Design A to Z
Posted By innodesign  |   2000-01-01  |  in designstory


WHY : The potential of the internet to provide a medium for sharing experience and expression is being realized with the recent growth of internet music. The hardware that exists now is inadequate for the sharing of digital music. Files can be downloaded to a desktop computer or to a personal player to be used by only one person at a time. There is a need for a portable device capable of playing music files for many people at a time.


Innosound features an internal hard drive, wireless modem, USB port, and supports digital files, streaming audio and standard AM/FM broadcasts. The user can opt for a shared music environment or a more direct sound by putting the device upright or on its back. The screen and buttons can be inverted for either orientation. The speaker covers can be changed out by removing the handle and bass tube caps.

WHY : An electric mixer is one of the many kitchen tools that may arouse love and hate feelings. Within the limited space that a modern kitchen provides, the storage of useful equipment is always a problem. The unit is often hidden inside a cabinet while the attachments are loosely placed in a drawer. The mixer is not ready to be used when it is needed, making the food preparation process less enjoyable than it should be. ChefMate is a product designed to enhance users' experience in their cooking process as well as to present the product with a new role in the architecture of a modern kitchen.


The problems are solved by introducing a wall mounted charging base as the permanent docking for the unit and its attachments. The items are well displayed on the wall and are always ready to be used. To further enhance the experience, users can preset the duration and speed of mixing by using the soft touch speed/time control. The selections will then be displayed on the LCD screen to ensure easy and accurate operation.


WHY : Digital camera technology must be rethought to compete in the consumer mass market against traditional film photography. The vast majority of consumer 35mm camera users are not familiar enough with the computer technologies necessary to take advantage of today's digital cameras. In order to sell this technology to the mass market, the product needs to be designed with simple, intuitive interfaces which are familiar to those users.


The design solution places key features in locations familiar to 35mm compact camera users. Simple, tactile controls can be found on a body that is compact and fits well in the hand. Images can be seen on the LCD display, or linked to the external "picture frame" to download and store collected images automatically. The user can then browse their collection with a simple on screen interface. The external viewer is designed to take the place of a typical tabletop photo frame, and is an integral part of the solution.

WHY : When a bicyclist goes to the local shop to buy aftermarket products, they are presented with a large number of options. If they are seeking ride distance and performance information, they purchase a bicycle computer. If they are interested n monitoring their exertion and pulse, they purchase a heart rate monitor. For safety, they purchase a helmet, and for visibility, they consider a clip-on mirror. To protect their eyes, they buy sport glasses. What if the consumer had a choice of enjoying these technologies in a single unit?


The helmet technology is based on the use of “heads up display” technology, where a small LCD projector reflects information off an integrated face shield to the user's eye. Useful information such as speed, time and distance traveled are included, and a pulse sensor in the strap of the helmet sends heart rate information. By keeping the users' eyes on the road ahead of them rather than looking at their handlebar or wristwatch, they are staying safer and able to monitor the information more closely. Also integrated into the helmet is "rear view" technology, where a small camera in the back of the helmet sends an enhanced video signal to the projector, allowing the user to see traffic behind them in any lighting situation without having to turn around.


WHY : Folding bicycles use various innovative folding methods to reduce a bike to less than half of its unfolded size. The smaller a folded bike, the greater the ease of storage and transportation to the riding site. However, folding bikes have more parts and a weak frame structure. For serious mountain bikes, the stability and strength of the bike is essential.


The "Next" Mountain Bike uses an innovative yet natural folding method. The pivot joint of the rear suspension is utilized as a folding point. By removing the pin between the rear suspension and swing arm, the rear wheel and swing arm fold under the frame. With the front wheel removed, the folded bike is now small enough to fit in a car's trunk.

WHY : A business user may need to make multimedia presentation to small groups directly from the notebook display. Unfortunately, this often places the presenter in the best seat for viewing, at the expense of his audience. He also finds it awkward to control his software while seated off to the side. Portable projectors offer a more formal groups presentation, but require control over the room lighting and another heavy bag to carry. What is required is a notebook computer with a large display, designed especially for presentations.


This product is for the business user who frequently makes multimedia presentations directly from the notebook display. He can sit across the table from the audience, while still viewing and controlling the presentation. The large display pivots 180 degrees to face the audience. A second, smaller display opens from the back of the main display, so the presenter can simultaneously view his presentation. The built in speakers are at the rear of the notebook to face the audience. Add a full sized external keyboard and mouse to make a great desktop replacement PC.


WHY : Wireless data and voice communications are now offered together as a single service. Users will access these with a single device: a pocket sized mobile phone, with a palm sized personal computer, combined in an extremely compact yet functional package. The user will want to interact with these functions in the most efficient and most familiar way.


To create the ideal dual interface, this phone has a keypad which slides down to extend the microphone, but also flips up to reveal a large LCD. To make a call the user slides the keypad down to partially view the LCD display, and also extend the microphone. This creates an ergonomic length for the phone while in use, but a very compact size for carrying when closed. The computer functions are accessible by opening the entire keypad up to use the full length of the LCD. There are function keys below the LCD for quick interaction. The screen is touch-sensitive and a small stylus is stored in the back of the phone.

WHY : Today's demanding sport enthusiasts are always seeking a competitive edge that allows them to perform better and safer. There are many technologies available that help to tell an athlete how they are performing. How that information is displayed to the user is not always adequate. A runner must wear a watch which is awkward to view while training. Watching the competition behind you can be the difference between first and second. The purpose of InnoVision is to bring the functionalities of a number of useful technologies and combine them into a single integrated product. In doing so, the technologies themselves become more useful, easier to use and safer.


InnoVision is centered around the use of "heads up display" technology, where a small LCD projector reflects information off an integrated face shield to the user's eye. Useful information such as speed, time, and distance traveled are included. Also, integrated into the goggles is "rear view" technology, where a small camera in the back of the strap sends an enhanced video signal to the projector, allowing the user to see competitors behind them.


WHY : In America there has been a surge in the popularity of home repair and improvement, yet the power tool market is dominated by large, expensive, contractor grade equipment. Many people may be intimidated by these tools or simply don't wish to pay the high prices to own them. There is a need for a tool that is rugged, yet affordable and capable of handling various tasks around the house.


EZ-Drive is designed with a friendly, inviting shape. It uses a unique hand grip that is comfortable for many hand sizes. This cordless tool features a moldable battery cell, since traditional cylindrical batteries require bulkier housings. The trigger is hinged at the rear for a more natural motion. The reoriented forward/reverse switch creates a simpler relationship with its action.

WHY : The location of furniture within an interior space is an important issue for both large and small rooms. In the home environment the television often defines the furniture arrangement of one’s living area. This pattern keeps the focus and attention of the living space static. With this state-of-the-art technology, freedom and mobility will be easily achieved through this multi-positional display that incorporates a DVD player for theater viewing. Consumers may desire large flat screen technology in spaces such as the bedroom, den, or office. Consumers with large of limited interior spaces will not be constrained by the technology of traditional CRT displays for planning their interior.


This product may be used in both the home and office environments. The 27 inch diagonal LCD screen allows for crystal clear viewing. The data transmission is received via digital cable to preserve the highest quality image. For movie viewing, it has a cinema display format by incorporating a built-in DVD player. Also integrated into the display housing are two front mounted speakers located below the viewing screen. The design also includes a folding stand that allows users the flexibility to position the screen on a table surface or mount the system on a wall. A personal remote is also included that allows members of a household the ability to customize favorite programs, features, and channels.


WHY : Upright vacuums are powerful, ideal for carpeted floors, and the parts are neatly contained within one unit. However they are heavy and require more storage space. Canisters are better on a variety of surfaces (stairs, drapes, upholstery, etc.). They are much lighter to operate because the nozzle is separated from the body, yet this setup is awkward to handle and store. INNOVAC is an effort to create a product that combines the strengths of both thereby minimizing the weaknesses.


This convertible vacuum cleaner is given the compact proportions of a canister, yet it keeps the form factor of an upright, housing 12" agitator brush that pivots at the center of the motor. Thus it retains the full power of a bigger upright while eliminating the cumbersome nozzle of a canister.

WHY : The current explosive growth of MP3 audio distribution over the internet brings music on demand to the computer desktop. Portable MP3 players allow people to take MP3 music wherever they go. But like all personal audio devices, storing, carrying and wearing a bulky MP3 player can be inconvenient for active people. And for outdoor activity enthusiasts, a dangling wire from the player to the earphones is an even greater distraction.


The MP3 Watch is a portable MP3 player with the advantage and convenience of a watch. With no moving parts, the MP3 player has the potential to be as small as its media. The Sony Memory Stick's small size and large memory capacity makes an ideal media for the MP3 Watch. Two batteries are located on the sides of the strap; the watch body is reserved for electronics. A ratchet lever allows the user to quickly tighten or loosen the strap at fine intervals for maximum comfort during different activities. The wireless headphones make it ideal for active people who want to enjoy music without the technology interfering.


WHY : Soft sided bags and small flexible cases are the trend for tourists and business travelers. These lightweight bags need to offer more security for their contents, without sacrificing convenience and style.
Sometimes small padlocks are threaded through zipper pull rings, but this is a clumsy solution. This new zipper is intended for use on soft sided luggage, travel bags and notebook computer bags.


The zipper is designed with a small lock mechanism built into one pull. The user pulls the zipper closed, and then pushes the two halves together to latch them with a "click". A key is turned to lock the two halves together and secure the contents of the bag. There is also a version with a combination lock. To open the bag, just unlock the zipper and squeeze the release buttons on the side of the pull to separate the two halves.

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