Weighing scales are pretty scary – especially if you’ve been cheating on your diet lately. That’s why industrial designer James Stumpf has come up with a device that’s less weighing scale, and more art and science.
This is Fluidik. It’s an all-glass body weight scale that shows your weight using fluid dynamics. In layman’s terms, once you step on the platform, pumps on each corner push colourful fluid through the tube, displaying your weight in a creative and fun way. Neat, isn’t it?
Stumpf us tells how Fluidik came to be:
How did you come up with the idea for Fluidik, and why did you decide to pursue this project?
‘My local independent grocery store has this gorgeous vintage (maybe 1950’s) stand-up Hobart scale in their lobby. I’ve seen this scale a few times a week over a couple of years and eventually began to think about how beautiful scales used to be and how basic they are now – a few times I would even weight myself for the whimsical value of it.
‘This interaction set my mind on a path to recreate the modern scale from something boring and what some people find frightening to use – to something fun and interactive that would make a user want to step on it and thus use it more often’.
How difficult was it to redesign a traditional weighing scale? What were the obstacles you faced during the development process?
‘My original idea was to create a modern version of the weighted stand-up scales used by athletes to check their weight during competitions. I thought about using a fluid-filled tube with an air bubble inside (similar to a builder’s level) that would illustrate a user’s weight by moving the air bubble over a marked scale.
‘This concept feel apart during ideation when working through the mechanical limitations and challenges the end user would face with placing the scale on a level surface. My original sketches for that concept just did not accurately represent what I had envisioned so I scrapped it and started over with a more consumer-friendly bathroom-type scale that used fluid dynamics vs. the fluid/air bubble concept’.
Is Fluidik available for purchase?
‘I am currently working with a manufacturer in this space to explore the idea further and test its commercial and manufacturing feasibility. While it appears completely feasible on paper – the concept will need to be thoroughly prototyped and tested to demonstrate its accuracy’.
After the bamboo kitchen toaster and Fluidik, what product are you planning on redesigning next?
‘I have about five concepts I am currently developing. Some objects include a space-saving chair for small apartments, a unique desk concept, a wristwatch that doesn’t tell the time but helps track time passed for a subset of people, a cutting-board innovation and a few other ideas I have’.