Top 3 Principles of Industrial Design in Security
The Editorial Team | Date:
- Quality, innovation, aesthetics and ease of use are essential to establish a brand.
- Ergonomics are a major focal point within our industrial design process. This takes into account the needs of typical end users and specialized customers equally.
Industrial design unites form with function. Aesthetics, ergonomics and marketability are evaluated with the product's exterior design, which may affect the innards of the product. It is a simple concept to understand, but notoriously difficult to execute. Good industrial design ensures that product development is consistent with the brand image.
Defining functionality is part of product development. “Developing brand identity starts with a vision,” said Ellen Cargill, Director of Product Development for Scallop Imaging. “At Scallop Imaging, the vision is to deliver cameras that ‘put you there.' The camera industrial design is clean, self-confident, and does not draw attention to itself. We utilize a similar and consistent design vocabulary to achieve a consistent and recognizable look among our line of products.”
A consistent design requires continued effort. “Most notable is our enclosure — used for external camera designs — which is stylistically shaped like an eye to immediately identify it as an IQinVision product,” said Ed Suski, VP and CTO at IQinVision.
Quality, innovation, aesthetics and ease of use are essential to establish a brand. “Our design has been specifically developed to visualize the values of the brand,” said Nelly Lopes da Silva, Brand Management for Bosch Security Systems. “These attributes have been distilled and systematically translated into industrial design constants that will recur over the long term in every product. They permanently characterize the face of the brand and communicate the brand message: Invented for Life.”
Branding and aesthetics are all well and good in product development, but are ultimately trumped by function. This is especially true in physical security, which requires 24/7 operation in most cases. Consumer electronics like smartphones may crash at times and be tolerated, but an access control system at a military base cannot afford any downtime. In developing a consistent brand message, it is essential to determine priorities.
User needs are a priority for design. “The starting point for product development is people,” Lopes da Silva said. “Ergonomics are a major focal point within our industrial design process. This takes into account the needs of typical end users and specialized customers equally.” Requirements include the right product for each application, product reliability, efficiency for the user, practicable and comfortable user operation, and product performance.
Reliability and image quality are key for video surveillance. “After all, the safety and security of the customer depend on the equipment working 24/7 for several years without fail,” Suski said. As assurance, IQinVision offers a three-year warranty — one of the longest in the industry.
One aspect of surveillance is to not draw attention to the camera, which almost defies the brand mindset of industrial design. “Our other design cues or characteristics are followed across other product lines to help make our products pleasing to look at in even the most glamorous surroundings, as well as being as unobtrusive as possible,” Suski said. “While some of our camera designs blend into their environment as much as possible, others are intended to be noticed so as to provide a deterrence effect.”
Along with being unobtrusive, cameras have to be easy to operate. “In the design process, we work very hard to make the camera design simple, elegant and discreet, knowing that a product with great features, but awkward or unattractive design, will not be successful in the marketplace,” Cargill said.
Immersive imaging is a trend, offering situational awareness. “The No. 1 Scallop Imaging priority is to create cameras that are modeled on the human visual system,” Cargill said. “That means the cameras simultaneously deliver 180-degree situational awareness and zoom detail windows in a video frame. In effect, rather than looking at video, the camera takes you into the scene.”
Incorporating Design into Development
Product design is part of the product development process early on. “We have contracted one external product design agency for all design projects worldwide, which enable us to develop products all with one signature look-and-feel and to streamline our design costs,” said Nelly Lopes da Silva, Brand Management for Bosch Security Systems. “With local design studios over three continents, our agency creates strategically positioned designs for both global and local markets.”
Usage guides product development and the final look of the product. “We integrate customer requirements and input into our design and then work with industrial design experts to craft our products to meet both the customer's needs and the needs of the equipment to function in the given envelope,” IQinVision product,” said Ed Suski, VP and CTO at IQinVision. “For example, accommodations are made in the design to allow for cooling, or in cold climates, heating. Also, environmental needs are factored into cameras that are used outdoors, and more aesthetic needs are factored into our indoor models.” Good industrial design should be baked in, not added on, to a product design. “The trade-offs between product size, manufacturability, performance and industrial design are determined early in the product development process to ensure that the results meet our requirements,” Cargill said.