Awards and Partnerships
Innovation In Magnetic Wireless Chargers
This project began as an answer to other wireless chargers on the market. Competing magnetic Qi chargers used preset metal plates with hollow centers to align with magnets and charge a wireless-capable device. What we noticed was that this created a lot of user error, since most people are not familiar with the exact location of components inside of their phones and frequently struggled to align the metal plates properly. Determined to create a more effective solution, I experiented with metal plates and analyzed charging rates. Distance from the coils and the amount of material in between played the most significant roles in power
efficiency. Thin metal crossbars could be used for strucFor my design of the device and work on the tural purposes, but tended to induce a slower charge. The application method of the metal rails, Bracketron Inc. innovation came with our decision to use two low profile has listed me as an inventor on a provisional patent. metal bars. This would be the first patent of my professional career The vertical metal rails were the simplest and cleanest and a long-awaited personal milestone. solution. They arrive on a place-and-peel plastic template that ensures correct application every time. With the metal rails aligned to the magnets inside our charger, all a user has to do is slide their phone up and down until it indicates charging has been initiated.
Lux. The name itself, Latin for â€œlight,â€? brings to mind luxury and refined curves. The purpose of this new product line was to rise above the sea of black plastic car mounts and create an attractive aesthetic that looked just as at home on a kitchen counter as the dash of a car. Iteration was extensive as the design team explored possibilities that were simple, yet not overly utilitarian. The challenge was that many of our designs fit in the household, or on a stylized dashboard, but not both. We also wanted to be able to pair it with vent adapters and suction bases to provide a more temporary alternative to 3M adhesive pads. Ultimately we went with what is
pictured above, drawing inspiriation from a key fob. The alignment dots on the rear help configure it with the suction base (pictured bottom right). The other innovative aspect of it is that the semi-permanent adhesive pad already on its base is what mounts it to the suction accessory. It is a product ecosystem with room to expand. Other items in the line include a permanent clamp, and a clamp version with the suction base.
of consumers are willing to wait longer for a personalized product or service.
of consumers who are interested in customized products or services would rather be led by brands and choose from a selection of options.
of consumers are happy to share some data in return for a more personalized customer service or product.
The Lux Magnet Mount was created with a snap-on back panel to open up future possibilities for customization. The internet has opened up endless opportunities to customize products and services to better reflect individual needs and personality. As expected, the under 40 crowd of consumers who grew up with technology are clamoring for more options. On average, 1 in 4 consumers aged 40 and up were interested in customized options for mobile electronics and accessories, while nearly half of the under 40 market indicated interest. The trend shows no signs of slowing as manufacturing personalized product only becomes more
of consumers want more personalized services and products.
of consumers expressing interest in customization are willing to pay a 20% premium for it.
efficient. Artificial intelligence and the advent of 3D printing continue to drive down costs and make custom individualized options more of a reality. Although the initial Lux product launch does not include custom skins, the design itself is forward thinking and aligns the product to fit into emerging trends. It was envisioned as a simple line extension which could be activated with minimal effort.
Source: https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/ch/Documents/consumer-business/ch-en-consumer-business-ma de-to-order-consumer-review.pdf
Griplox is a line of marine applications for the casual boating community. It was a natural extension of Bracketronâ€™s core competency surrounding affordable temporary mounting solutions. The project was already underway when I was brought on, but none of the items were finalized. Some were added, others were dropped later in development.
we were blown away that boat manufacturers did not provide much more than a tiny glove box to accommodate phones in this modern age. Everyone uses phones on their boat. People also like to drink. We found that a hefty selection of the most popular boats had a combination of cupholders in inconvenient locations, or too few altogether. It was a challenge to create an attractive cupholder that held a large variety of beverages securely, The project centered around listening to the way people protected the boat, could mount practically anywhere, used their boats, and providing lifestyle solutions that did and adapted to waves with a multi-axis gimbal. We also not require putting screws into a high value purchase. sought to provide organization tools for the fishing poles, keys, sunglasses, and other items that frequently make People wanted places to put their phones. Frankly, after touring a number of boat dealerships and conventions, their way into watercraft.
The last segment we aimed to tackle was the exploding popularity of paddleboards. Since the market for them was relatively fresh, we looked into ways people could take a protected device or a water bottle with them. Beta testing really thinned the herd. We sent out samples of each product we were testing to dealers and reps all throughout the Midwest. I wrote a survey which collected feedback over the course of a month and helped us identify critical features and failures to focus on. As a result, a floaty was added to the paddleboard mount, an extra rotational axis was added to the cupholder, and the rodholder was shelved due to a lack of interest.
The standard for packaging in the marine accessories market was set excessively low. Some products even came in clear plastic bags, or did not have packaging at all. All of the premium was placed on visibility, durability, and interaction.
durable enough to ship overseas that did not sacrifice visual interest to do it. Taking inspiration from mailing tubes and 360Â° displays, we stepped out on a limb to produce a package that differentiated our products and met the criteria. Unfortunately that limb snapped.
The design intent with this packaging was to produce something wholly unique, with a tasteful color palette that stood out from the crowd. We decided aquamarine and a muted sportsmanâ€™s orange fit the sector. Interaction and visibility were still crucial as we watched how fisherman and pleasure boaters interacted with similar products in retail. We wanted to create an end result
The ultimate failing of this packaging was in the interdisciplinary approach. We were right to involve Sales as Product Development and the Marketing Department iterated package concepts and production. The feedback we needed to hear much sooner than we did, came from the Logistics Division, which could have informed us of the potential drawbacks of shipping so much air.
It was not until salesmen approached a handful of large U.S. retailers that we caught the issue. They liked our products, but could not commit to SKUâ€™s comprised of such a lopsided air-to-product ratio. We were forced to redesign and nest components as compactly as possible inside boxes with wraparound flaps, delaying product launch for a year as we had now missed set dates for spring planograms. Personally, it was a powerful learning experience and a testament to the necessity of interdisciplinary involvement.
Our development team at Bracketron noted that personal device innovation was rapidly outpacing airline infrastructure. In response, airlines were making a slow, but deliberate shift away from seat-back screens and instead providing free wifi for personal electronics. The trouble was that limited space required flyers to hold their device all flight or use precious tray space. From this need was born the Roadtripper Airplane Tablet Mount, a mount that rises above the rest. Bracketron puchased a handful of patents revolving around a self-locating feature that simultaneously hangs from and tightens to the tray latch on an airplane seat.
This immediately provided a unique design prompt. First and foremost, it had to function excellently as a seatback mount on airplanes for cell phones and tablets. Secondary features were that it should also sit stable on flat surfaces like a seat tray or cafe table while passengers waited at the airport. The most challenging feature to implement was the most potentially innovative. The idea I proposed was that this should become an all-around travel mount that worked on airplanes, hotel desks, and in rental cars. We noticed that the two clamping forks on the back resembled many of our vent mounts and the task of integrating these constraints
began in earnest. A magnet head made the most sense for something that could pack tightly and hold devices of significantly different sizes. Ultimately, after we had packed the mount into the smallest possible size, we realized that we were sacrificing the core functionality of the mount (its use on airplanes) to get the clamping forks deep enough to function effectively in cars. We had also foregone the patented extension of the wire hanger in our minimalistic iterations. Back to square one.
We were still interested in something foldable and compact that effectively held devices on flat surfaces, so we gutted the original mount down to the interior components. One of our senior designers came up with the idea of creating two articulating arms from which it could self-fold and swivel. This concept was iterated until we agreed on the variety of positions the mount should be able to assume. In-flight testing informed changes to the magnets, springs, and modifications to the number of stops in each swiveling gear. The constant excitement from fellow passengers was much needed encouragement on the
long road of iteration and development. Finally we had produced something that fit almost every tray latch out there and sat flat on tables. It even worked in a surprising number of cars by clamping onto large vent adjuster tabs. It was the first project I worked on start to finish.
Arctic Cat wanted a heavy duty mount for their Textron off road line of ATVs and side by sides. This posed a new frontier for our company, primarily familiar with injection molded plastics and low stress environments. I was excited to break out of the shell. The first hurdle was to create a bulletproof mount they could take through hell while securing cell phones and tablets. Another constraint was that contractors and outdoor operators frequently wear heavy gloves, so it had to function through fabric without slowing them down. Protective cases and weather resistance needs vary by industry, so rather than try build our own
protective enclosure, we chose to make an adjustable footing that can accommodate the depth of any case a device comes with. From a material standpoint, bent sheet metal made the most sense for an intersection of cost and durability. To meet the size requirements of cell phones and tablets, I chose a tightening sheet metal slider that runs the entire length of the mount. Modifications to ball size and rubberization hardness helped produce the desired vibration resistance. It also had to be designed with minimal moving parts so as to tolerate snow and mud without interfering with component function.
As accessories, I produced adapters that enable bar clamps for versatility and permanent screw down mounting options for the most demanding conditions. It passed crash-testing and elemental exposure tests with flying colors and is aimed for market entry spring of 2019.