The client was an entrepreneur with a product concept for a Personal Paging System for hearing impaired users. The concept had been researched well and funding was available for design, manufacture and marketing. The client had already secured the services of an electronics designer.
The brief was to design and develop a totally new product utilising the latest electronics but which would be appropriate for use in a domestic environment with older users. The market was thought to have significant potential and the brief included designing for medium volume injection moulding manufacture within the UK. The tooling budget was limited and a key consideration was the need to manufacture as few unique mouldings as possible and multi-use mouldings in other assemblies.
The initial task was to prepare mood boards to help focus thinking on the user and their lifestyle. A sketchbook of concepts was prepared in conjunction with the electronics designer and this was shortlisted to three concepts. These were developed by hand to colour renderings showing general views and user features from which the client chose one concept. The concept was refined and a visual block model of the system built.
Part of the system was a BT module and a full working prototype was designed and submitted for testing by the British Approvals Board for Telecommunications (BABT). A significant amount of time was spent dual sourcing proprietary switches and connectors that were critical in the long term manufacture of the system. The components and assemblies were finalised and manufacturing drawings for each component and schematics for the PCB and major component placing were prepared by hand.
The system included a bed side charger/alarm clock, a personal pager receiver incorporating a sprung belt clip, a smoke alarm piggy back module and a BT piggy back module. The personal pager mouldings also doubled as the transmitter housings.