IIF contacted Porticos to redesign their triathlete tracking device. Their goal was a redesign that would use the same electronics and back cover to minimize costs, while giving the device a more rugged appearance, befitting its use.
It was difficult for users to tell whether they had pushed a button; the indicator lights were unclear, and accidental button presses were common.
To address these issues, Porticos designed a button geometry that would give a clear, tactile feel to the user. In addition, Porticos provided options for the exterior appearance and created concepts to improve function, all while requiring no changes to the electronics or back cover.
Other mechanical design improvements included:
- Working around existing electronic components, engineers created custom light pipes to bring each indicator light to its associated button, integrating them into the icons
- Without increasing the device thickness, the buttons were recessed to prevent accidental presses
- The molded-in logo and button icons clearly mark the product and were made more durable in use
- To check button feel and light pipe operation, Porticos used the 3D design files to build a working prototype of the new design
Excellent tactile feedback was confirmed, and the indicator lights could be seen clearly in bright daylight
For the final assembly support & testing, Porticos engineers identified tooling options and worked with toolmakers to get high-quality production plastic parts. Porticos also provided assembly instructions for the contract manufacturer and helped them work through build issues. Finally, Porticos performed verification testing on the device to determine water and shock resistance.