Perhaps nothing has shaped the world today more than the Apple iPad. When it was first launched, the tablet design was met with skepticism and sometimes derision. After all, what could a tablet do that a smartphone or a laptop could not? Years later, the tablet has become as commonplace as any other type of electronic device. They’re everywhere in offices, factories, schools, local businesses, and even street vendors. They are remarkable devices that can seemingly do anything at anytime in any location.
… until you drop it.
Those electronic tablets can be fragile creatures. From cracked screens to scratched surfaces, damaged tablets look unprofessional and may not function properly. There are covers and cases to be sure, but often those cases can interfere with attachments and general functionality. Furthermore, what about people who could use them in hostile or at least not-ideal environments? Fortunately, StudioRed was on the “case,” so to speak.
A New Rugged Design
Harris Communications wanted a new kind of tablet, one that would be much more durable and stand up to harsh conditions while still being easy to use. The new tablet had to be able to be submerged underwater for at least 30 minutes without being damaged. It also needed to be easy to use in the dark. Perhaps the most difficult challenge was creating a user-interface that could be used by a person wearing gloves. After all, most tablets are designed to specifically interact with a person’s actual fingers.
Solving Unique Challenges
By using unique button functionality and enabling unique security features, the StudioRed design team was able to meet these specifications, and the design went on to win the silver medal at the 2013 International Design Awards (IDA). The device was designed to be used for military personnel and first responders; however, since its initial release, it has found a function in a wide variety of fields.