Like lots of great ideas, this one stemmed from a personal inconvenience that we’re sure most people can relate to. Whilst on holiday and sipping a Pina Colada, our client discovered he had difficulty viewing his mobile phone screen in direct sunlight. He closely observed the people around him. He noticed that varied body positions were adopted and quickly adjusted as the intensity of the sun made it too uncomfortable to maintain causing unnecessary stress on different body parts. And that people would even move away to a shaded area temporarily just to see the mobile’s screen. “There has to be a universal solution” he thought.
The Shady | Sunlight blocker
When size matters
He wondered if iPad users experienced the same issue. Despite being under the same bright conditions as mobile phone users, the increased size of the device seemed to provide a sufficient barrier. He noticed that users could relax on their back and clearly read their screen. So in this case, size does seem to matter! He began exploring possible solutions discovering a lack of existing products. Those that were available either didn’t look good, impeded on phone operation or weren’t a reasonable cost. He saw a gap in the market and contacted us to explore his idea further.
Test, refine and repeat
We began creating multiple concepts through digital sketches. These sketches and mood boards enabled the rapid expansion and exploration of ideas, triggering preferences on how the product might look and perform. This process was continually refined until our customer was completely happy with taking his vision forward to the next stage. Without doubt this product needed to be tested. After creating a CAD for prototype, we 3D printed prototypes in-house. This time we focused on function. We began adjusting the design with user feedback whilst considering how to incorporate injection moulding friendly components as this product needed to be cost efficient to produce.
Protection and design
Discussions on how to protect the product had ensued quite early on in the project and so we provided drawings to support the patent application. With a fully functioning prototype in hand, we produced multiple renders to show colour options and surface finishes to achieve the desirable look our customer sought. With strong visuals and a production file in place, it was certainly was an exciting moment to pass the CAD to the manufacturer.
The work didn’t stop there though. The name Shadey Attachments was already established as a company so we worked together on building the brand (The Shadey) by exploring colour ranges and special editions. We designed a number of different packaging options. These protect the product as well as distinguish it in the marketplace. To show how The Shadey might look in its packaging or in a real environment, we created photo-realistic renders. Now The Shadey is ready for the Great British public to buy.