Olie recreates baby's development


Project pitch, research, interviews, workshops, ideation, prototyping, sound design, visual design, video shoot, video editing.

Project type

Sound design, Interaction design


2 weeks


Alexander Fries
Natalia Ikbara

Design question

How might we connect father and future siblings to the journey of pregnancy with a developing baby?


We explored the baby development inside the mother's belly and recreated those moments.
Mothers explained it is difficult to express the feelings they experienced inside the belly to their partners during the early stages of pregnancy. We tried to make those feelings tangible.


Develop a bond between fathers and siblings with the developing baby which is fairly late in real.
It gets far easier for fathers to get emotional and caring when they could hear the heartbeats during the ultrasound and see or feel the movements. Can we create those moments quite often during the pregnancy phase?


It amplifies the baby's activity inside the mother‘s belly which can be experienced by family members.
Olie helps the family to connect with the developing baby. It serves as a companion throughout the pregnancy.Focusing on and highlighting the emotional aspects regarded as the most exciting and positive, OLIE senses the baby’s heartbeat and movements

WHat OLIE does?

Olie amplifies the heartbeat and movements of the baby inside the mom's belly. Olie is designed to bring the family together as well as feel and preserve the magical development of the baby. 
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Converted into Sound 



Converted into Sound + Haptic
Converted into animtation

Concept video

Insights from Parents

Why we did what we did?
To enable a mother in expressing the feeling of her belly to her partner. While speaking to mother and father during our interview we came to know mother finds it difficult to be able to convey her experience. At the same time, fathers want to stay involved with the developments.
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Olie product details

Designed to amply the sound and user experience. Form is derived from the bird's nest as an inspiration.

Air vent for sound amplification

Sensors to capture heartbeat and movement from belly

Mild heat to comfort belly when touched


Bluetooth pairing

Air vent

Charging port

Split line for sound to amplify

Button to set week

Values that olie brings

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Creating family moments and bring them together

Interaction with Olie is designed to engage family members which also enhances the experience of Olie.

Feel of touching the belly

The touch of belly makes mother and baby feel loved and protected. While developing the working of Olie, we developed the idea of bringing Olie closer to the baby.

Preserving the memories of magical development

Development memories always stay in memory. We aimed to preserve these memories and bring them to life.  

Interaction details

Interaction with Olie is designed to reduce the distance between the baby and family and bring them closer
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Put it back on the doc
Press gently to activate
Lift Olie from doc
Place Olie on the belly to hear heartbeat and movements
Watch progress animations
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Sound experience

Amplification of heartbeat and movement 
An important piece that had to go right. While exploring sound design we looked into various methods like using water droplets, footsteps, real heartbeat for the translation, and tested with various mothers and fathers. They wanted the sound to be close to reality but at the same time, we didn't want to make it a medical device. 
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Air inlet
Air outlet


110-140 beats per minute. 
In natural occurrence, the heartbeat overlaps the sound of movement sound.
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Low frequencies create vibrations which can be felt while using Olie

Preserving memories

Progress captured over time is translated into animation of dots and can be transferred to personal devices
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Life cycle of olie

Service around the product is designed to increase the life cycle of Olie to avoid its temporal use.




Challenges in designing olie

Olie was meant to bring love not fear?
It should not become a health monitoring device. 
Interpretation of heartbeat should be real or gamified?
What should be the correct overlap of heartbeat and movement, as both occur at the same time?
The life span of the device, what should be the after use scenario?
A human-centered design approach to which included sound and industrial design

Process video

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