adults.
finding the opportunity
UNDERSTANDING ELDERLY CARE NETWORKS
Secondary Research Goals
Understand the aging process and the perception of aging.
Understand network demographics and psychographics.
Understand what it is to be independent.
Understand the importance of a social network.
Understand network goals and challenges.
Primary Research Goals
Identify network emotions about aging.
Identify how the network feels about dementia.
Identify network goals and challenges.
Identify current network communication methods.
Identify how the network thinks and feels about a technological solution.
UNDERSTANDING THE MARKETPLACE
It will be ever more critical to design products/services with the need, physical and mental conditions of aging consumers in mind. Sensors, trackers, smart home features and even robots that help enable safe independent living at an older age will be in growing demand.
Like boomers, who are more tech-savvy than seniors today and wield a large proportion of wealth in many markets, represent a particularly promising segment. Less willing to slow down, the next generation of seniors will likely create more active and independent aging opportunities.
As their dexterity improves, robots take on increasingly complex social roles.
How might we provide an integrated social network experience that prolongs independent living for elderly adults?
A social agent (with health informatics and internet of things capabilities) that augments communication in the user’s social network will prolong independent living for the elderly.
Mica prolongs independent living for the elderly by:
Providing social expansion for elderly users.
Sharing health informatics between elderly users and their care network.
Assisting elderly users in their day-to-day lives.
walk in mica’s shoes …
prototype of app
roadmap to market
what I learned
In-depth research writing.
Operationalizing a user persona.