A hiking stick that helps friends find each other on a hiking trail.
Search and Rescue Missions made in National Parks (2014)
of the rescued were casual day hikers
in trouble because of insufficient information
Many casual hikers tend to rely on their phones to communicate and locate each other. However, most hiking trails don't have any phone service or GPS. People are getting lost and separated.
Earl is about to go to a casual hike with his friends. However, he came very late and his friends went on ahead. He now has to try to follow the trail to hopefully find them. The trail has no reception so he can’t contact them to find them. The trail splits in many ways so he will have to find the correct turns to make. Animals can move any markers that his friends could leave. How could he find his friends?
Rough and Sketchy
Ideation sketches and mockups focusing on different ways to detach trackers to attach to a forest hiking trail. Trying different ways of attaching the phone to the main piece. Eventually deciding on a hiking stick.
The simple yet playful pop of a Pez dispenser is very satisfying as well as familiar. Pez's history also gives the interaction also gives a sense of nostalgia and fun.
Stick with me
The hiking stick is one of the most common items to take to trails. Earl's friends are likely to already carry one on the trip. He can also use the hiking stick to support his movement through the forest.
Feel it Through
Exploring different kinds of hiking sticks including a large staff, baton, and a cane. Each rendition had a different form of tracker. What would the interaction would be. Pop? Pump? Plunge? Pull? Each model also had a different kind of grip to explore ergonomics.
Deciding towards a backwards cane to bring support and keep a small frame
Through the mockups and research, 15° was prime for comfort and loading body weight
implementing the familiar and nostalgic pop from Pez dispensers
Pop To Drop Tracker
Twist To Switch Hands
App guiding to nearest tracker