BlackBerry WorkSpace



April 2011

Sponsored by: Blackberry


BlackBerry WorkSpace is a portable projection unit used to simulate a physical workstation. By projecting onto any horizontal surface it allows the user to interact with digital files as if they were sheets of paper on a desk. When the device is relocated, WorkSpace preserves the state of the interface and allows mobile workers to change locations without disrupting workflow.




blackberryworkspace_02 blackberryworkspace_03 blackberryworkspace_05









BlackBerry WorkSpace was an 8 month long project and the major focus of my final year at Carleton University. Sponsored by RIM our group was tasked to take a deeper look into mobile technology covering topics such as transportation technologies, tourism & work.




Project Definition


As mobile information communication technology (M-ICT) continues to advance and become ubiquitous inside of the office and out, naturally the spatial mobility of workers increases. Compounded by trends of shrinking office spaces due to the cost of real estate and the growth of the workforce, the next generation worker finds work spilling out of the walls of the traditional office space.





Mobile/Nomad Worker Persona


Personas were developed to define and represent some early user types.

























Observations and Justifications


Interviews were conducted with a range of remote workers from: entrepreneurs, public service agents, accountants who often work at client offices and the general office worker who occasionally works from home about once or twice a week. In addition some time was spent in cafes observing the actions of mobile workers in a public environment. A number of insights became clear for mobile workers:


Mobile work requires planning ahead


Workers wanted mobility but also familiarity


Even with tech workers still carry pens and notebooks









Preliminary Concept


















Technical Details


Key advisors were consulted to gain some understanding of the available technology for the application. Some important questions were answered such as:


What's the size of a micro projection unit?


What is the required projection throw ratio?


How to achieve a touch interface from a projected surface?


To simulate a projected interface, Nintendo Wiimote hacks developed by Johnny Lee Chung were utilized. The system required only a few items:

















User Testing


With a concept and prototype, 6 user tests were conducted with 15 different participants. The age range of the participants fell between 20 - 30 years old working in different industries, from teaching to digital media.






Test 1 - Form for Mobility

Participants are asked to bring their "work bags" to try carrying a series of models varying in size and weight.


Test 2 - Task Hierarchy

Participants are asked to describe the tasks in a typical day of work using a set of cards.


Test 3 - Product Integration

Participants are asked to set up their workspace to their prefered configuration.


Test 4 - Intuitivity

Participants are asked to perform a series of tasks on a flash-based mock up of the interface.


Test 5 - Aesthetic

Participants are asked to comment on a number of possible form models.


Test 6 - Screen Size

Participants’ immediate worksurface dimensions are measured.



Some of the results lead to some further insights:


Flat narrow surfaces shapes allows the product to fit between items in a bag


Approximately 11" x 17" of workspace is required infront or next to a laptop


Visible edges of the usable interface is required







Final Prototype



SLA Prototypes.












Interface Development












The project at the year end grad show.