William Morris, the famous designer, poet, and author once said, “If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”. Growing up with an architect and an interior designer as parents, I’ve taken this rule to heart. It’s because of this that I noticed a trend in our design here at DAQRI. From our logo to DAQRI Smart Helmet™, I see science and art coming together to form something that is beautiful and useful.
Perfecting design is a complicated process which our team works hard to make seem simple. And since concept to creation can take years, today we’ll focus on just two of our biggest opportunities when designing a product — function and form factor.
Though society often recognizes brands by the external aspects of their finished products, we remember them by how well they function. Yes, Apple may embrace sleek and elegant design elements, but even Steve Jobs was once quoted saying, “Design is not what it looks like and how it feels. Design is how it works”. Thus, a well-functioning product, especially when building for industry, is not only a priority, but a necessity.
But what led us to build for industry anyways?
Well, we believe in a human centric design approach. This means that we look for a specific human need to address and hope that by meeting that need, we make the world a better place. In truth, all the very best products in the world meet human needs, not just fulfill a desire for something new or kitschy. Which is why we built DAQRI Smart Helmet — to bring together technologies that allow workers to function effectively and efficiently in the field.
But identifying the need was only the first step in the process. Next, we developed technologies that could be converted into marketable, effective solutions. What often makes an effective solution might not be well known or isn’t yet widely adopted, but can still empower cost reduction and success through increased efficiency and great design.
For example, James Dyson first developed the idea for a bagless vacuum that utilizes cyclones for filtration after observing the cyclone on top of a factory of a lumberyard, noting, it was one of only a few filtration devices that doesn’t have a cloggable membrane. He took technology that already existed and adjusted it to fit an everyday market need by incorporating it into his vacuum. This is a perfect example of the same type of lateral thinking we look to apply.
Put simply, the size, shape, and style of a product, as well as the layout and positioning of its various components. And though form precedes function, the two often go hand in hand. For instance, a cell phone wouldn’t be very practical if it were the size of a briefcase (hello, 90’s), so advances in form factor have led to the diminishing size in cell phones over the years. That is, until technology progressed to allow things such as video streaming, at which point screens had shrunk to a size where viewing was difficult, thus leading to a minor increase in size all over again.
For us, we knew we needed a product that was going to supply the safety of a hard hat (form) with the technology of augmented reality (function) — so that’s exactly what we built — DAQRI Smart Helmet. But it was so much more than that.
Designing an object that is put on the human body is uniquely different than designing an object that one holds. Some even believe that wearables are the pinnacle of design — it impacts the ergonomics of your body, the way you view the world and the way the world views you. What’s more, a truly functional product doesn’t just do a job, it tells you how to do a job. For instance, when you see a phone, you know how to use a phone. Its form triggers a mental set of instructions in your head and it feels familiar even if you have never handled that particular device.
But where do we see this going?
DAQRI Smart Helmet is perfect for several industries — where we envision it being used, of course. Its dual-purpose form both protects and informs while in the field.
But in fields where the hard hat form factor is unnecessary?
We’re excited to announce our newest product: DAQRI Smart Glasses™.
Tune-in over the next few days to see how DSG can work for you and your team!
By: Haley Lierman