Sherlock + Watson

Role

I conducted initial research, worked on the design of Sherlock and Watson, CAD, rendering, and story.

Team

  • Nate Chang

Collaborative Studio

  • Microsoft Devices team

Problem

Most dogs are under stimulated, meaning that they’re often bored or sleeping. The problem is, dogs aren’t meant to be sleeping all day. They have natural skills they want to develop: using their ears, eyes, and noses to hunt for food.

Collaborating with Microsoft, we designed AI-powered devices that keep dogs stimulated throughout the day and help develop their skills by having them hunt for food.

Sherlock and Watson devices use lights, sounds, and smells, to create a game for dogs to play. Dogs become little detectives and chase down these stimulants, in the process, exploring the home and finding patterns to earn food.


A game for dogs

Dogs chase down each stimulant, receiving food as a reward at the end. This emulates hunting in the wild, helping dogs problem solve and stimulating them mentally.

Dog toys are always the same. We didn’t want something that would get boring after a week, instead, machine learning ensures that the game is always different and adapting to be just the right amount of challenging.


Device as furniture

Devices don’t really belong in the home. They’re alien objects that stand out.

What if we could elevate the device into something that becomes a part of the home and becomes a piece of furniture?

Every home is different and the device needs to able to fit into different spaces.

It’s versatile and can be placed vertically.

As a piece of furniture, it becomes more than just a device. You can put books and magazines on it. You can put mugs and water bottles on it.


Setting up

Smell cartridges allow for different smells.

Speakers below play different sounds.

Food container drawers fit enough dog food for several days. This alleviates having to fill it every daily amidst the morning rush.


The smaller one

There’s also room for a smaller and cheaper device that you can buy multiples of and put around the house.

It does everything the big one does (stimulation) except for storing and dispensing food. This allows it to be very small (3.5 inch cube) and unobtrusive enough to fit anywhere.


A family of products

Here is the product family:

The big one is the brains and something you would only buy one or two of. It controls the smaller ones, which are cheaper and great for putting around the house.

The beauty is, the game for your dog gets better as you buy more devices. Your dog gets to explore around the house more and the game gets more interesting and fun. It also gets to develop its natural skills and be a happier dog.

You, the owner, don’t have to worry so much when you are away. You know the dog is doing fine, and you can focus on what you are doing and be more productive and creative.


Process

Microsoft Devices team visit

Trying out different dispensing mechanisms

Using foam core to create 1:1 scale prototypes

Joining acrylic using acrylic glue

When you only have short clamps


Acknowledgements