Wave Hat

I+ID Lab & OF NOW Design Kwanmyung Kim, Sagjin Joo & Hwang Kim, Dabin Lee, Soyoon Park, Jiyoung Lee, Hyemin Choi, Hyojeong Jin
iF Design Award 2021
iF Design Award is one of one of the three most influential design awards which span multiple disciplines and receive submissions from more than 50 nations every year.

The Wave hat is an ergonomically friendly smart hard-hat with various components includes EEG sensors and Bluetooth modules to collect and transfer brainwave signals to increase safety. Wave hat collects the brainwave data with electrodes positioned on the forehead with EEG technology. Wave hat also has LED lamps and vibrators on the rear side to allow instant communication to users, safety team, and companion workers to act fast in case of emergency. Wave smart hard hat designed to enhance the personal safety in hazardous sites by collecting various health and condition data of the wearer.

Wave Hat – Smart Hardhat Design/ Copyright © OF NOW Design & I+ID Lab – UNIST, 2021

Idea

A high number of industrial accident cases are at the top of the S.Korean political agenda. An emerging tech start-up HHS drives a passion to tackle this difficult problem with smart technology, user-centered design, and service design thinking.

Industrial workers are obliged to wear a hardhat at all times at the construction site by S.Korean law, it is logical to develop a smart hard hat equipped with various health-tracking sensors include EEG brain-wave tracker. Connected Wave hat collects health and condition data and transfers to the safety management services to enable teams to effectively look and manage conditions on-site simple way.

Form

Wave hat design is inspired by the visual image of the brain wave, which gives a free and flexible impression. By choice of bluish-purple and white as the main color, it conveys the image of futuristic technology and stability at the same time.

Through qualitative research and design ethnographic study process, the design team discovered inner self-respect pride of construction experts. The design team developed a visual identity from the aesthetic keywords between flexibility, fluidity, faithful, honest, and right-minded. Research and imbed lightweight structure to the smart helmet was also one of the key design solutions to create success.

Function

Wave hat’s carefully chosen LED colors on the back emits different signals to express the user’s condition. To achieve sustainability of the smart hat, the main electronic components are embedded in the harness of the hard hat so that the outer shell is easily replaceable.

Coming out with appropriate weight by human factors engineering is also key design achievement. Developed a lightweight material and structure to the smart helmet was one of the key design solutions to create success in the project. The collected and transmitted brainwave and other health data makes to possible to monitor user’s health and condition seamlessly.

Differentiation

Unlike other competitors’ smart helmet, the project has invested heavily in service design and user experience design to increase positive and proactive attitudes from its user. Not only achieve safety management efficiency, Wave hat transparently delivers users’ physical and mental conditions in a clean and sufficient way via a companion app.

There are difficulties to manage complex safety conditions in large construction areas. Appropriate safety education and self-safety management by habit-forming and behavioral change methods with pleasant user experience could be the right strategy. Wave hat, user-oriented digital safety service is an innovative solution.

Impact

More than 1,700 people have died in accidents at industrial sites in S.Korea in 2019. Industrial accident cases which are 82,780 in S.Korea remained at the top of the list of OECD fact book 2016. The main reason is high-performance pressure, which pushes managers and workers for more performance results on the site. Also, there is a lack of appropriate safety systems, awareness education programs, and not enough safety supervisors.

With smart Wave hat and Wave system could leverage to solve this difficult problem and increase safety in harsh working environments and value everybody’s lives.

Wave Hat – Smart Hardhat Design/ Copyright © OF NOW Design & I+ID Lab – UNIST, 2021

Wave Hat – Smart Hardhat Design – Wave System/ Copyright © OF NOW Design & I+ID Lab – UNIST, 2021

Wave Hat – Smart Hardhat Design – Detail/ Copyright © OF NOW Design & I+ID Lab – UNIST, 2021

Detail

Wave hat helps prevent unexpected industrial disasters by detecting worker’s health conditions by using various sensors and sending the data to the safety manager via Bluetooth module. Termosensor detects the hardhat’s inner temperature to prevent heatstroke. IMU sensor is used to analyze the user’s condition along with brainwave data. Efficient air flow into the Wave hat was achieved through ergonomic vent design.

Wave hat collects the brainwave data with electrodes positioned on the forehead with EEG technology. Whenever an alarming situation occurs, the vibration motor signals the user through various patterns. LED strip allows instant communication to users and co-workers to act fast in case of an emergency. Bluetooth module and electrical components are assembled on the back part of the helmet.

Usage

User check the remaining battery and take out the Wave hat from the dock. If the outer shell is damaged, the user can change it by disassembling the shell and band-electronic part. User can turn the Wave hat on by pressing the button inside.

By rotating the dial, users can adjust the size. The vibration motor indicates whether if it’s properly worn. EEG sensors constantly collect the brainwave data and LED shows the user’s health condition When workers are injured, Wave hat emits emergency signals. After finishing their work and prepare to go home, they put the helmet back to the dock for charging.

Sustainability

Every Hard hat is required to be replaced regularly every 6 months. Because of this, the Wave hat is designed to easily take off the shell component when it’s worn out. The sensors and other electronic components are therefore continuously used and do not need replacement. This can reduce the product’s plastic waste at the end of the product’s life cycle.

Wave Hat – Smart Hardhat Design – Docking/ Copyright © OF NOW Design & I+ID Lab – UNIST, 2021

Wave Hat – Smart Hardhat Design/ Copyright © OF NOW Design & I+ID Lab – UNIST, 2021

Wave Hat – Smart Hardhat Design/ Copyright © OF NOW Design & I+ID Lab – UNIST, 2021

Wave Hat – Smart Hardhat Design/ Copyright © OF NOW Design & I+ID Lab – UNIST, 2021