Withings baby monitor: new evidence of rapid prototyping’s effectiveness
This smart baby monitor is fitted with a 3 megapixel wide angle webcam, infrared LED to see in the dark, microphone and motion sensor.
You can also set custom alarms based on several parameters such as motion, temperature, humidity or noise. You can also play music.
The Smart Baby Phone will be commercially available in March 2011.
Withings, the company behind this product, received an award for innovation at the CES in Las Vegas. Eric Carreel, Withings CEO, is also CEO of Sculpteo.
As part of the design process, Withings used rapid prototyping technology for the development of the Baby monitor.
Pierre Garner of Elium Studio (Withings’ design partner) was keen to answer our questions:
What were your needs in terms of rapid prototyping? In other words, why was it important for you to use the rapid prototyping process?
Rapid prototyping was essential for us to check the volumes of our submissions, especially for the Smart Baby Monitor where two very different solutions were under consideration. It helped with our decision based on a realistic model and let us quickly visualize the changes we needed to apply.
What are the benefits of an intermediate model in the process of defining objects?
They are multiple:
– Quickly producing a 3D model allows us to visualize the real thing rather than an image, which helps to make decisions on its proportions and evaluate perceptions of the object. It’s an essential step in the project development process and is all the more effective when used in the early stages, which only rapid prototyping allows.
– Moreover, rapid prototyping allows us to easily include functional elements (kinematics, moving parts) which a “foam” mock-up cannot. Again, this helps to validate our architectural choices.
– And finally, with an adequate design, it allows us to produce different options with a common basis and test several submissions very cheaply.
Can you tell us what you think of Sculpteo’s production process and turnaround time, and the quality of their items?
The production process is extremely simple – it can be fully managed remotely. You upload your file, they check it, send a reliable quote and start manufacturing almost immediately. That means we can receive our item within 48 to 72 hours, which is virtually impossible with other methods.