Little ways to make your life smarter with"MESH".
Even children can become an inventor!
The new enterprise creation project "Seed Acceleration Program" gives form to new challenges at Sony. MESH, a revolutionary DIY toolkit that can be enjoyed by anyone, was born through the promotion of such "seeds of ideas".
When ideas and playfulness come together,
there's no limit to what you can create
MESH is an IoT device consisting of small block shaped electronic tags that can be put together to easily create DIY project without any knowledge of electronic kits or programming. Each tag has a particular function, such as a motion sensor, LED light, button switch, etc., which can be linked wirelessly via an app that allows you to create and enjoy various mechanisms based on your own ideas.
"It's children especially that seem to come up with many unique ideas using MESH."
These words come from the project's Co-founder and leader Takehiro Hagiwara. Mr. Hagiwara holds MESH workshops, and is frequently awed by the inventiveness of children.
"What lead to the conception of MESH was me thinking how great it would be if I had just the stop button for my alarm when I was in the bathroom. I was not a morning person. So, having to walk to the bathroom to turn off my alarm would compel me to wake up. Then I thought, if I had to make a product that anyone would want, it would have to meet each person's demands. That's when I thought to myself, why build a complete product when I could produce a tool that can easily be used by anyone to meet certain needs."
"Even children can create without any technological aids.
This is the magic of MESH."
For example, MESH allows you to create a device that "turns on an LED light in your room as soon as the motion sensor attached to your door detects someone approaching". Such a mechanism can be easily recreated without any technology of creating hardware.
One of the students participating in a MESH workshop attached a move sensor to a mop and a motor to a brush, in order to create a device that allowed the brush to move around and help wipe things whilst mopping. In another case, a participant attached move sensor to their toothbrush, which made a speaker tell her to brush her upper teeth and ? twenty seconds later ? to brush her bottom teeth. The workshop demonstrated how much fun can be had when turning one's ideas into something tangible, one of MESH's biggest attractions.
Crowdfunded to deliver a product to users
How to have fun after creating.
Prior to working on this project, Mr.Hagiwara was involved in the development of software algorithms at the research and development section. Though hardware was outside his expertise, he proposed the idea for a forerunner to MESH after his experiences building freely during his overseas study in Silicon Valley, USA.
"Explaining the concept with words alone was rather difficult. I had a tough time, especially since hardware was not my field. However, I was surrounded by many talented hardware experts. So, I got them to help me build a prototype."
At one point, he gave children a first prototype that he and his team had created out of some discussions they had. The children immediately began to play with the prototype, without even waiting to listen to the developers explain how it worked. This proved that the prototype could be used by anyone without a need to explain how the invention worked. Mr.Hagiwara reflected on how he felt at the time, that it merited being created.
After that encounter, workshops were run in conjunction with user tests. The team actively took part in events by exhibiting MESH at places such as Maker Faire, Bay Area, a convention of over 100,000 visitors in the US. By creating opportunities to come into contact with MESH, the team gradually received more and more opinions from users telling them they wanted to try the product.
Elated at the positive response from users, in January 2015 Mr.Hagiwara, crowdfunded in order to deliver a product to every person that said they wanted MESH. Through the crowdfunding website "Indiegogo", his funding was formed two months later in March 2015, and in May, MESH was delivered to backers of the crowdfunding. By July sales of the product went underway, showing a significantly smooth transition, the fruit of the hard work and meticulous preparation that went to the design of the product before its release.
As a unique product born out of the strength of a large firm, MESH secured its place a pioneering product. When asked about the future developments of MESH, we received a motivated response: "I want it to keep evolving."
"Even if anyone can use MESH, it is difficult to create a new idea from scratch. That is why I want to propose ways of using MESH that can be shared, and incorporating arrangements, so that I can supply users with the "enjoyment of making things work as you imagine they would". In order to do that, however, the creation of things and communities, in addition to objects, becomes the key."
In order to be innovative, one must be curious and motivated enough to enjoy working with the unknown, says Mr.Hagiwara. Those wanting to playfully enjoy the unknown a trait that has taken root at Sony is sure to lend a helping hand to the new enterprise creation, a field that the world is now paying attention.