Escape to the wilderness without leaving your favorite movies behind! Introducing HitchBox: the ultimate portable cinema for your car. Plug it in, project, and immerse yourself in outdoor movie magic!
Personal project at Ford
Industrial design, Interaction design, requirements gathering, UX
Rhino, Grasshopper, Keyshot, Photoshop, XD, Adobe After Effects
Who is this for?
This is for adventure seekers and camping enthusiasts who crave unforgettable experiences. They're the ones who treasure shared moments with loved ones around a roaring campfire. Tailgating isn't just a pre-game ritual for them; it's an opportunity to create unforgettable memories. Always seeking new ways to entertain, they value the ability to bring their favorite movies, games, and music with them, even in the depths of the wilderness. With HitchBox, they effortlessly transform their hitch receiver into a hub of entertainment, elevating their outdoor escapades to new heights of enjoyment.
The design of the product draws inspiration from automotive aesthetics, seamlessly blending with any car. It harmoniously incorporates grille patterns and sleek lines, on the sheet metal. The side wings not only enhance its appearance but also contribute to its aerodynamic performance by facilitating smooth airflow along the sides.
With the mobile app, you can deploy the projector screen, play music over the speakers and use it for remote audio/video control
I also started thinking about how one might interface with this with a phone app. I started brainstorming some ideas and came up with a basic user flow.
The main challenge in designing this app was ensuring seamless functionality across three different modes: Music, Projector/Movie, and Game. The app needed to adapt its interface dynamically to each mode and synchronize with the selected content. To address this challenge, I implemented three distinct UIs that could dynamically adjust their elements based on the type of content being played.
Upon opening the app, the phone automatically scans for HitchBox. If a connection is not found, the app prompts the user to power it on. Once the device is detected, the phone initiates pairing and establishes a connection. Both the phone and HitchBox utilize Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for seamless data sharing. HitchBox is equipped with onboard Wi-Fi and connects to the phone's hotspot for connectivity.
Quick access area lighting
The light toggle switch is conveniently located on top. This button can be accessed in any mode. It is crucial to have excellent area lighting, especially in a dark campsite where visibility is critical for safety and comfort. By providing easy control over the lighting, the switch ensures that campers can quickly and conveniently illuminate their surroundings
HitchBox also serves as a wireless speaker, allowing users to enjoy music without deploying the projector screen. The app offers basic music playback functionality, as users may prefer to use their preferred music app for playback. The app includes features such as volume control, track skipping, and an equalizer for customization.
Quick toggle - light and dark themes
One of the primary use cases for HitchBox is entertainment during camping trips, where the device is utilized in various lighting conditions within the environment. To ensure user comfort and readability, the app incorporates a convenient light-dark theme toggle. This feature allows users to easily switch between light and dark themes, making it easier on the eyes and ensuring optimal readability in different lighting scenarios
When switching to movie mode, the app prompts the user to deploy the projector. However, before initiating the deployment, the app performs a quick check to ensure that there are no obstructions in the way of the screen. Once the projector screen is fully deployed, the app seamlessly transitions into a remote control interface for controlling the movie playback
The remote control interface in the app is divided into two sections. The lower half consists of a static input interface, while the upper half serves as a dynamic, active container. The dynamic container displays contextual inputs that change based on the content being played and the current mode.
Users can swipe the circle on the interface to switch between button inputs and a touchpad. This provides flexibility and convenience in navigating and interacting with the app based on user preferences and the specific requirements of the content and mode.
Use Case: Keystone correction
HitchBox utilizes the phone's onboard camera as a visual guide for automatic keystone calibration. To achieve this, the device projects a specific pattern onto the screen, which the phone's camera captures and relays to HitchBox for calibration.
Use Case: Sign-in to a New App
With HitchBox, users can conveniently sign into a new app directly from the remote itself, eliminating the need to switch between the camera and the remote app. When the sign-in screen appears on the TV, the dynamic container in the app automatically opens up the camera. This seamless integration allows users to effortlessly capture their login credentials or perform any required scanning directly from the remote, streamlining the sign-in process.
Use Case: Buy/Rent movies with one tap
HitchBox offers a seamless experience for renting or buying movies. When the rental screen appears on the TV, the dynamic container in the app automatically provides a hyperlink to the purchasing page on the platform. This means users don't have to leave the remote app to initiate the rental or purchase process. By eliminating the need for additional navigation steps, HitchBox simplifies the movie rental experience and allows users to seamlessly rent or buy movies directly from the remote interface
Use Case: Contextual options
While streaming a movie on Netflix using HitchBox, the dynamic container in the app displays sub-options offered by the Netflix platform. This feature ensures a seamless and immersive movie-watching experience by allowing users to access important options without interrupting their immersion in the movie.
HitchBox offers the ability to play simple games as well. Switching to the game mode on HitchBox transforms the remote controller into a gamepad, featuring a joystick and four buttons. This allows users to enjoy simple and intuitive gaming experiences without the need for additional controllers
In addition to a conventional gamepad, HitchBox offers the flexibility of utilizing the dynamic container as an augmented reality (AR) interface for gaming. This feature is particularly useful for first-person shooting games, where the dynamic container serves as an intuitive and immersive interface. By leveraging AR technology, users can enjoy a unique gaming experience that combines real-world movements and virtual interactions.
In summary, the HitchBox concept presents an integrated approach to entertainment. It seamlessly combines music playback, projector/movie mode, and gaming, while offering features such as keystone calibration and sign-in functionality. This design concept highlights the potential for a unified user interface that caters to various entertainment modes, enhancing convenience for users