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Product Design

This is an archive of some previous works and personal explorations in product design, mostly in consumer electronics.

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Portable Dual Screen Gaming Device Concept

Portable Gaming Device

This is a quick 2D render based off a sketch of a portable dual screen gaming device. I was looking into form factors and styling that would appeal to a younger audience. This would be a slider, as is the current trend in portable electronics, but with the sliding happening at an angle.  Almost all sides of the device are at an angle, as I was looking into giving the product some emotion and take away some of the boxy feeling most devices have nowadays (think OQO and Nintendo DS). The general shape was actually inspired by a car and prime example of emotional design: the 95-03 Alfa Romeo GTV.

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Gaming UMPC Concept

UMPC - Concept o3 - 043

This is a study on how a gaming UMPC should be shaped. The design borrows heavily from the Sony Vaio UX, who at that time set the standard for UMPCs. Primary concerns were ergonomics, the inclusion of a larger widescreen display and controls suitable both for gaming and general PC usage, which required some kind of mouse emulation (thus the scroll wheel on the right side).

UMPC - Concept 03 - 048

UMPC - Concept 03 - 068

The next step in this study should consider more drastic changes to the form factor for better ergonomics, the inclusion of a qwerty keyboard, considerations for the cooling of internals, a removable battery, varying battery sizes and appropriate styling for the target user group.

And from them on, possible size reductions, considerations for battery life, a carrying case and accesories.  

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Small Form-Factor Device form study

UMPC - Concept o6 - Render

This is a quick 2D render for a sub-UMPC, pocket PC or internet-capable portable media player. The objective is to provide the smallest posible body with the largest possible screen, plus a qwerty thumboard. To achieve this, we have to reduce the screen bezel to the minimum physically possible, and a  offer a keyboard solution that does’t bulk up the device. In this case, the thumboard is of the split type – half on each side, on tabs that fold from under the body up to the sides. This should allow for a small size while maximizing screen real estate.

UMPC - Concept o6 - 03

 UMPC - Concept o6 - 03 Detail

At this point, there’s still styling and materials to define. The polished steel used in these renders is too much and too hard, and contrary to the markets current trends. The industrial look found on Archos’ 04 line of players from mid-2006, with its clean metal surfaces and visible screws is horribly dated. Now is the time for stylish electronics. As Apple will tell you, style sells.

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Qwerty Keyboard Studies

Keyboard 02

Keyboard 01

These are tests on keyboard design for the devices shown above. First is a split-qwerty in the somewhat standard 4×10 key arrangement. The second is a much smaller 3×10+space for the smallest devices.

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Dual Screen Touch-Based Digital Audio Player Concept

Dual Screen Player 01

This here is a dual screen portable digital audio player, where one of the screens is a touchscreen. This concept from last year was an experiment on new interfaces for mobile devices and an interesting concept on its own.

Dual Screen Player 02

I have always criticized the tendency to make icons in touch interfaces as small as resolution allows. If this is a touch based interface, shouldn’t icons (and sliders, etc) all be finger sized? Even if you use a stylus to control the device, the larger, the easier to use. Thankfully the iPhone has now changed all this.

Dual Screen Player 03

Finally, this concept player’s claim to fame would have been its ability to play two different audio streams simultaneously. The player should possess two audio jacks, on the top and on the bottom. When both jacks have headphones connected to them, the player should change the orientation of its screens to portrait mode, effectively resembling two audio players side by side. In this mode, it would be able to play two different media, outputting each to its corresponding audio jack. This would allow user’s to share their music without breaking usage rights (the music has never left your player) and gives a very complete experience to both users of the device.

This attractive function (which not a single mobile device has yet implemented) could be exploited as a huge marketing tool to attract customers.

Dual Screen Player 04

Of course, implementing such a function entails several considerations spec and technology-wise. To be able to play two audio files simultaneously, this device would most likely have to be equipped with dual processors. Other players have done this before, like the Rio Karma. Why? Because dual processors allowed that device to offer gapless playback and effects such as real-time crossfading between tracks (The Rio Karma managed this years before the competition). So, having two processors would allow us to offer these features when playing single files or, alternatively, the second processor could shut itself off to preserve battery life.

A second cosideration lies in the touchscreen / interface. For the dual player feature to be really taken advantage of, the device should ideally have both screens as touch screens, with separate interfaces for both when dual playing. This of course would raise the players cost. And then comes the question: “Would the same device with a single widescreen instead of two smaller screens be a better option?”. It all comes down to cost. A single widescreen does have its charm and benefits, making for (arguably) a better looking package and offering nice screen real-estate for graphic media. When this concept was created, there were no widescreen devices like the iPhone / iPod Touch available. It is very likely that the time for a dual screen device such as this one has passed and that today it would only be a gimmick. The thing is, regardless of the approach chosen, dual playing remains an unexplored option.

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Remote Patient Management System for Rural Medicine

Phycomm Device 01

This device here is a small part of a system for remote medical surveillance.

This remote patient management system was conceived with Latin American rural medicine as a model. Its purpose is to provide the means to a more involved and aware way of practicing medicine. Through this, the Phycomm system, distance is no longer an impediment in the interactions between patient, nurse and doctor. Phycomm allows for the efficient administration of patients and their needs, and the medical professionals and their availability to cope with those needs.

Phycomm is composed of an administration system, which coordinates incoming patients with the available medical personnel, and the equipment necessary to make the required physiological measurements remotely.  The administration system coordinates incoming physiological data and allows its review and the coordination of the necessary follow up actions.

Phycomm gives the doctor direct access to the patients symptoms, remotely and on-demand.

The equipment for remote physiological measurements, dubbed Phygo, is a portable and unobtrusive instrument that through a simple gesture is capable of acquiring several patient symptoms. These are then transferred to the Phycomm system for evaluation and instructions regarding the necessary actions to be taken. Phycomm and Phygo thus release the distant patient from the need to travel for their health monitoring and allow the caregiver to deal with them on real-time from a distance.

Phycomm Device 02

Phygo is the name we gave to the portable wrist-worn device. Here you see Phygo on its docking station, which connects to the user’s home computer. The docking station receives all data gathered throughout the day, organizes it and forwards it to the local medical facility or physician’s office, wherever the server-side of the system is located.

Phycomm Device 03

Here is the docking station on its own, with Phycomm branding. Phygo is a part of the Phycomm system ; )

Phycomm Device 04

The Phygo device is wrist-worn, but this fact is not without its reasons. Phygo monitors the following symptoms:

– Blood Oxygen levels
– Blood Pressure
– Temperature
– Pulse

And there is only one possible gesture which would allow the measurement of all of these at once.

Phygo Gesture 01  Phygo Gesture 02  Phygo Gesture 03 

Phygo Gesture 04  Phygo Gesture 05  Phygo Gesture 06

Phygo is a wearable device composed of a central unit on a flexible bracelet, to be worn on the patient’s wrist. A simple gesture of placing the wrist against one’s chest and pressing the button on the unit with the index finger from the opposing hand allows the unit to make all measurements and lasts about a minute. The bracelet inflates itself to measure blood pressure, and sensors on the unit make the other measurements. The device is comfortable and inconspicuous enough to be worn all day long, and is capable of storing information on the day’s measurements.

Graphic interface concept for the client side of the Phycomm system software:

Phycomm Client Interface 01

Phycomm Client Interface 02

Phycomm Client Interface 03

The graphic interface for the client needed to be as simple, friendly, unclutered and intuitive as possible to accomodate the generally low level of education of our target user group.

You can find more detailed information on the Phycomm project in these Phycomm Texts.

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