Prepare to Design the Future
March 19–20, 2017: Training
March 20–22, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
San Francisco, CA

Video as a prototyping tool for connected products

Martin Charlier (Unmade)
2:05pm–2:45pm Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Technology, tools, and process
Location: California West
Level: Beginner
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Designers and engineers who are starting to work on connected products but haven’t used video in their work

What you'll learn

  • Learn a new technique to apply in your prototyping work
  • Understand the value of low-fidelity prototyping for testing ideas early and gain a broader perspective on the roles prototypes can play


The internet of things means the kinds of products designers are working on are changing. Connected products will soon involve interactions spanning multiple devices, places, and interface types, including non-screen-based interfaces like voice or physical controls.

This can be a challenge for creating early low-fidelity prototypes quickly (requiring either a lot of imagination or the time and skill to prototype using electronics). In addition, documenting a complex interaction behavior across devices or interface types for development can be tricky.

Video can be a useful tool to address all of these challenges, both for prototyping behavior and for specifying it. Whether you want to figure out what the right interaction needs to be, simply gain insight into what it may feel like to use the product you’re beginning to design, convince investors of your idea, or accurately show the engineering team how it should work, video can help.

Martin Charlier explores different prototyping techniques for connected products, focusing on video as a tool, and shares practical advice for how to get started. This technique was first explored as workshops at Solid Conference 2015 and Interaction16. Martin will share some of the results from these workshops and aim to get participants to build on it further.

Photo of Martin Charlier

Martin Charlier


Martin Charlier is a strategic designer and is currently product manager at fashion technology startup Unmade. Previously, Martin worked at innovation firm Frog Design, cutting-edge art collective Random International, and digital service design consultancy Fjord and was cofounder of Rain Cloud, a project exploring new interaction models for connected products. Martin’s experience goes across new media art, industrial design, interaction design, and service design. His speculative design work has been awarded by the Royal Society of Arts, and he is a fellow of the organization.