|The National Centre for Product Design and Development Research -- ShakerScope
Check out the ShakerScope, a device thirteen years in the making that finally won honorable mention in last November's iF Product Design Awards and is getting ready for final production. Developed by UK citizens Dr. David Williams and John Dingley, the ShakerScope is essentially a flashlight, designed for medical use in developing countries, that operates on kinetic power. Shake it for 30 seconds and you get 10 minutes of light. No batteries, no recharging station, no problem.
Why did it take so long to come to market? Though Williams and Dingley initially rigged up a workable prototype themselves and shopped it around, no one seemed to think it was "commercially or technically viable." Undaunted, the two inventors applied for and won funding from the Welsh government, then approached PDR (The National Centre for Product Design and Development Research). PDR saw the immense market potential--not just for developing nations, but for disaster areas and heck, anyone who's out of batteries--and got to work.
PDR...took the device back to first principles and developed it from initial concept design through to functional product utilising its own extensive in-house technologies, equipment and expertise.
A brief was developed that demanded the rapid development of a self powered device, suitable for multiple procedures without recharging. Charge time should be minimised and the light generated must be as powerful as that already available through battery powered devices.
Initial design work was undertaken to greatly improve the efficiency of the device and to create a range of initial concepts that hinted at a sophisticated design and package that could be equally at home in a snowfield or desert through to modern GP's office or paramedics backpack.
With a final concept agreed, the first stages of the design and engineering process highlighted a requirement for a compact, light, robust, waterproof and shock resistant instrument that was strong enough to endure all types of potential damage whilst being small enough to transport manually with ease.
...2008 will see the implementation of Shakerscope across the globe in areas such as commercial aviation, medical care in developing countries and medical disasters in the armed forces.
Date Posted: February 19, 2008