This week in H4D, we learned a lot from our interviews and made many changes in our MMC and weekly MVP.
Our interviews helped us understand the significance of dual purpose use, the different customer segments that are interested in the problem and the organization of the military.
Changes to the MMC
A significant finding we had was that many people we talked to were interested in different directions and use cases. Although this felt overwhelming at first because we were unsure what direction to move forward in, after more interviews, we realized that everything came back to the operator. The problems faced by intel personnel built off of the challenges faced by the operator. Therefore focusing on the problem operators face is a great starting point and could potentially be a springboard for future projects and products. As you can see in our MMC below, we changed our “Key Activities” and “Value Proposition” section to Parts A and B and to reflect the different directions that the problem presented can be addressed. Through our interviews we also found out that it is important to explore dual purpose. Thus, we added a few beneficiaries to the MMC and are reaching out to potential civilian beneficiaries to explore this avenue further.
Changes to Our Prototype
We determined from our initial operator interviews that our first prototype which mimicked an existing research prototype would not cut it for size and portability. Further investigation with our body armor demo led us to the discovery that the ammo cartridges normally stored in the front pockets of the vest would block our transmitter antennas. We researched both new antenna designs and arrays that have allowed us to not only dramatically shrink our design for our second prototype, but also simplify the circuit design, improve accuracy, and a few other benefits all while maintaining the same resolution.
We are fortunate to have Brian Von Herbulis, a retired LTC in the U.S. Marine Corps, as a mentor through our process. This week, we stepped through and outlined both the military organization, from the top all the way down to the individual team level as well as the workflow process when carrying out a mission. This information will serve to be extremely valuable in our upcoming interviews.