SAM Labs Internet of Things Toolkit

SAM wireless electronic building blocks and software empower anyone to build and create Internet of Things products and experiences

SAM labs modules

Complete user experience

We collaborated closely with SAM Labs to find ways of enhancing the entire user experience of the SAM kits through design. Our collaboration covered physical hardware, user interface of the software, the onboarding and setup experience as well as the packaging and some example projects and applications for the SAM kits.

Design Week Awards 2015
Best in Show

Hardware building blocks

SAM building blocks are wireless sensors (inputs, from buttons to thermometers) and actors (outputs, such as lights, buzzers and motors) that can sense and perform tasks. The SAM software connects to the bluetooth wireless building blocks and allows you to set up real time actions such as turning on lights, via the Internet or at the push of a button. We designed flexible elastomer ‘bands,’ which wrap around the physical blocks to make them both more robust and add a slight friendliness to the hackable nature of the raw technology.

User interface

SAMs intuitive flow-based interface allows you to ‘drag, drop’ and code advanced relationships between icons representing both the physical blocks and digital Apps. Throughout the UI there are simple, visual mental models and connections to bridge the gap between software, hardware and the internet. When real, physical blocks are connected they appear as shaded in icons in the interface and wireframe icons allow relationships to be established without the physical blocks being connected. We collaborated closely with SAM’s software team to refine the experience of the UI and develop a user-friendly, fun and engaging experience.

Packaging and projects

There are five SAM kits varying in size and complexity from Explore (with 3 physical blocks) to Family (with 24 physical blocks, including the SAM cloud), we worked in collaboration with SAM to deliver a modular packaging strategy for these kits. The packaging protects and presents the modules and also supports the first user experience of SAM. Each kit also has an accompanying set of printed components to allow users to create their first projects using simple cardboard engineering and the modules included in their new kit.