The interactions we currently have with our phones, tablets and desktop computers don't necessarily make sense. As a user I have to dig through my device to find the information I'm looking for. But what if the information I need can float to the surface whenever I need it and be readily available for me without searching. While we may have become accustomed to this way of finding and interacting with information, it is disruptive and messy. The everyday things all around us that we interact with constantly have the potential to be smarter and take on some of these interactions, making them more natural, subtle and streamlined within our everyday routines.

Fluffy Forecast is a glance-able networked weather notification system connecting relevant household items to provide users with simple reminders. The system’s main interface is embedded into a decorative pillow so weather data is immediately available when a user wakes. Conceptually, we are interested in taking the experience of checking the weather on a screen-based device to a more natural, practical and easily accessible physical interface. By moving this interaction to the periphery, the information can be easily accessed when necessary without interrupting the flow of daily activities.

Our user research has indicated that a majority of our audience checks the weather first thing in the morning and is really only interested in very basic weather information for that particular day. After several iterations, we were able to pare the interface down to a simple design that maintains the pillow as a decorative item in the home rather than converting it to an overwhelming display of unnecessary data.

The pillow communicates the weather using four different states: sunny, rainy, cloudy and snowy. The user can then print tags in a variety of shapes and forms (as stickers, charms and others) to accommodate being attached to different household objects in different ways. Tags will be specific to each of these four states and will be used to tag objects that are associated in some way with that weather condition. The number of tags used and the associations made will be specific to each user’s unique set of needs. Each tag will contain an LED and a small vibration motor and will be activated when certain weather conditions are present in the forecast.

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