I am a product developer for an accessory company. I am not a professional designer. Just someone with 10 years of experience in consumer electronics accessories and has designed counless softgoods including cellphone and ipod cases. So, if some of my terminology is incorrect, please try to bear with me.
I’m looking for your input.
The objective is to design a bluetooth headset that is high fashion and can appeal to both men and women. Attached is a preliminary design.
Some design feature’s I am considering :
brushed aluminum / stainless steel-like base material.
A headset should be a lot of things. Lightweight, comfortable, functional, compact, etc. I don’t think this has any of that.
I can understand the logic behind going for the bling bling of all bluetooth’s, and frankly, I’m sure you could sell a ton of these if they cost $3k and you convinced at least 1 rapper to wear one (it would need a cool name like the Mogul Tooth though).
But from a design standpoint, yikes. I feel like everything mentioned is really just a gross misuse of materials for the sake of fake luxury. I’d almost rather see an Iphone headset with a 5 karat diamond embedded in it.
Leather really doesn’t seem like the kind of material you’d want to use for an ear piece thats coming in constant contact with your skin. I can see it becoming irritating and not having very good grip on your skin. Metal is going to cause a problem not counting the weight. You can get metallized plastic, but that seems to go against the whole concept of making this seem high end.
isnt the useless faux bling thing over (along with skulls and antlers)?
looks like one of those watches you buy on a street corner that looks good from far but is far from good.
i do like the leather wrapped ear part though. seen it on some really nice Chrome Hearts sunglasses. maybe think about continuing the leather thing and going more luxe with wrapping the entire thing in leather and picking up some nice stitching cues from car interiors. i can totally picture a cool combo of microperf leather and heavier veg tan stuff, with nice accent stitching, colored edges on the leather seams, and maybe a brushed aluminium button with a cool blue led.
i dont mind the faceted look, but would be nice to do something a little more subtle. besides, in plastic as mentioned, i think the finishing quality would have to be a+ or would look really cheapo.
that being said, if you are going for a watch look, maybe try even more literally, with a bit of irony. like those hulger cell phone extensions that look like an old rotary phone handset.
I think all of your comments are valid.
There is a fine line between luxury and a cheezy wanna-be knock off.
Using materials suitable for RF (bluetooth) transmission may not translate into a luxury product.
Most recently, Jabra introduced their JX10 “designer” bluetooth headset (Jensen design). I feel that although the product is nicely designed, it still resembles a technology product and not a fashion luxury product.
There must be a way to intertwine luxury design and technology in a tasteful way.
I feel that there is a need for a product like this. Perhaps now as gaudy, but still giving off the luxury impression.
here is a freebee, on the 2ner (do a search at wired mag) I used a small conductive pad to use the persons body as a antenna as part of the design, after all all of these things are in contact with bare sking somewhere…worked like a charm.
Depends on what you are looking for. Styling exercise, fully thought out design, documented control drawings to send to a factory… it ranges. I would contact design firms or designers you like and do a RFQ, get 3-5 bids and select the designer or group of designers that you feel the best about.
It might seem like a process and a large expense, but if it is something you are serious about pursuing, it is worth the up front investment to get a manufacturable design that is market relevant, iconic, and has design integrity.
Hmmmm…A bluetooth headset would not be able to use the human head as a radiator at 2.4 MHz. If it was under 800 MHz, maybe. But you would still need to get that by FCC Part 15 SAR testing. Tough sell, methinks.
Think about IMD (in mold decoration) or perhaps a softfeel coating.
whatever you do, don’t do IMD’d “carbon fiber” - the line isn’t that fine!
And I’d probably consider minimizing some of the decorative elements you have now and concentrate on making the simpler things in the design more “precise” - it’ll give you a much more elegant package.
Check out the eyeglasses industry. There is a wide range of prices- what separates the gucci frames from the $50 frames?
As for getting some hired help- try having a contest at a local design school (not engineers), and for crying out loud, make it worth their while. Please give more than one prize too.
Or hire an intern. Or a consultant. Whatever meets your budget.