E2V - Thermal Imaging Camera
Multi-award-winning design for extreme conditions
E2V develop advanced technologies for the defence and emergency services industries. Their IP can be found in the Hubble telescope and in oxygen monitoring devices used by firefighters. We worked with E2V to develop a new digital Thermal Imaging Camera in 2001.
The digital nature of the device provided us with opportunities to optimise the form around the user. To understand how to best do this, we sent the Senior Designer to train as a fireman. Over several weeks, he observed and role-played different contexts, use-cases and interactions to understand the requirements and define device attributes that would deliver a better experience for the user and outcome for the challenge.
The research identified 2 key attributes that defined the solution. Firstly, that the device was strapped to the chest as they crawled into a burning room, so the depth of the device was critical. Secondly, that they shared the device between 2 people once inside the room. The ‘handover’ process was critical, and was conducted using protective clothing inside a room filled with smoke.
The chosen solution provided handles to enhance stability when in use and allow a ‘positive’ handover experience. The handles also helped to protect the device when dropped, and to exceed drop test standards applied to such rugged products.