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Braun NTS

A handheld thermometer
for domestic use.

The goal of this project was to analyse an existing infrared thermometer, repurpose its electronic parts and build a functioning prototype of your design that fits the former brand language of Braun.

This project does not represent the intentions of Braund and is for educational purpose only.

Project Info

 

Product Analysis & Construction

4 Weeks Execution Time

Umeå Institute of Design

Role

 

Product Analysis, Ideation, Concept Development, User Testing, Prototyping

Tools

 

Product Analysis, Physical sketching, High fidelity prototyping, SolidWorks, 3D printing, Adobe CC

Learnings

 

Brand Analysis, Taking design decisions in short timespan, Electronics, Soldering, Design for manufacture, SolidWorks

Brand Analysis

Analysing the design language of the brand Braun.

Braun GmbH is a German consumer products company founded 1921 in Kronberg where it is still based. Next to other categories the companies portfolio includes products for health care, beauty care and consumer electronics. The brand is well known for it's former lead designer Dieter Rams.

Brand values such as functionality, aesthetics and long-lasting quality are summed up well in their former design guideline "Our design is orderly."

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Formal Language

 

Products are built from basic geometric shapes like squares, circles and rectangles. 

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Division


Clear split lines with small radii for devision of different material. 

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Surfaces


Plain surfaces with homo-genous color characterise each product.

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Interaction

Minimalistic and comprehensible graphics

highlight interaction parts.

Infrared Thermometer

Introducing NTS

NTS

NTS is a handheld non-contact infrared thermometer for domestic use. It is designed so it can be used easily even in a one-person household and to exude a calm appearance. It seamlessly integrates into the range of former Braun household products. A cap protects the sensor at the bottom from external influences and functions as a stand when not in use. NTS helps you to measure surface temperatures in your household easily and safely. Be it the food for the little ones or your own forehead.

This project does not represent the intentions of Braun and is for educational purpose only.

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Interaction

Mario starts to feel sick and wants to make sure

his temperature is alright. In 3 simple steps.

Good design makes a product understandable. As a tool for everyday use, the thermometer is designed for intuitive interaction and easy handling. In just three simple steps you can ensure that surface temperatures are neither too cold nor too hot. Whether you measure the temperature of your body, the food on your plate or any other surface in your domestic environment.

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Turn on.

Take the thermometer off its stand and turn it on by simply pressing the button once.

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Measure.

Place the bottom part of the thermometer close to surface you want to measure and press the button again.

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Check.

After a short beep, the measured temperature can be read off the display pointing at you.

Key Features

It is just a handheld thermometer.

But a well-conceived one.

Good design makes a product useful. Based on this principle, the NTS is reduced to the most essential features in order to provide a delightful user experience. In this way the product is understood by the user at first go and leaves no questions behind. 

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A simple, yet appealing shape.

In order to allow for an unobtrusive and calm appearance as well as a single-person use, the overall shape was chosen to be modest and ergonomic.

Two different colors of the main body distinguish between the shell and functional parts.

Technical Package

A place for everything and everything in its place.

Inside and out.

Good design is thorough down to the last detail. Another principle that helped to create a product that satisfies its user by applying it to the inside of NTS. The technical package, consisting of the display, a circuit board, a button, a battery and the IR sensor, is put together in a space-saving way and held in place by only two mounting screws. The drawing of the electronics on the inner body allows the user to also understand its technical construction.

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Technical Package of the infrared thermometer.

Product Images

Different color. Same quality & precision.

Good design is aesthetic. The NTS is designed to seamlessly fit into almost any living space while keeping an unobtrusive character. The overall appearance all the way down to its carefully designed details aims to create a positive feeling in its user and to communicate an aesthetic quality. An integral part of the object's usefulness. In all different colors.

The process of designing NTS.

 

Analysing an existing IR thermometer with its key components and the design language of the brand Braun marked the start of the project. In addition to these methods, the implementation of the concept through parametric modelling as well as developing a design for production involved a lot of learning outcome.

Research

Analyzing an existing product. Down to its details.

The process phase started by analysing an existing handheld non-contact IR thermometer that is placed in the cheaper product segment. The product was taken apart to study each component concerning their function and production method. All parts of the technical package were kept aside and functional so they can be incorporated in the working prototype in a later stage.

Key Insights

Measure your own body temperature.

Without wrenching your hand.

A short examination of the existing IR thermometer as well as a comparison of benchmark products online quickly illustrated some current problem areas. Through its gun-like shape the object is associated with an unpleasant connotation and makes it difficult for people to check their own temperature without wrenching their hand.

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Domestic Use

Focus on applications and their requirements in domestic use. 

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Inconvenient Handling

Current products are difficult to operate when measuring your

own temperature.

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Gun-like Appearance

From a weapon-like shape and interaction to a more calm and friendly appearance.

Concept Development

From choosing a brand right up to design freeze in 25 hours.

After selecting the brand Braun and analysing their design language as well as an existing product I moved on the next phase of the process. During the concept development, design tools like physical sketching and user testing helped to evolve ideas and take decisions in a high pace. An important part was the development of the form as well as the re-arrangement of the electronic components in order to implement the final design as a working prototype.

User Testing a low fidelity mockup to the thermometer to validate the concept and form.

Prototyping

Making a product from scratch.

The last step of the design process was to turn the final concept into a functional prototype. With the aim of building a working model, the thermometer with all its components was first modelled in CAD and checked for accuracy of fit. All housing parts were 3D printed, finished and equipped with the technical package which was adapted to the new design. Finally, the thermometer was assembled and tested. The display showed 36,5°C.

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Parametric modelling of all parts in Solidworks.