Soldiers are required to carry up to 100 pounds of gear at any given time, making the design of their wearable technology critical.
Our team took cues from current consumer electronics that soldiers are used to: a new lightweight, slim form factor, text messaging capability, and dual orientation controls were introduced.
But this isn’t a consumer electronic product. Military units brave the toughest elements. Equipped with a night vision display and wearable strap feature, soldiers enjoy accessibility and efficient usability in any condition. KDU is right by their sides at all hours and can survive any abuse thrown at it. Because our goal was to deliver the keypad with an IP67 rating, we designed the device to be assembled without screws by ultrasonically welding the housings as well as bonding the silicone keypad to the housing.
The rugged design underwent drop testing in our lab.
The new design found quick success; pre-production release appearance models generated enough sales demand to provide complete ROI within 3 months of launch. At a quarter of the retail price of its predecessor and the ability to be assembled in nearly a tenth of the time, this device sparked a new business model for the purchase of accessory devices. Since they are inexpensive and quick to produce, small military units can privately purchase them when they need them.
Product Development Technologies (PDT) is a global, full-service product design and development firm with 120 employees worldwide. Team members have expertise in a wide range of product development disciplines, including strategy, scouting, design research, industrial design, user experience development, mechanical and electrical engineering, software development, and sourcing. PDT’s award winning product designs have been recognized with more than 70 awards from authorities such as BusinessWeek, Fast Company, the Industrial Designers Society of America and The Consumer Electronics Association.