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RESEARCH AND PROBLEM DEFINITION

LORENA CANALES MORALES

pHASE 1:


INDEX

1.1 Design Brief ... 1-3 1.2 History of the Product ...4-5 1.3 Existing Patents ...6 + appendix 1.3 1.4 Reviews of Related Literature ... 7-10 1.5 Comparative Product Chart ... 11-12 1.6 Interaction Matrix ... 13-14 1.7 Sequence of Use ... 15-17 1.8 Questionnaire to User ... 18-19 1.9 Summary of Findings ... 20-21 1.10 Image Boards ... 22-27 1.11 Preliminary Sketches ...28, 29.. appendix 1.3 existing patents 1.11 preliminary sketches


THE DESIGN BRIEF 1.1

DESIGN BRIEF

IMPORTANT TO FOLLOW A , BEFORE EVEN STARTING TO DRAW ? wHY IS IT

..................................BECAUSE YOUR DESIGN BRIEF IS

everything.

who? what? where? when? what for? how? why?

ONE

these questions should help you get as much information as possible so that you get an outline of the project, your client and his expectations.


Adressing the constant “socket shortage� people look to increase their outlets by any means possible - power strips, multiple outlet strips, extension cords, and electrical outlets - to keep up with the increasing electrical and electronic devices used in a household. Often they do this under safety hazard and thus increasing the chances for a fire or an accident (Compliance office).

THE DESIGN BRIEF 1.1

THE DESIGN BRIEF 1.1

Related to this matter, is the increasing number of people who work exclusively from home and people who bring work home. Meaning that there is an increasing need an exclusive place for work at home, or at least , certain power supply adequations. Tying these problematics together, we can see the need for an integral managing system of electric and electronic devices, that not only tend to the power supply, but the entire apparatus, thus making it more efficient. Project OutlineDevelop an electric and portable home office accessory that manages electrically powered appliances. The project will be divided into three phases: Phase 1 is Research and Problem Definition (2 weeks)

TWO

1.1 Design Brief 1.2 History of the Product 1.3 Existing Patents 1.4 Reviews of Related Literature 1.5 Comparative Product Chart 1.6 Interaction Matrix 1.7 Sequence of Use 1.8 Questionnaire to User 1.9 Summary of Findings 1.10 Image Boards 1.11 Preliminary Sketches


THE DESIGN BRIEF 1.1

THE DESIGN BRIEF 1.1 Phase 2 is Concept Development (4 weeks) 2.1 Sketch Evaluations 2.2 Brainstorming 2.3 Brainstorming Evaluations 2.4 Define “Ideal” Product 2.5 Refined Sketches 2.6 Sketch Models 2.7 Concept Evaluations- Design Direction 2.8 Concept Refinement Sketches 2.9 Final Concept Presentation Rendering

Phase 3 is Concept Finalization and Documentation (2 weeks)

three

3.1 Color Study 3.2 Photoshop/Rhino Rendering 3.3 Photo Documentation of Working Model Construction 3.4 Final Working Model 3.5 Photo Documentation of Working Model In-Use 3.6 CAD Documentarion of Control Surfaces


History of the product 1.2

history of the product

Studying the

understand the development of a product and even an industry. lets you

creating a visual timeline helps to show the differences and the circumstances in which they took place.

four

the more you know, the better you’ll understand the custumers need and the changes that need to be made.


Tn order to get to the history of power strips, it is important to first now a little of general household electricity history.

History of the product 1.2

History of the product 1.2

It was on October 18th 1878, that Thomas Alva Edison made household electricity possible, since then , we have become dependant of it and the appliances it powers. The engineering of the outlet has evolved: we have gone from about ten different frequencies to just two in the world, and we have two standard voltages as well. In the beginning light and other appliances belonged to two different accounts, being light the cheapest, and from this surged the appliances that used the light connectors to work. Power strips came to be from the necessity for more sockets and extension cords, from the need of having an outlet, far from where there was one. So for both, the distribution of the power supply was crucial. Several features have being added over the time to the power strips: -Surge Protection -Additional chargers -Additional cable outlet (coaxial, ethernet) -On/Off Switches -Eco-friendly features, like instant switch-off and energy saving.

five

As electrical appliances evolve,so have the outlets that power them and in these days, with the increasing accumulation of electric and electronic devices, we can only conceive of more and more power outlets.


existing patents 1.3

complementing the research for the history of the product,

existing patents in-depth search for the products and methods that are registered.

six

allow for an


review of related literature and resources 1.4

reviewing information about what is happening about the product from

different types of

resources like

blogs, trade journals, magazines,important websites and the consumer.

What changes are occurring ?

seven

what are the

trends ?


Not enough power outlets in home office. “I don't have enough outlets. I did an inventory today - between the wife's setup and my own, we currently need 29 outlets (10 of these are blocky transformers, which often hog adjacent outlets in a typical surge strip). With optional power needs (guests, etc) we could use 35 or 40 outlets.” (The Joel on Software) Like this post on a discussion group called The Joel on Software, there are plenty others, and just like that, people have a few dozen suggestions as of what to do about it. Below, an excerpt of some suggestions: “I hate to even suggest this, but you could run an extension cord from another room, which should (!) be on another circuit.

review of related literature and resources 1.4

review of related literature and resources 1.4

Make sure you use one of the large diameter ones, like you see on construction sites. I'm not kidding - if you run a cord over 25 feet, the current losses can be noticeable in the wimpy cords you find at the supermarket. And current losses == heat, not something you want in your wiring. example Monday, March 14, 2005 There are a (small) number of power strips and UPS that have sockets spaced out in consideration of bricks. Check those out. ALso, talk to the landlord - see if he would be amenable to splitting the cost to have an electrician run a new circuit - you want a dedicated line from a circuit breaker to six wellspaced outlets where your office is. It would help him rent it in the future, so it shouldn't be a huge burden. Philo Philo Monday, March 14, 2005

Eight

(The Joel on Software)


review of related literature and resources 1.4

review of related literature and resources 1.4 It seems that poor wiring in old houses makes for a lack for sockets, since there were not as many electric appliances and electronic devices to plug. However, even in more contemporary homes, the problem is the same“socket shortage” (Lane). In the UK, by set of the National House Building Council’s technical standards a three-bedroom house built today must have at least 38 sockets, more than twice as many as 30 years ago. Still, this isn’t enough, because new constructions only account for 160,000 houses per yeard of the 25 million existing homes in the UK. What the britons are doing is buying extension boards or power strips a survey for Energy Experience, an online education resource, 92% of respondents said their household used an average of three extension boards. It seems that our need for sockets has become insatiable, but where does it stop? The solution in the 80’s and 90’s was to simply add more sockets to the construction, but their is an increasing concern for more eco-friendly options. These eco-friendly outlet strips have options that cut the power from the devices that are switched-off, saving not only energy but money too (Lane). This same phenomenon is happening outside the homes and is experienced everywhere you could find a power outlet to charge your laptop or your PDA. This is happening as we become more and more dependent from our cell phones, mp3’s,digital cameras, personal organizers, etcetera (Marriot).

nine

There is a trend also as to bring aesthethics to these appliances, avoiding the clutter that usually accumulates underneath the desks .


With the use of power strips, misuse of them comes along as well. Often in some buildings, especially older ones, to meet power supply needs, extension cords or surge protected power strips are often interconnected, or “daisy chained,” to readily provide more outlets and/or to reach greater distances. Another common solution is to create a “mixed daisy chain,” interconnecting extension cords and power strips. However, interconnecting these devices is a violation of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and the National Electrical Code because doing so can cause them to become overloaded, leading to their failure and a possible fire (Compliance). Actually, according to the National Fire Protection Association, the use of electrical distribution equipment lik extension cords, was the second leading cause of fire deaths between 1994 and 1998; this for the overloading or “daisy chaining”. The Office of Compliance, lists the following as the basic guidelines of use for extension cords and the inappropriate use: Basic Guidelines for the Appropriate Use of Extension Cords Cords must be properly approved (by Underwriters Laboratory, etc.) Approved cords must be for temporary use only (no m ore than 90 days) Extension cords may be used for remodeling and maintenance or repair of structures or equipment It is permissible to use extension cords to light holiday decorations

review of related literature and resources 1.4

review of related literature and resources 1.4

Inappropriate Use of Extension Cords Using as permanent wiring Using unapproved extension cords Overloading power capabilities of the cord during temporary use Daisy chaining (plugging one extension cord into another and another, etc.) Using one surge protector/power strip to power another (Compliance)

ten

Another safety hazard is employees falling in the workplace, which has become private industry’s third leading cause of fatal work injuries.In 2003, falls in the workplace caused 696 occupational fatalities and 257,100 nonfatal injuries. While 87% of fall fatalities are due to falling from a higher level to a lower level, not all falls in the workplace are related to raised surfaces. Obstructed walkways,loose floor materials, and unsecured wires can also cause a significant workplace hazard. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires offices to remedy hazards like broken or missing hand rails, dislocated floor tiles, wet walkways, and wires crossing passageways.


comparative product chart

eleven

ta t r e i cs r i s e, oe om c n i d r go r ( p ow h (e ds s( s e ed n- l ne eed e o ti cia al n e) al n c n so r ur ic fu al- ultu ult log ) o an mic c-c t’s c ysi ry? m o ti e h a hu con the ark l-p ess e es m ica c a e ct ne th ra lly p ea r (

pr man

c

u a od uf

n io urin t c t

ct oce n fu g pr

n- s) o i s

(m

comparative product chart 1.5

al ) c i als n h eri c te at

t c n fu

no i

basic information like : trade name, model, what your competitors are making. manufacturer and retailer should be complemented with information regarding the three functions: to ) e r t it Human, production and technical. ile ela is

point of reference with

helps to have a good

building a


POWER TRACK

Clamp Surge Protector

Woods 6 Outlet Power Strip

Part # BZ103050-TVL

-

-

Part # BZ106000-10

552371

price

$24.99

$120.00

$270.00

$40.99

$5.99

manufacturer

Belkin

Tributaries

Eubiq

Belkin

Coleman Cable

Target, B&H Photo Video,Belkin, Amazon

The Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Supreme Hardware

hardwarezone.com

Wal-Mart, Tiger Direct, J&R,Amazon

Ace Hardware Superstore

portability

Compact and Lightweight

Big and Rugged

Mounted on walls

Designed to clamp anywhere

Relatively portable

surge protection

All outlets have surge protection

All outlets have surge protection

-

All outlets have surge protection

NO

equipment warranty

$75,000.00

$25,000.00

-

$15,000.00

-

model

Technical Function

Production Function

Human Function

retailer

Aluminum casing with Polycarbonate for insulation

materials dimensions electrical specfications

outlets

extra features

comparative product chart 1.5

T12 POWER STRIP

PRODUCT

max length is 3.6 m

-

36,000 A, 918 J

4320 Joules of energy dissapation

230Vac or 110Vac.

330V, 885J

1.1 x 3.1 x 11.3 inches ; 9.3 ounces 15 AMP, 125 volt, 1875 watt max

5 (3 AC and 2 USB)

12 (8 are rotating)

Can fit up to 10

6

6

2 USB chargers

DSS/Coax/Phone and LAN protection

-

-

-

-

twelve

General Information

Mini Surge Protector with USB Charger


thirteen

interaction matrix 1.6

of establishing the relations among the materials themselves and the environment.

serves the function

the interaction matrix


Ground

Feet

Hands

/. desired interaction Wall

Desk

interaction matrix 1.6

/ direct interaction

X no interaction cell phone charger

Chair

Plug

/

X

X

/.

X

X

X

Cord On/Off Switch

/

/

/.

/

X

X

X

X

X

/.

X

X

X

X

LED Light

X

X

/.

X

X

X

X

Casing

/

/

/.

X

X

X

/.

Sockets

X

X

/

X

X

X

/.

Direct Interaction Matrix / direct interaction

Plug

Cord

On/Off Switch

/. desired interaction LED Light

X no interaction Casing

Sockets

Plug

X

/

X

X

X

X

Cord On/Off Switch

/

X

X

X

/.

X

X

X

X

/.

/.

X

LED Light

X

X

/.

X

/.

/

Casing

X

/.

/.

/.

X

/.

Sockets

X

X

X

X

/.

X

fourteen

Indirect Interaction Matrix


fifteen

AND HOW DOES IT LIVE? THE PROBLEMS AND SITUATIONS THAT USUALLY OCCUR.

WHERE DOES IT LIVE?

TO ILLUSTRATE

OR PHOTOGRAPHIC/VIDEO DOCUMENTATION WILL HELP

HELP OF A STORYBOARD,

SEQUENCE OF USE OF A PRODUCT, WITH THE

STUDYING THE

sequence of use 1.7


sixteen

sequence of use 1.7


seventeen

sequence of use 1.7


questionnaire 1.8

QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS

AND MORE QUESTIONS.

ASKING THE USER ABOUT THE PRODUCT ALLOWS TO GAIN VALUABLE INFORMATION.

uSING AN OPEN QUESTIONNAIRE WILL LET US KNOW OUR USER S THOUGHTs and feelings, MEANWHILE,

eighteen

A CLOSE QUESTIONNAIRE WILL allow us to ask specific questions .


questionnaire 1.8

questionnaire 1.8

I applied 15 mixed questionnaires ( both open and close questions) to people from 20 to 28 years old that are currently in college or have recently graduated. I decided to apply the questionnaire to this age demographic since they usually own various electronic devices.

Questionnaire Home Office Accessory Do you have a home desk? Where is it located in your house? Do you work from home? Yes / No Do your work at home? Yes /No Have you ever struggled with having fewer sockets than what you need? Yes /No If you have, what have you done to resolve the situation? What electric and/or electronic devices do you plug into the power outlets? How do you manage their cables (tangled cords, cables sitting on the floor? Which do you find to be more efficient in tending to your needs, a power strip, extension cable or neither?

nineteen

Extension cord Power Strip If neither an extension cord nor a power strip helps you, what characteristics should the apparatus have?


findings 1.9

detecting the areas of opportunities-what works,

after

what’ is not working and how it can be improved- parameters

are set.

These parameters will be the

twenty

road map for the development of the concept.


findings 1.9

findings 1.9

The conflic situations that I encountered are: 1) Overloading the power capabilities and resulting in a risk of fire. 2) Entangled cords 3) Daisy chains 4) Oversized transformers and chargers take up more than one socket. 5)Tripping hazard from loose cables sitting on the floor. The areas of opportunities detected are : 1) Betterment in the management of the cords of the appliances. 2) Provide for wider separation among the sockets, so that all can be used, when using oversized chargers and transformers (wall warts). 3) Longer extension cords to reach farther. 4) Aesthetically pleasing apparatus. 5) Featuring an extra thing like , a USB charger dock, or a telephone or ethernet outlet. 6) Need of approximately a minimum 38 outlets per household. 7) Avoiding the entaglement of the cords. 8) Reducing the need for daisy chains. 9) Integral management of the device that is being charged, instead of only its power supply. 10) Avoiding power capabilities overload.

twenty-one

From the questionnaire I concluded, that even though a majority of my respondents don’t work from home, they do tend to work at home. They do their work mostly in their own bedroom and some have studios of home offices, there was another part that used the kitchen or dining room to work or study. Most have encountered the situation in which they need more power outlet and most prefer to use a power strip, however, their is little interest in managing the cables from the connected items. Among the items they connect to the power are: laptops, lamps, cellphones, ipod, ethernet cable, scanner, printer, external drive, fan, telephone, tv, hi-fi,dvd, alarm clock,refrigerator, xbox and router.


twenty-two

products -

is of great help.

image board 1.10

environments that the product can be set in, to color palettes, similar

everything that might inspire- from the different

the vision for the project.

image board is a visual aid that will

help construct

the


twenty-three

image board 1.10


twenty-four

image board 1.10


twenty-five

image board 1.10


twenty-six

image board 1.10


twenty-seven

image board 1.10


twenty-eight

preliminary sketches 1.11

is made to propose solutions to the project. They’re often thumbnail sketches and some refined sketches of some concepts.

a first round of sketches

taking into account all the information found,


preliminary sketches 1.11


preliminary sketches 1.11


preliminary sketches 1.11


preliminary sketches 1.11


preliminary sketches 1.11


preliminary sketches 1.11


preliminary sketches 1.11

Appendixpreliminary sketches 1.11


References_ History of the Product 1.2A Powerful History: The Modern Electrical Outlet by Robin Hartman, June 19th 2008 ,http://illumin.usc.edu/article.php?articleID=181&page=1 Existing Patents 1.3The United States Patent and Trademark Office Website http://www.uspto.gov/ Google Patents www.google.com/patents Review of Literature 1.4Joel on Software Discussion Group http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?joel.3.93730.17 A Solution of the Socket Shortage, Megan Lane, BBC News http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6705313.stm Power Users, Ready for a Refill by Michelle Marriot , January 6, 2005 http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/06/technology/circuits/06powe.html?_r=1&pagewan ted=all&position= Fast Facts Daisy Chains, Fast Facts Extension Cords and Power Strips, Fast Facts Slips, Trips and Falls http://www.compliance.gov/ Questionnaire 1.8http://changingminds.org/techniques/questioning/open_closed_questions.htm

references 1.12

REFERENCES


Surge Protector Project