2nd Place at BreaktoMake Makeathon | Hardware
InTable is an IoT-enabled Smart Classroom Table Module to improve class & group activities engagement and assist curriculum development.
What I did: CAD (Autodesk Maya), 3D printing (MakerBot/Ultimaker) and branding (Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop)
Team Members: Ling Ye, Ziru Ling, Steph Ng)
We are featured on USC Viterbi Website!
We won the 2nd Place at BreaktoMake Makeathon. BreaktoMake is an all-women hardware makeathon hosted by Spark SC, USC's premiere entrepreneurship organization fostering innovation.
There are three topics assigned at the makeathon, which are Education, Food/Water/Shelter and Communication. Besides that, there is also an Open Design Challenge allowing students to pick their own problems.
We chose Education.
We felt like as students, we were able to empathize on this more, which is the first crucial step in the whole design thinking process. Besides that, one of our teammates actually worked as an undergraduate TA before, and she was able to see from both students' and teachers' perspectives.
Define & ideate
Education seems to be a big problem, and our next step is to pick a more specific one through a series of brainstorming process.
During the whole process, the problem on the classroom structure actually drew our attention. It is true that a lot of processes in education right now are really messy but not being carefully solved. After considering feasibility, we finally decided on the interactive table idea (lower left corner) and thought about IoT, which was something that actually had technical support because Particle was sponsoring some of its internet buttons. They look like this:
Now we started brainstorming how the table could function, based on the button given. Here are some rough drafting of ideas.
After combining them all, we finally decided on a clearer and three-folded problem existing in education right now, and its solution:
The product we worked on the makeathon involves the following parts - woodworking for 1:1 table, CAD & 3D printing, electronics firmware, and cloud process setup.
Below is the 3D model I designed for the electronics outer container.
At the end of the makeathon, we made a MVP that can actually function as following:
Here is a video demo to show the process of organizing class quiz as one of the problems being solved. The student in the video is clicking "C", and after that, there is a line of Google spreadsheet showing up on the teacher's computer.
We also created a future glance of our product to unleash its full potential:
Our two user groups are college professors & high/middle school teachers, as well as students, since they would be the end users that might actually be benefited through the whole system.
We are going to sell our product to schools as following, so it would mainly be a B2B business:
Those are all of the value propositions that we hoped to convey, as well as our business model:
Finally, a product placement expressed by the perceptual map:
Comparing to the traditional classroom model, InTable provides a more organized and enhanced classroom experience by offering the whole IoT system.
Our biggest competitor is obviously the iClicker, which is widely adopted by a lot of universities currently. However, schools usually require students to buy them on their own, and there is also a complementary App to help it function. Therefore, we feel like InTable is easier to set up, because it relies on an automatic process, is entirely maintained by schools instead of students themselves, and is not as portable to be lost. Also, InTable would just be an easy one-time purchase for all the classrooms, while iClicker has to deal with all of the organizational stuff.