Project Overview

Capstone project for HCDE

Time: Jan 2018 - Mar 2018

Team: V, Brooks, Sang

My contribution: research, concept design, video shooting and editing

Maya is an intelligent flying home camera that captures the special moments in a child's life so parents can relax and live in those moments. Our final deliverable is a conceptual design. 





Parents often miss capturing special moments early in their child's life. To make matters worse, when parents do pull a camera out, it usually disrupts the moment. There are existing tools in the moment-recording market, such as mobile phones, cameras, and even home security systems, but there are no solutions that specifically address this problem for parents.

Although failing to capture special moments is universal to almost everyone, we think this is an especially strong pain point for parents. Unlike older kids or adults, toddlers from 1-3 experience increased mobility and a flurry of developmental milestones. Furthermore, they often won’t stay still or pose for the camera. Therefore, we decided to focus our project on that age-group.

Design question: How can we help parents capture the special moments early in their children’s lives without disrupting the moment?


Survey + preliminary interview

Initially we decided to design for young kids and their family. To scope down our topic, we conducted an online survey with parents to determine which concept had a gap between users’ satisfaction and available products. Based on the results, we decided to move forward with the “capturing special moments” idea.

Then We conducted three one-on-one interviews with parents who have children less than 3 years old. The conversation focused on their habits when it comes to capturing moments of their children.

Expert interview

We interviewed Julie Kientz, an expert in the fields of Human-Computer Interaction, Ubiquitous Computing, and Health Informatics, who has conducted several studies on computing solutions for parents of young children.

“I think this interfering in the moment [having to break out your phone] and how this having to capture disrupts the activity is the actual challenge. However, I still think some explicitness to that is good - I think that nanny cams everywhere recording everything is not the answer…” 


A day in life

In order to further build empathy with how parents spend time with their kids, we used “a day in the life” study that documents their interaction. One team member conducted it by observing his family.





The brainstorm was concluded with a affinitization which resulted in several high-level topics:

  • Flying camera design
  • Moment-capture triggers
  • Interactive activities
  • Rewards for children
  • Voice and gesture interaction
  • Specialized stationary cameras (toys, highchairs, cribs)
  • Different types of output media
  • Miscellaneous recording instruments

We ended up settling loosely on the concept of a flying camera, that could be triggered to capture moments and possibly interact with and supervise children. However, we weren’t quite sure what this should look and feel like or if it would be valuable to parents. Therefore, we needed to conduct more research to find this out.


Interview parents












We conducted 4 usability test sessions using Wizard of Oz method, where one moderator performs as Maya, holding the cloud toy and taking pictures/videos. We teach parents how to use Maya and then give them a scenario where they can try Maya as much as they like. In the end, we ask parents for comments.



Manual for Maya

Based on the findings from usability testing, we iterated on Maya's manual. 

Here is our poster for the final demo day. 

Final Poster-min.jpg


After our final project exhibition, I would love to make a working demo of Maya using Arduino gadgets with web camera, and utilize the p5.js library to achieve sound activation.