How Aroma Diffusers can change the way we relax and recover, if you listen to the users.
In this project we collaborated with a major Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) in China that specializes in Aroma Diffusers. During this phase, the product solution had reached maturity and faced fierce competition with minimal profit margins. Our client requested that we evaluate and investigate the market, and utilize a user-centric innovation approach to establish a practical path forward. Through our process, we identified previously unmet customer needs, which resulted in the creation of both a design and utility patent – one of many utility patents we have developed over the years.
To begin our research process, we conducted interviews with both end users and stakeholders who had prior experience using aroma diffusers. During these interviews, we uncovered a recurring issue: users often struggle to unwind after a busy day and subsequently struggle to feel rested upon waking up.
We learned that this group of people uses aromatherapy to help them relax, recover, or get into the right mood for sleep. Among the solutions they found effective for winding down were aroma diffusers, mood lighting, and calming sounds or music.
In addition to our user interviews, we also conducted desktop research. We discovered that an increasing number of essential oil brands are focusing on communicating the specific benefits of their oils, such as Sleep, Focus, Energy, or Recovery. In the past, communication centered around the plant, fruit, or root that the essential oils were derived from, such as Lavender, Citrus, or Ginger. This type of communication added an extra layer of knowledge and complexity to the purchasing process before consumers could fully understand the benefits. However, once consumers have a clear understanding of the benefits and how they correspond to their needs, it becomes easier to provide a solution.
After conducting our research, we identified a problem that no one has addressed: people need more than one type of aroma essence throughout the day, but there is no convenient solution for this. If someone wants to switch to a different aroma, they have to change the water and oil in the diffuser, which is time-consuming and a bit messy. We wanted to make this process easier for users, so we chose to focus on the time between preparing for bed and waking up in the morning to enhance the experience of a good night’s sleep.
We realized that by adding multiple containers to the diffuser, users can switch between different aroma essences without the need to change the water container. For instance, they can use a relaxing aroma to wind down before bed, and an energizing lemon or ginger scent to wake up and stimulate the digestive system. By improving the sleep cycle through the use of different aromas, we aim to help users feel more refreshed upon waking up.
Furthermore, we have also envisioned further development for our product, where it can autonomously release aroma essence during peak Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sessions using sensors in the mattress. This will enable the aroma to be released in a way that follows the user’s natural sleep patterns and improve sleep recovery.
To address this need, we developed an app that automatically controls your aroma diffuser device. With our device, you can pre-install different aroma cycles that will release the essence from two different containers throughout the day. For instance, you can set a relaxing aroma cycle for winding down before bed, and an energizing aroma cycle to help wake you up in the morning.
When you run out of oils, our app will suggest new purchases and guide you through the refill process. With our device and app, you can conveniently switch between different aroma essences throughout the day and create a personalized aromatherapy experience.
Automation App and Aroma Shop
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