This was a project I played a key role in, collaborating with Fearsomengine and with an innovative start-up, Hydrosense, as their client. Hydrosense were developing a new portable water testing process. Together with Electroconnect who were developing the electronics design, we were tasked with realising this new test as a plug-in module to an existing industrial PDA. I was involved in the project from initial concept stages through to prototype. The prototype was delivered to a tight programme, with Hydrosense acting as project co-ordinators. The design had a number of challenges in terms of ergonomics design and also technically, with the incorporation of precision optics. Initial concepts explored usage scenarios and different product architectures, through freehand sketching and sketch models.
The major technical challenge of the project was creating a mechanism that securely clamped the sample in place for testing. This had to take into account careful consideration of the manufacturing tolerances of the various components and how this would translate across the boundary between testing device and sample. This was achieved by establishing a clear principle of the way in which the sample bottle located on the instrument. Within the instrument precision machining of the internals and adjustable mounts for the optical components allowed the working prototype to be fully tested and the sensitivity of the test process ascertained.
This was certainly one of the most rewarding projects I have worked on, connecting the user research and early concept work with a fully realised prototype.