This is my first post on the site so let me introduce myself. I am an undergraduate Product Design Engineering student at Strathclyde University, Scotland. My course in very much engineering based and only dabbles into true industrial design, although that is where my real interest lies. I therefore have good material, mechanical and manufacturing process knowledge but am lacking in any great design experience and certainly have to improve my sketching skills.
I am currently undertaking a project to address the annoyances of taking casual photography and video clips while participating in snow sports (my other passion). For those of you who don’t ski or board I hope this short (and cheesy) storyboard identifies the problem I’m trying to address.
The stage I am at on the project is that I have identified the solution to the problem to be a ski goggle which incorporates the camera lens and CCD array into the top centre of the casing. A cable runs from the rear of the goggles down the user’s back to a control unit. The control unit would look in appearance similar to a digital camera and would incorporate all of the functions to change the settings of the camera (resolution, quality, etc.) and also have a review screen. A second cable would come from the control unit and run into the inside of the user’s glove and would offer a single button to control the unit. The camera lens would also require a manual lens cover which would also double as an on/off switch for the system. Once the camera was switched on (by opening the lens cover) the user could take a still (by holding down the button) or start/stop a video (by clicking the button). The lens cover will also double as a way of cleaning the build up of snow away from the lens. This concept has been reached after investigating a number of solutions, conducting quite a lot of primary research and I also have a fully working functional prototype (made from old ski goggles and a DV cam). The prototype although ugly has given me a good insight into the issues associated with the product. The concept is not set in stone by any measure and the button component (in terms of location, usability, etc) still requires more investigation however the concept described means all batteries can be contained in the control unit which is not removed from the user’s pocket during use addressing issues of using batteries in cold weather.
At the moment I am working on the aesthetical design of the goggle part of the product and the mechanism to attach a lens cover which can not only remove snow build up from the lens but also survive severe impacts. The principle idea I am looking at for the lens cover is a sliding cover which attaches to top and bottom grooves and pushes the snow clear as it closes, obviously requiring a flush mounted lens, although I am still looking at other options like rotating lens, etc. The cover would attach to the goggle in a similar fashion to a sliding camera lens cover; however this raises durability issues for those heavy falls.
Anyway here are a few quick sketches of the product. I would love to hear any thoughts or feedback on the product or my approach to the project. Also any comments on improvements I should be making to my sketching/approach would also be appreciated however this is less important as I can apply a lot of what has already been said in the sketching forum.