The sound tube
Challenge: "Design a new sensor enclosure that addresses the following flaws present within the current solution:
- The maintenance cost, increased by the fact that the current enclosure has to be taken down entirely from the post in order to access the electronics inside.
- When it comes to the current “black box”, the included fasteners only allow it to be mounted onto a lamppost and nothing else, limiting possible use cases.
- Some key stakeholders consider it to be possible to have a case design that is more aesthetically pleasing and that fits the current lamppost setup better.
- The current casing is being sourced from another company, leading to increased costs due to the markup that the current provider requires."
The Sound Tube is a versatile sensor enclosure that focuses on easy and fast access to the internal components. Its simple and efficient form factor allows it to be produced in low numbers as well as on a large scale.
The Sound Tube was developed for the Municipality of the Hague and a tech start-up called Cyrb to replace the current solution which did not offer an easy way to access and fix the inside components, amoungs other isues. They have provided me with the electronics and I was in charge of redesigning the case that will house them.
Unlike the current solution, The Sound Tube allows for fast and easy maintenance by providing the user with swappable “tube“ modules. These can be taken off the lappost and replaced in a matter of seconds with new, functional ones. The defective ones can then be fixed off site in the safety of a workshop rather than at 7 meters off the ground.
The unique locking mechanism is designed in such a way that only one motion will unlock both the bottom and the top cap of the enclosure. Furthermore the standardized triangular lock offers enough protection to deter thieves while also making it possible to use the same key on multiple modules.
The main function of the enclosure is to facititate noise recording and sound recognition. However it offers the option of further expansion through various sensors such as air quality, humidity or tempreture as well.
Some key parts of the project
One of the starting steps of the project was to establish the necesarry features that the product will have. I did this using a function analyisis.
A long process of ideation resulted in 4 main directions. After a presentation where both main stakeholders were present, the fist concept was decided on.
A first prototype was created with the goal of testing the locking mechanism and the general fit of the inner components.
To ease deployment of the product, I created an in depth installation manual. I tried to achieve this using clear steps and blue highlights.
The final prototype was fully functional and it was installed on location to colect data and to check it's resistence against the harsh seaside weather conditions.