Shortlisted Projects

Specula

Virtual collaboration tool

Designed by Gyeongtae Kim

About the project.
Working from home is here to stay post-pandemic. This cultural shift accelerated the need for quality virtual collaborations, and the lack of has placed extra strain on designers and teachers due to the nature of their work. Whether it's analog sketching or demonstrating a math problem, there are many paper-to-pencil interactions that have not transitioned smoothly through video calls.

When sharing ideas over Zoom, designers often sketch on paper but struggle to hold it up clearly to the webcam. When pointing out details, fingers cover parts of the sketch, and teammates must remind them to reposition the paper in view. Those willing to go through the hassle join the call from both an iPad and webcam, but find it difficult to sketch on the iPad while keeping up with changes on the computer screen. Existing document cameras are clumsy in UX touchpoints and are limited in accommodating the immediate nature of real-time collaboration. It's also easy to accidentally shake and block the camera view when interacting with controls. Switching from document to webcam also requires multiple clicks on screen.

In contrast, Specula brings the ease of in-person collaboration to virtual calls. Its integrated projector overlays the edges of the captured view shown on screen. Live Zoom annotations can also be projected so users can see feedback in real-time when drawing, without looking back and forth between the paper and screen. Workflow is maximized with Specula’s modular remote that can be moved to user preference. The remote can turn Specula on/off, zoom the document camera in/out for details, switch between document and webcam, control projection options, activate the flashlight for late work nights, and take snapshots of the paper. Specula is also designed to last. Damaged parts can be easily disassembled, exchanged, and shipped to the manufacturer for recycling.

The Designer.
Gyeongtae Kim

Braunprize Shortlisted Project Specula - Virtual collaboration tool Video
Braun Club