Ayush Patel, Gina Zhang, Eric Tang, Amy Liu, Ashvin Anagarajan, Lauren Cramer, Ashley Miao, Felix Zhang
2019.4 - 2019.6
Cush is a smart bean bag that aims to bring comfort, customization, and tranquility to users. Integrating a wireless charging pocket for smartphones, a heating pad for relieving back or waist pain, and an ambient light to help adjust breathing, Cush advocates a modern healthy lifestyle for young adults. Cush can be controlled by voice through Google Home or by a smart-phone app. With a strain sensor, it can detect when the user sits down and alert the user to get up and stretch after a long period of motionless. With a shining LED light strip, Cush helps the user pace his / her breathing and guides the user to a meditation state for a therapeutic experience.
In our user survey of 31 college students, 64.5% would like to adjust the firmness of the bean bag, 51.6% want to have a convenient charging port, and 48.4% would like some warming features. At the same time, comfort (93.5%), aesthetics (58.1%), and durability (54.8%) are the three most important things the users are looking for when they consider to buy a bean bag. Portability and how to clean the bean bag are also their top concerns. Based on the results and feasibility, we designed the above features and suspended our experiments of sustainable materials that are often over-priced and less comfortable. While we tried to use an air pump to adjust the stiffness of the bean bag, this feature was somewhat noisy and unreliable to to be marketable.
Cush was designed to be an oriented bean bag. We sketched out several shapes and tested 3 paper models and 2 fabric models before scaling up our patterns and sewing together the pieces. We used a double-layer structure and attached all the electronics to the inner layer that enclosed the beads, so that the outer layer can be detached for washing purposes. We also designed a handle for better portability. Lycra was used for the outer layer to reduce wrinkles, enhance elasticity, and ensure a comfortable contact. Most of the electronics including the micro-control unit (MCU) were fixed at the back of the bean bag so that the user cannot feel them.
When we demonstrated Cush in StartUp UCLA at the quarterly gathering of Creative Labs, many people asked if we would commercialize our product. Although we considered using Kickstarters to raise funds and even designed a logo for our brand, we are not ready for production yet.