Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Photos of Final Model: Piezoelectric Blanket, "BlizzyBody"

I finished my final appearance model for the piezoelectric blanket, "BlizzyBody", today.  It's also somewhat of an operational model, as you can plug in cords and use the actuator to simulate what it would feel like to use this as a real product.  The blanket itself is 1500 mm by 1120 mm (1.5 meters by 1.12 meters), about 1 centimeter thick, and it comes with a "transformer" that allows for 2 actuators to be used at once.

My idea is for the blanket to be used ideally by 2 people at once, sharing it (and sharing body warmth, too), with each person adding power to it by using either hands or feet.  The final design incorporates an actuator to power the blanket that can be used either as a hand-held actuator or as a foot-pedal actuator (one design suits both).  It comes with two of these actuators, each with a cord length of 1.5 meters, and each person using it has the choice of whether they want to power it by hand or foot.  At the same time, one person can choose to "dual-wield" and use one actuator in each hand, one in a hand and one under a foot, or etc.  The inner lining of the blanket is a silver fabric that is meant to simulate "space blanket" or "microtec" technology, specially designed lining that insulates body heat and slows down possible drops in body temperature.  Where the "BlizzyBody" surpasses space blankets, though, is the fact that it allows the user not only to insulate body heat but also to generate heat, no electrical outlet required.  With the "BlizzyBody", keep your hands or feet busy and you'll stay warm.
Wearing the "BlizzyBody", cords and actuator to right

Inner lining of blanket

This is where you plug in the actuator

It's small, but the smaller the better for washing purposes (the blanket can be washed in a washing machine on gentle/delicate cycle)--I also didn't want the plug to weigh down the blanket in any way

Cords along with an actuator

Two actuators--it comes packaged with two

The "transformer" with two sockets for actuators.  The white end of the cord is what you actually plug into the blanket, and the black cords from the actuators plug into these two blue sockets.

Here I am using the actuator by hand

Here I am using the actuator as a foot pedal

Roughly the size of a regular single-sized bed

Easily rolled up for storage or transportation

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