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Safemate is a concept where our users bring/wear a small personal alarm unit containing one button. When a certain situation arise, the user presses the button for a few seconds, and a two way voice communication is established over the GSM network. In addition, SMSes are sent to predefined alarm receivers with an accurate GPS/GSM determined location.
The actual user may be anyone, ranging from children to elderly people. A charging station is also an important component of this project.
A few notes on what output we expect from this contest, as that may not be entirely clear: Given the uncertainty about the exact dimensions of the circuit board (and the components on it), we cannot say with exact certainty how small it is possible to make the product.
What we are after are fairly detailed, well thought-through 3D models or even raw hand-drawn concept sketches. We know that we want the World's best personal alarm, but we want you to find out how it must look and how it must feel.
We do value creativity with respect to the shape of the tracker, type of material, how the tracker can be worn/carried around and an easy-to-use solution for charging, and other practical solutions (for instance - how can we view the battery status given that LEDs shouldn't light up at all times as a christmas tree, yet we have only one button).
I would like to say that I am very pleased with the performance of this competition. Not very many designers are involved here, but I don't mind. To us, quality heavily outweighs quantity.
It may be useful for people participating in this particular contest to know that we will have a meeting in the design committee approximately 6 hours from now. More feedback will follow in the aftermath of this meeting.
I hope to get the rest of my team agreeing to a garantueed payout this evening. That will prove our commitment and seriousness.
I am very pleased with the contributions from this contest, and I would like to double the prize, garantuee the prize and extend the deadline, the latter so that we can find time for the iterations required to conquer the world with this product.
The contest is no garantueed as I am convinced that we indeed can use the winner's final contribution.
I apologize (but not so much) that we have to add some points that wasn't already in the original design brief. We learn as we go here too, and seeing various designs bring focus to our minds. In particular:
- try to ensure that the battery indicator cannot be mistaken for anything else. This is a product with a GSM unit and a GPS unit, so it is not blindingly obvious that a scale denotes battery level. We have to make every effort to be certain that the battery charge level is not mistaken for anything else. A battery drawing to enclose the scale seems like a good idea.
- We will shortly upload our Safemate logo, and this may be used for some purpose. I am saying "may" because it is a higher priority that the appearance of the product is simple, clean and user friendly, than that our logo is smeared across our products.
- As indicated in the original design brief (I think), this product will be very sensitive to battery drainage. Or put in other words, we need the battery to last as long as we can, so LCD with backlights and other illuminating elements would be contraproductive to this objective. An LCD display without backlight should be acceptable (I think, I need to check this out with more technical personnel).
Concept logo uloaded (safemate.png).
Important announcements (additions to the original design brief):
1. In a world free for constraints we would prefer an inductive charging tray to wirelessly recharge the tracker unit. However, it turns out that our time-to-market concerns prevent us from using this design option with our first product. Therefore, you should include a cradle-like charging mechanism in your final design contribution. Remember not to rely on what the germans refer to as fingerspitzengefühl when putting the tracker unit into the charging cradle, this operation should be successfully completed by a trembling, weak, half blind techno illiterate people.
2. The cradle needs to communicate "charging is in progress, but battery is not fully recharged yet" and "the battery has once again reached full capacity". Our initial thought here is to go for a multi coloured LED with yellow and green colours respectively, but there may be other and better solutions to informing the user.
3. We do neet a discrete pen/needle/etc.-button somewhere on the tracker unit. Such buttons are found on many products, and the purpose in our case will be for a) switching the product off and b) resetting the product (differentiated via various length press).
Several of the designs that are submitted does not show how the user can wear the tracker unit around the neck AND/OR around the wrist AND/OR around the upper arm AND/OR on a key ring AND/OR in the pocket. The winner must show how the need for these multiple carrying methods can be satisfied.
Our product development team has announced that the use of LCDs is a nogo. Therefore, it is hard for us to see how the battery indicator can be built without some forms of LEDs.
Remember that the tracker unit includes a microphone and a loudspeaker. This should be reflected in the design.
It seems that I have to add another requirement, or desire at least: It would be very benefitial if the user could press the alarm button with one finger (index finger) when the tracker unit is docked in the recharger cradle.
The design committee will have a meeting in the afternoon on Tuesday the 29th of November central European time. After this meeting a final round of feedback will be given. If you are working on a version it would be deeply appreciated if it could be submitted before the design committee meeting. Thanks in advance!