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Eco-Conscious Camper: Can You Be Clean and Green on the Go?

Can campers truly live out their eco-conscious values while ensuring a safe and hygienic outdoor experience?

The Allure and Anxieties of the Great Outdoors

Camping promises an escape from the daily grind and a chance to reconnect with nature. But for many, the allure of the outdoors is tempered by a nagging concern: sanitation.  Uncertain about the safety of potentially contaminated sources, some campers resort to bulky bottled water, adding weight to their packs and leaving behind a trail of plastic waste. Others forgo proper handwashing and dish sanitation, potentially compromising their health and safety.

Client

Aquamox. Inc

Sector

Hard-tech Startup

My Contributions

Design Reseach and Product Development

It's Not Just About Visible Dirt.

Our design research, conducted in collaboration with mHUB Chicago startup Aquamox, aimed to understand the specific hygiene and sanitation challenges faced by campers. Through in-depth interviews and observational studies with over 15 participants, we discovered a nuanced picture beyond simply tackling visible dirt.

Unlike routine cleaning at home, campers prioritize on-site water sanitization. They understand that natural water sources, while appearing clear, can harbor harmful bacteria and viruses.  Many of our interviewees expressed a desire for a solution that could transform potentially unsafe water into a reliable source for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. This focus on safety extended beyond basic hygiene – it was about ensuring a healthy and enjoyable camping experience.

..the concern in camping is not about being dirt free, it about being safe. Those are different things!..

- Research Participant

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The Struggle is Real: Balancing Sanitation with Responsibility

Campers are a unique breed.  Their love for the outdoors is intertwined with a deep respect for the environment.  They prioritize sustainable solutions that effectively address their needs without leaving a negative impact.  This translates into a need for products that are not only efficient but also water-saving and eco-friendly.  Our research participants echoed frustrations with bulky water filters that required constant replacement cartridges and harsh chemicals often associated with water purification tablets. The additional concern of waste disposal associated with traditional cleaning products further emphasized the need for a more sustainable approach.

“..I need to use minimum water. I have environmental concerns about dumping used water everywhere...”

- Research Participant

Droplet: A Portable Partner for Safe Water, Anywhere

Droplet is the brainchild of this research, designed specifically to address the concerns of campers. It's a portable ozone generator that transforms your camping experience. Within 30 seconds of submersion, Droplet's ozone technology eliminates up to 99.99% of harmful bacteria and viruses from your water source.  

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Small Footprint, Big Impact:

Droplet features a compact and lightweight design that fits easily into any backpack or camping gear.  The sturdy casing, constructed from stainless steel or titanium, ensures durability and can withstand the rigors of outdoor adventures.

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Clean Water, Made Simple:  

Droplet uses ozone technology to effectively sanitize water within 30 seconds. This eliminates harmful bacteria and ensures safe drinking water, even from questionable sources.

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Efficiency Matters: 

Droplet's compact design and easy-to-use interface allow for effortless water sanitation, freeing up time for enjoying the outdoors. Additionally, Droplet integrates with a complimentary mobile app, offering campers further data insights

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Built to Last: 

The droplet is built with a modular design, enabling easy access for maintenance and replacement of internal components. This extends the lifespan of the product and minimizes waste compared to disposable water filters or sanitation solutions. 

How it works.

The functionality of the solution involves submerging the unit in water, initiating the generation of ozone. This ozone, produced within 30 seconds, can then be utilized for sanitation purposes initially and subsequently for safe drinking water applications.

"This is such a nice product to be able to kill harmful germs and viruses in the water! This can be a nice alternative to filters. 
I didn’t know much about ozone,  it is really great to see such a cool looking product."

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“This is game-changing! I don’t have to worry about water access anymore. I can totally see myself using this. 
 
I would be more comfortable with using this if I could know how to store it in."

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The Future : A Connected Experience

The user-friendly mobile app that complements Droplet offers a glimpse into the future of connected experiences.  This app allows users to:
 

  • Monitor the Sanitation Process: Campers can remotely track the water purification cycle through the app, ensuring complete peace of mind.
     

  • Extend Functionality: Future iterations of the app may offer additional features such as localized water quality information, educational resources on safe camping practices, and even a community forum for connecting with fellow campers.

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They started from the hard part, understanding the technology and creating a vision for believable products that are not currently on the market. Product development is an intriguing process that takes perseverance; In the last week, all the work came together in your visualizations, building final prototypes, design decision making, and storytelling. It was exciting to see it happening. 

- Dr. Donato Ceres PhD. Founder and CEO of Aquamox Inc

Client Testimonial

Process highlights

Industry Analysis

Conducted comprehensive analysis of ozone products in market, trends in the space and regulations.

 

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Ethnographic research

Conducted observational ethnography, contextual inquiry, in depth interviews, and photo diary to get pain points and behavioral insights. (n=15)

 

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Opportunity ranking

Created evaluation scorecard to prioritize focus area based on consumer insights and market outlook.

 

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Design and development

Developed sketches, use-case scenarios and developed prototypes both physical and digital (app) in paper and 3D printing.

 

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Usability Testing

Conducted 2 usability test with potential customers using 3D printed prototypes for further evaluation and refinement.

 

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Branding strategy development

Developed branding collateral, packaging concepts, brochures etc, for visual merchandising.

 

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In reality how the process went!

 

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