VRGO have worked with ITERATE on a number of different, successful, innovations. They are a technology company based in Bristol that create design movement input devices for virtual reality. From the development of these virtual reality devices that use vibration motors and sensors, an opportunity emerged to develop this technology further and create a workplace wellness product – VRGO FYT. VRGO approached ITERATE to help design an enclosure for the electronic Bluetooth controlled unit of the VRGO FYT, a wellbeing product that helps improve posture, reduces sedentary habits, and increases activity within desk-based environments through the use of system sensors that records data.
The initial design challenge faced by the design team was to consider how the electronic enclosure and sensor arrays will fit onto an office style chair without being too intrusive and ensure comfort for the user. The enclosure for the electronics also included a vibration motor that connected to the sensor array, even though the design team were not responsible for the development of the electronics, they still had to consider how the PCB would integrate with the sensors by specifying the mounting point of the enclosure. The design team had to create a product that could effectively fit onto a variety of different office chairs and establish a common mounting point for the different style of chairs through the use of a mounting point matrix, whilst still considering user interaction. The enclosure design also had to include an interactive; easy to reach on/off button; include an indication light feature; a charging port; ensure bluetooth connectivity and have a desirable aesthetic.
“Working with Gethin and the team has been a great experience. They are thoughtful and knowledgeable about every aspect of the product design process.” Joe Ryan, Owner, VRGO Ltd
The challenge of determining how the electronics and sensor array would fit onto an office chair was overcome firstly by undertaking research into linear markets to observe successful elements of similar products. The Orangebox G64 was determined to be the most suitable office chair to guide the design decisions made as its form resembles common, office style chairs. The mounting point matrix determined a common mounting point, which was the backrest of the chair. A GoPro mount was also integrated into the final design as it is a widely available, off-the-shelf part, that users can easily purchase and does not limit the device to a specific design feature. The sensor array was designed to be removable, so the integration between the electronics and the sensors can be limited to when in use. The charging port was positioned on the side face of the electronics housing, again to ensure easy usability and access for the user and to avoid ingress into the port. The design team finished off the enclosure with a flecked polymer to create a seamless aesthetic when positioned on an office chair.
The final outcome of the project was a highly considered electronics enclosure that ensured seamless integration with the sensor array. The enclosure design included features such as a charging port, on/off button with indication light, an internal sitting mount, and had a flecked plastic finish. The client also is now in possession of a working prototype that they can us to gain market feedback. The product can be tested on user groups to demonstrate the usefulness of the product and prove its core purpose. This then results in valuable workplace data that the client can use to prove the effectiveness of the product, which will then allow the company to further refine the design and take the product to market.