Interview with designer Melody Yi-Yun Shiue (MS), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Prevue Wearable Pregnancy Ultrasound.

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Interview with Melody Yi-Yun Shiue at Sunday 22nd of April 2012: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
MS : Pregnant women only sense up to a third of fetal activity, hence they fret over ostensibly reduced movement, releasing stressful chemicals into the womb. This is said to hinder fetal neuro-physiological development and can result in autism, lower adaptive learning skills, and chronic cardiovascular disorders; when all the mother really needs is a way of knowing that the unborn child is behaving normally. The foetus will be able to hear and recognize the mother's voice from within by week 18. Studies show that mothers who sing a particular song repeatedly throughout pregnancy, can use the same tune to pacify a crying baby. This means that adaptive learning indeed starts in utero, so a mild extent of education can be stimulated through music & stories, and gentle tapping on the belly; and via a contextual screen you can observe the responsive expressions and reflexes of the foetus.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
MS : 6 months.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
MS : mothers-to-be, her kins and her next-of-kins.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
MS : it's wearable, it's textile-based, it's approachable, lightweight, interactive, portable, improves sonographers' problem with muscular pain from constant scanning, improves paternal bonding which keeps the mother at peaceful state of mind.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
MS : The fact that the ultrasound is wearable, user-friendly and interactive. This also provides an advantage for the sonographer / midwife to avoid the risk of muscular stress caused by scanning dozens of patients in a day.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
MS : The stretchable LED monitor and haptic keypad reinforces proximity by bringing the focus back onto the belly, moreover emphasizing the iconic gesture of embrace. These technologies advocate pushing of the boundaries of wearable technology where the user can in fact appreciate the unique attributes they behold.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
MS : - neurological studies in benefits of maternal bonding and enhancements. - Anthropometric data of pregnant women's abdominal circumferences, as well as the rate of circumferential increments. - Technological research in the fields of: e-textile advances, flexible PCBs, flexible LEDs, ultrasound technology.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
MS : - the integration of flexible technologies. - acceptance from medical professionales in regards to having a domestic ultrasound. - constraints of ultrasonic usage.