Cozmo’s Free Time
How might we showcase Cozmo’s autonomous abilities?
After we shipped the Cozmo app overhaul, we found that users were spending less time on the home screen. A positive way of looking at this was that users then spent more time in actual features. On the flip side, the home screen was the only place where Cozmo was in full autonomous mode and showed his impressive AI capabilities, like path-planning. Thus, we wanted to ship a dedicated screen where users can watch Cozmo in autonomous mode.
The major design challenges were:
How might we design a screen that drives users’ eyes to the robot?
How might we keep this feature engaging even though no user input is required?
Cozmo learns more and more abilities over time that he can perform in Free Time, so one idea was to display stats of what the user has unlocked on the right, alongside the currently active animation on the left. This may incentivize users to unlock more abilities.
Another idea was to have a live text feed of the last 5 statuses of Cozmo, then display a video stream of what Cozmo sees. To help users explore little-known capabilities of Cozmo, we displayed a little “tips” toolbar with actions they can take that Cozmo would respond to, i.e. when he sees 3 Cubes, he might knock them over.
With the correct labels, kids immediately understood what they saw on the screen.
They thought having a video stream looked “cool.”
Users thought various parts of the screen were tappable.
Cozmo’s Free Time: Final Design
On the left, we decided to show a text-based live feed of Cozmo’s past 5 actions. This gave users context and also helped users respond, real-time, to Cozmo.
On the right, we showed a live-stream of what Cozmo sees from his camera. Sometimes, Cozmo would detect a face or his Cubes and fiducials would show up to indicate detection. This helped users adjust their facial positions or Cube placement when interacting with Cozmo. The live stream also makes Cozmo feel more technically sophisticated.
At the top is a Play Meter as spending time in this feature contributes to his Play need.
At the bottom are a rotating set of tips for users to discover less obvious capabilities of Cozmo.
The design of this page is purposely subdued so that users would focus on watching and interacting with Cozmo.