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Smart speaker and lights.

LuvarSound

Modular, smart wall speaker and light.

Overview

Luvar Sound is a modular smart wall speaker and light, designed to enhance your entertainment experiences. It has Alexa installed with a heightened attention system to elevate your voice experience.

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ALEXA-ENABLED

Strong Visual Cues

Luvar Sound is an Alexa-enabled device with enhanced visual cues. These cues are designed to show the emotions of the different states that Alexa goes through as an added visual comfort.

Alexa-Enabled

USE CASES

For Entertainment

Use Cases

The best way to experience Luvar Sound is through voice command. From research, one of the most popular use cases for smart lights is entertainment. Luvar Sound is design to meet your entertainment needs with its ability to sync light and sound with movies, music, and more. And with its modular design, you can add more units to enhance your overall experience.

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Modular Design

It's All About You.

Luvar Sound's modular design is intended for you to personalize your experience. It offers a variety of color choices so you can match it with any room.

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Luvar Sound is the perfect add-on to your home entertainment system. It can sync both audio and visuals to take your movie, games, and music to the next level.

Enhance Your Entertainment.

Sync Audio and Visuals

Alexa,

It's Party Time.

With millions of colors and a superior sound system, Luvar Sound is the perfect accessory for entertaining your guests.

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Accent Lighting

The Wall As a Canvas

Luvar Sound is designed to disperse light on to the wall, which makes it perfect for accent lighting.

Users can create their own design by choosing between speaker and acoustic damper modules. Choosing two or more speaker modules amplifies its stereo experience.

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+

Speaker

Acoustic Damper

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=

Enhanced Audio Experience

DESIGN

Why this shape?

Design

Modular

Luvar Sound's modular design is intended to fit different user personalities and home environments. The user can choose different color combinations, customize the overall design, and enhance their entertainment experience.

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The Shape of Sound

Luvar Sound has a Midwoofer-Tweeter-Midwoofer (MTM) speaker layout for uncompromising sound quality. The MTM layout defined Luvar Sound's shape, the shape of quality sound.

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Midwoofer

Tweeter

Midwoofer

The Flow of Light

This unique shape emphasizes the fluidity of light and is designed for varying lighting needs. Whether it is for accent lighting, entertaining lighting animations, or strong visual cues to enhance the voice user experience, Luvar Sound makes sure it's visually appealing.

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DESIGN

Product Details

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24"
Height
9.6"
Width
Grill Cloth
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Back Cover
(Shiny White Plastic)
Diffused LEDs
Frame
(Aluminum)
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Slanted LEDs
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Slim Profile
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3mm Bezel

PROCESS

The Goal

The project started with a goal to improve the smart speaker experience with stronger visual cues. The concept is to have smart lighting products sync with the visual cues of the smart speaker. This experience is designed to add sentimental values that are lost when communicating with the smart speaker by giving the user a better awareness of its state and presence.

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Process

DESIGN PROCESS

Ideation

Luvar Sound began as one of the products created as a proof of concept for the intended smart speaker experience. After studying use cases and home lighting principles, it became so much more. Thus, the idea for creating a modular, smart wall speaker and light was realized.

Shape Explorations

The product I wanted to create is a modular wall speaker and light. The hexagon is the obvious shape to use for modular designs, but it doesn't represent Luvar Sound's full capabilities. I began designing with simple shapes, circles for the speaker component and squares for straight edges (to make them connect). None of these designs made it to the final iteration, but it helped me see the relationship between these shapes and the potential to develop this concept further.

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Form Follows Function

I wanted to design a modular shape that was full of purpose and character. The shape should speak of the product's sound quality, the visual cues it can emit, and its capability to deliver great experiences.

The MTM Inspiration

After researching the different types and configurations of great quality speakers, one speaker layout stood out from the rest. The Midwoofer-Tweeter-Midwoofer (MTM) formation is known for reducing acoustic lobing effects and producing symmetrical acoustic radiation patterns. In plain words? Great sound quality. The MTM formation defined Luvar Sound's shape, the shape of quality sound.

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Midwoofer

Tweeter

Midwoofer

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Part of a Family

Luvar Sound was developed simultaneously with other LUVAR products. Luvar Pod has a curved design language and Luvar Strip focuses on the coverage of lights. These design features influenced the physiognomy of Luvar Sound's form.

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I made an animation in Blender to visualize how the visual cues might work on this design.

Early Designs

The early designs of Luvar Sound follow the tech industry's "stereo speaker" design trend to market anything with a dual speaker. I wanted to simplify Luvar Sound's MTM design story into one that effortlessly promotes the product. Therefore, I initially gave emphasis on the midwoofer's duality to the design to advertise it as a stereo speaker.

Finalized Design

The circular accents were too bold for the home environment. From research, smart speaker users prefer their devices to have a modest presence when not in use. Luvar Sound should have the presence of a wall sculpture that compliments living spaces.

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Since Luvar Sound is designed for entertainment, I considered giving it a dynamic aesthetic. But nothing beats a simple design that emphasizes the purity of the form. The final front design features a thin aluminum bezel that outlines the fabric, an elegant convergence of soft and rigid materials.

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Side Profile

Luvar Sound's side profile follows through on its simple design language.

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The diffused LED light is slanted to project light outwards on to the wall.

The design on Luvar Sound's side is flat for connecting multiple units.

Close Up Side View

PROTOTYPING PROCESS

Digital Visualizations

I applied different colors to Luvar Sound to see it in different looks.

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Wall Speaker Front Multiple Color Trans.
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PROTOTYPING PROCESS

Model Making

From working with Luvar Pod, I learned that it is best to validate lighting in a physical environment. Therefore, I fabricated a prototype for Luvar Sound.

Form Validation

I laser cut Luvar Sound to scale and made sure the connections between the pieces are seamless.

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Prototyping Form

I fabricated the form out of plywood.

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I glued plywood to the right thickness of Luvar Sound and made rough cuts on the bandsaw. Then I used the sander to fine tune the profile.

I used the router to make the slanted detail along the profiles for attaching LEDs.

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Finishing

I coated the plywood with primer (and also a bit of spackle!), sanded it, and repeated the process a few times for clean, smooth surfaces.

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The primed surface is spray painted to look like aluminum.

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PROTOTYPING PROCESS

Visual Cues

Visual cues are incredibly important to the voice user experience. Since most of the smart speaker's states are silent, the user must always be informed of its state. 

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Designing Emotions

I made animations in After Effects to capture the emotions of the different states that Alexa goes through in a conversation. These animations later served as a guide for me to prototype my visual cues.

Neopixels and Arduino

To prototype visual cues, I used a Neopixel RGBW LED Strip and coded the lighting sequence on to Arduino, a microcontroller. 

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Visual Cues

The visual cues are designed to be clear and concise to coincide with the voice user experience.

Waking

When the user wakes Alexa, LUVAR lighting products turn blue.

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Listening

Light gently pulses and loops.

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Thinking

Light alternately pulses in corners.

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Answering

Light bursts and stays on as Alexa responds.

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Also check out...

The User Experience Design Process

Luvar Pod is a product that manifests both user experience and industrial design. Click the button below to see the experience design that led to the creation of LUVAR's family of products.

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