FINAL Challenge 9: Earn Your Stripes

Running Shirt: We made two major changes to our product. Through multiple iterations, we found that the thermochromic ink is not as sensitive to heat as we originally expected, especially if the ink is more directly in contact with the cold weather than with one’s body heat. Instead of our original product, we designed a 1) running shirt with thermochromic ink and 2) a waterproof running jacket with hydrochromic ink. Since the shirt will be directly in contact with the skin, the colors are able to change more dramatically. We believe the shirt will still be desirable by our user because runners often wear several layers and shed off layers as they progress on their run. Towards the end of their run, the runner can unzip the front or take off her jacket and show that she fully “earned their stripes.” Jacket: We still didn’t want to lose the outward-facing, social motivation aspect of our design. After researching similar fabric technology, we discovered hydrochromic ink. As contact with water increases so does the depth of the ink color. A visual demonstration can be seen here. We thought this was still applicable to the challenge because cold weather often includes precipitation, It is still applicable to our users because runners still run in the rain. Our jacket is white with an intricate black and white pattern and can be worn over our shirt. The more the user runs in the rain, the more colorful the jacket becomes. Although our primary user is a runner, we expect that this fun product could be used by non-runners as well. The playful nature of this jacket can motivate non-runners to go outside and add more color to a cold, rainy, and dreary day. Companion App: The app is another add-on promoter for runners to go out in cold weather, combined with the shirts and jackets. The app records the gradual color change of pattern in the process of running and give signals when the color is changing. It will give signals like “I have reached 30%!” “50% done!” as how the running machine works in the gym. In the future, we also hope to add a position system into the app so that it could remind the runners “Someone wearing a tiger is near you!”, adding more social interaction to the design.

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