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Hero shot of two young people, one female and one male watching football in a living room being projected onto a wall in front of them via the Sky Unite projector unit. To the left of them an elderly individual is being projected onto the side wall of the living room.

Sky Unite

Amplifying intergenerational connection

Hero shot of two young people, one female and one male watching football in a living room being projected onto a wall in front of them via the Sky Unite projector unit. To the left of them an elderly individual is being projected onto the side wall of the living room.

Sky Unite

Sky Unite is an inclusively designed product experience aimed at helping the elderly forge and harness remote intergenerational connection through technology and the power of football.

Loneliness in the UK mainly affects those over the age of 60 due to technology being inaccessible for the elderly. The initial research stages of the Sky Unite project clearly highlighted the amazing connection that can be forged between friends and family through watching sport together. This is why Sky Unite predominantly focuses upon making the watching of sport and in particular football remotely accessible for every potential user.

Immersive and inclusive elements

Sky Unite is made up of 3 key elements that help to create the immersive and inclusive experience for the end user.

Firstly the short throw projector on the right helps to replace the users tv by projecting game footage and different angles of the game onto the walls of the room it is situated within. It also uses googles starlight project technology to scan the user and create a 3D depth image of other users who are connected and watching the game together.

Secondly the Haptic mat which can be easily placed where the user is sitting helps to make the users living room match the intensity and experience of watching the game in the stadium through haptic vibration. This vibration aligns with the sound of the game as well as the developments of the team the user is supporting.

Thirdly the accessible UI created and interacted with through the users phone or tablet helps to make the journey and experience of using the Sky Unite technology as frictionless as possible. Sky Unite also allows any users watching the game together to control (when allowed) another users settings meaning anyone can use Sky Unite, no matter their technological capabilities.

Render visual of sky unite projector casing with a blue U logo at the front, a black plastic finish and a glowing blue light coming from the centre of the projector.
Remote and in person connection

Sky Unite helps to both improve remote connection as done through the Sky Unite app and the ability to connect in person. Sky Unite helps to link users with local community groups, empowering the user to be able to forge new connections and find others that they can watch sport together with. Due to this feature and the implementation of Sky Unite as a whole it would be able to reduce loneliness across the UK no matter the age or background of an individual.

Black tablet with image of Sky Unite app on the screen. Screen shows a red and pink banner with the heading off "Local Community Groups". Below it is two options of being able to join a walking football group or a gardening group.

Inclusive User Involvement

Throughout the development of Sky Unite inclusive user involvement was at the core of the project.

User testing and involvement was carried out with a range of users to make the concept as inclusive as possible. This meant carrying out user experience testing with university students as well as gathering user feedback from elderly participants.

Sky Unite was developed in partnership with the Leicester City Walking football club also known as the Silver Foxes. They helped to provide great insight throughout the project when focusing upon the accessibility of Sky Unite and creating an enjoyable user experience for football fans.

Two white men stood in front of the Leicester City Football Club logo on the side of a white wall with a bar area in the background.
RSA Student Design Award 2023

Sky Unite was developed as a University project by our founder Robert McKinna alongside 3 other students at Loughborough University:


David Hawkins, Taha Yousaf, and Harry James.

Sky Unite was also awarded the RSA Student Design Award in 2023 for Brief 5 in partnership with Sky looking at how to Amplify Connection through the use of Remote Technology.

You can find out more about the RSA Award below:

Image of 15 design students holding white pebble design awards sat on a wooden and stone staircase smiling at the camera.
Winning graphic of the Sky Unite project with the hero shot of two people watching the football in the centre. The text used says "RSA Student Design Awards 2023 Winner, Brief 5 Amplify Connections in partnership Sky. Sky Unite, David Hawkins, Harry James, Robert McKinna, and Taha Yousaf. Loughborough University, England.
Image of a storyboard of someone using the Sky Unite app on a mobile phone. It shows initially an elderly person using the app to meet others from another local community group to then the elderly user using the Sky Unite projector and immersive products to virtually connect and watch a game of football with his son.
Image detailing the design process of creating Sky Unite. Starting with researchsaying "1n 3 elderly people feel lonelier after covid-19" to showing Sketch iterations, Experience prototyping, and final design.

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