Hi, and good morning again.
Last night rather than watch the tv, I I decided to play around with some creative design ideas.
The picture shows the result, of my prototype design.
The device is going to be part of an IOT / Internet of Things sensor device, using either LoraWAN or Wifi wireless standards to send and receive the data from the internet.
If I’m being honest this project does not have a clear design brief, or plan.
I do have a couple final ‘outcomes’ for the project.
In other words it will either be a web connected clock (which was the orginal plan), or most likely, it will be an indoor environmental sensor, with live information data display (hence the lcd display).
It will also be connected to the internet, and will act as an IOT Sensor Node.
As the device is designed for indoor use, the case has a low ‘IP Rating’.
What IP Rating means is ingress protection. Ingress protection, is how well the case is able to withstand dust and water getting inside it.
An IP68 case could be put in water, but our prototype can only stand a light splash, and normal levels of dust.
This is not a problem, as it is designed for indoor use only.
The main case is an ‘off the shelf’ plastic box, manufactured by Hammond Manufacturing, that I have modified.
Firstly I have cut out a hole in the front, and mounted an LCD display.
These LCD displays are very cheap to buy, which keeps unit costs down, should we decide to manufacture it.
Keeping the cost down, is the difference between product success and failure, as being a product that would potentially be sold to business customers, ‘price sensitivity’, might be an issue.
A downside of using a LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) in this prototype IOT device, is current consumption.
LCD displays have a ‘backlight’, so that the display can be seen easily, which draws more current than alternative displays, such as ‘OLED’.
The greater the ‘current consumption’, the quicker the battery supplying the power to the unit, will run out.
That is one reason why your wearable tech, is unlikely to use an LCD display.
My solution to this ‘challenge’, will probably be to fit a push switch.
The push switch, when pressed will operate the display, so that power is supplied to it, and it displays the information.
When the users finger is taken off the button, the display will go off. This will help with battery life, of the unit.
In front of the modified plastic case, is a piece of clear perspex.
The addition of this piece of perspex to the design, has two functions.
Firstly, the perspex protects the LCD screen from accidental damage, due to being pressed by fingers, for example.
Secondly, the perspex tilts the display up at roughly a 40 degree angle. This enables the display to be easily seen by the user.
The more observant among you will notice that the perspex is slightly cracked, and blemished.
This is a rough prototype, and is very much a ‘proof of concept’.
When prototyping ideas and designs, I like to use whatever I can quickly get my hands on.
In this case, the perspex was recycled from an old CD case, which I carefully (well ok, not that carefully), using a steel rule, and a craft (Stanley) knife.
As you probably have noticed, the perspex is attached to the main plastic box, using ‘Blue Tack’.
Obviously this would not be strong enough, or aesthetically pleasing for a produced product, but remember, this is an initial design idea / prototype IOT device.
I will be adding some updates in future posts to show how this, and other designs, are going. See you soon,