Smart Assistant Device for Guzheng Practice
Product Design | Interactive Design
The guzheng is a Chinese plucked string instrument with a more than 2,500-year history. The modern guzheng usually has 21 strings, and is 1,600 mm long. It has a large, resonant cavity made from wutong wood. Other components are often made from other woods for structural or decorative reasons.
The guzheng is plucked with plectra attached to four fingers of one or both hands. The plectra are made from materials such as ivory, tortoiseshell, resin or hard plastic. Traditional playing styles use the right hand to pluck notes and the left hand to change the pitch and produce vibrato by pressing the strings. Modern styles or advanced players use both hands to strike notes.
Guzheng players use strips of adhesive tape to attach the picks onto their fingers.
The adhesive tape need to be rolled up everytime after use.
The adhesive tape will age and finnally lose its viscosity.
Some residual glue will be left on the plectra, being hard to remove.
After playing the guzheng for more than half an hour, the blood circulation on the finger tips will be noticeably affected. The guzheng player will also feel uncomfortable with their skin for being wrapped in the adhesive tape for a long time.
I found some comments about the feeling of wearing guzheng picks on Baidu Tieba, one of the biggest Chinese communication platforms.
“Let alone that the glue on the picks is difficult to remove, I have to say it hurts so much everytime I unwrap the tape on my fingers to take off the pick.”
“When wearing the picks, I feel the blood could not circulate well in my fingers. However, the picks will be unfirm if it'd been loosened more.”
“Thinking about putting on the picks always held me back to practice playing the instrument.”
“Either putting on the picks or change the adhesive tape seems a little waste of time to me.”
“My 5-year-old daughter can not attach the picks to her fingers properly on her own. I have to do that for her every time.”
Customizable and can be very firm, but not very convienient or comfortable.
More convenient than the adhesive tape, but sometimes the band will touch the string.
Not very firm because the band is not adhesive enough and also too soft.
Sketches & Prototypes
I drew more than twenty sketches of the product's physical form, selected several of them which I think are more feasible, and used high-density foam to make prototypes of them.
I selected four of the low-fedility prototypes, and asked three participants to try to put their hands on them and talk about their feelings.
In the end, in consideration of the comfortability, size and aesthetics, the rough physical form of the product was decided.
Display & Settings
A simple touch screen is on the front face of Mozon. Users can turn Mozon on/off, set it to different modes and set the task duration by touching different areas of the circle.
To wear the picks, the user only need to put their fingers into the bands and press to fasten them.
Wearing the Picks
Once the picks are taken off from Mozon, the timer will start. In task mode, the light circle displays the user’s progress. In free mode, it works as a clock.