Aphantasia is the condition in which people cannot voluntarily visualize mental imagery. Phantaglass is a multi-dimensional wearable device designed to strengthen Aphantasiac’s connection to their past and their loved ones. Through EEG technology, consumer engagement, and human-centric design, Phantaglass will be able to redefine the pictorial thought process and create a positive impact on the lives of Aphantasiacs.
Developing a solution for people with Aphantasia to experience a stronger connection to their autobiographical memory.
Named 3 years ago, Aphantasia is a neurological condition that affects over 2% of the population. People with this condition have incredibly weak autobiographical memory, they feel they cannot hold specific creative jobs, and struggle with bereavement. Although many don’t see this condition as a detriment, they often wonder what life would be like on the other end of the spectrum.
Phantaglass is an assistive wearable device that allows Aphantasiac’s a peek into their own minds. Bridging the gap between dictational and visual memories, Phantaglass is able to connect aphantasiacs and those with diminished memory conditions to an untapped world of visual recollections.
The Brand Identity
Fovius is the corporation that sells Phantaglass. The name Fovius comes from the term fovea which is the anatomical feature of the eye that is used to focus. The first three letters in the name are also an acronym (FOV) for Field of View. The icon itself is emblematic of the liquid state of memories in our mind. The two connected pieces when set in motion reveal the plasticity of thoughts while the two separated portions of the mark evidence the permanence of connections. The term phantaglass comes from the greek root, phanta meaning imagination. The term literally translates to Imagination Glasses.
After months of research, I began developing the interface for the glasses. The sitemap allowed me to organize and structure each interaction. I segmented each screen into three separate categories, active features, in which users would need to interact directly with the product, passive features in which the product would be providing the user with a viewing experience, and finally the main navigation, in which users would be able to move through the interface freely.
Once the sitemap had been finalized, I moved on to the key features of the application. I began creating a series of low-fidelity wireframes and user flows that would guide the production of the final aspect of this design.
Initial product design sketches
While designing the user interface, I hit a wall. How would people be interacting with this device? I began to go through iterations of product designs. I needed to determine how users would interact with the interface. I went through, talk-activation, a touchpad through the arm of the glasses, and even eye tracking technology, but settled on something a little different. I decided to develop a ring for navigation. This capacitive sensor ring enables discreet easy access use, that doesn’t require the users to lift a hand.
the final product design
Phantaglass was designed to fit seamlessly into everyday life. The glasses are meant to appear similar to everyday prescription frames. The EEG technology is embedded within the arm of the glasses keeping the technology discreet. The arms are also equipped with electrode nodes to send the mind’s activity to the processing features of the device. These nodes, on the inner portion the arms, rest on the temples of the user.
the final glasses user experience
The final experience was designed to be simplistic, user-centric, and unobtrusive. Through the use of ghost buttons and activation fills, I was able to create an interface that emerges from busy everyday backgrounds. The verbiage of the interface was determined based on a conversational and inviting feel to give users a sense of comfortability with the new platform. The final screen is a 300px by 300px display projected through a VRD (Virtual Retina Display). This technology paints the interface onto the users retina when the glasses are activated to keep memories and interactions out of the line of sight of others.
phantaglass companion interface
To humanize and familiarize this new experience, Phantaglass comes with a companion interface. This interface allows users to browse the latest discoveries about the condition, participate in studies regarding Aphantasia, keep a tangible catalog of their recorded memories, purchase new products, and enhance their memory capabilities through a series of brain games.
Through this process I was able to discern how powerful human connection is. I discovered my passion to relate to people and my desire to make a difference in the world. Beyond the interpersonal relationships, I realized how hard I can push myself to achieve my personal best. Through this process I was able to teach myself motion design, videography, Cinema 4D, product design, and so much more. I am incredibly proud of what I have created and although I know it’s not perfect, it is truly a testament to my dedication to the craft.