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Technology Push Development

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Engineering
Wordcount: 4415 words Published: 30th Aug 2017

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Part 1: Short questions

  1. Technology push development: The Pebble watch is a radical innovation. Eric Migicovsky created a watch to use whilst bike riding, the watch had to communicate with his smart phone, providing message notifications. The technology was tested but the concept was new; creating a whole new market of smart watches.

Figure 1: Pebble watch (Pebble Technology, 2012)

Market pull development: The digital camera is an example of this, customers wanted a product that takes more pictures and shows results instantly, through technological advances incremental changes were made to go from a standard film camera taking 36 pictures, to digital cameras that can take 1000’s.

Figure 2: Rugby ball evolution (Image: History-Gilbert, N.D & Rugby ball – Wikipedia, N.D)

The above figure shows how the rugby ball has evolved over time. Left- The first rugby ball made from pig’s bladder stuffed inside leather housing, the size of the bladder determined the shape and size. Middle -The first official rugby ball, this had a rubber bladder, the shape and size could be controlled, this is due to material enhancements. Officials then called for a ball that is uniform in shape and size. Due to advancements in technology and manufacturing processes, we now have the ball on the right; made from plastic and rubber.

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Goal: This sets out the desired result or solution we want the design to achieve. This does not state how this should be achieved. Context: The target audience / market is set out in this section, who are we designing this new product for. Constraints: In this part we specify restrictions for the design such as budget, time frame, even things like materials that should be used, is placed in this section. Criteria: Is a wish list of things we would like the design to achieve. It provides a method of how the design solutions will be graded; the design that fulfils most of the criteria will be preferable.

Figure 3: Android TV box Remote control

The remote above is a good piece of equipment but in my opinion it has one main design failure. The remote communicates via infrared with the TV box, meaning if there is no clear line of sight: then the remote does not function. This can be very frustrating. The TV box has WIFI and Bluetooth capabilities built in; so by removing the infrared and replacing with a Bluetooth connection we could eliminate the need for line of sight making the remote a pleasure to use.

  1. User test: A group of selected persons are asked to use a product with a specific and controlled set of instructions so everyone uses the product in exactly the same manner and normally at the same time, unlike laboratory conditions but like a controlled home environment.

User trials: The group of persons are given a product to use at their own homes for a set period; they will then provide feedback on how the product fits in with their normal daily lives, the things they liked and disliked or even when and where they used the product.

Figure 4: Aston Martin Rapide S (Rapide S, 2017)

Figure 5: Rapide S interior (Rapide S, 2017)

I have been in one of these, it’s a dream car. The noise the engine makes raises the hairs on your neck, the smell and feel of the interior is pure elegance (Physio-pleasure).Owning one of these would make me belong to a group of people that enjoy the finer things in life (Socio-pleasure). Sitting behind the wheel makes you feel important and powerful (Psycho-pleasure). One of Aston Martins policies is to do whatever it takes to reduce their carbon footprint; because with power comes responsibility thus we are responsible for the world we live in (Ideo-pleasure).

  1. User profile: This is a collection of the distinguishing features of a particular group of people for example people between 16-30 years old are more likely to listen to pop music than say people between 50- 70 years of age. User persona: This is a fictional user created by the designer to assist in the design process. This user will be created out of one of the user profiles and will be described in detail down to a name and character traits.
  2. Ergonomics looks at how we as humans move and what our body limitations are; to create designs that are more compatible with our bodies. This study allows designs to improve usability of the products whether it is something that sits better in the palm of your hand thereby prolonging the length of time the user can use the product without straining the body or a chair that curves with the spine to improve circulation etcetera, it all involves the study of what works best with our bodies.

Figure 6: Push-button tap (Push button tap, N.D)

The timed-flow tap is a good example of inclusive design, even though it is designed to supply a timed amount of water, the way it is designed means that a much larger group of people can use this tap in comparison to a regular tap, this tap can be used by people with disabilities such as arthritis or even amputees. This product can be used by many people without the need for adapting it.

  1. I have tried to think a bit more like a designer by keeping in mind what would be important to a client but also considering human factors, I found this a bit of a challenge as I am a hands on kind of guy but I understand that this needs improvement from my part. I tried to stick to the same format for my TMA as I scored well in the last TMA.

Word count 936 (limit 900)

Part 2: Researching and writing a design brief.

Section 1: Gathering information.

A product to improve fitness: Treadmills

Product Area:

Three of the broader market sectors use products for improving fitness; Retail sector consists of personal users, the Commercial sector contains entities such as Health clubs and the Public sector has hospitals etcetera. (AMAResearch, 2016)

Cardiovascular exercise combats a range of disorders and improves overall wellbeing, thus a bicycle, treadmill or rowing machine would be a good. (Metabolic disorders, 2016)

In 2015 approximately 67% of people aged between 16-54 years met the minimum recommended exercise levels in the UK; providing potentially large market areas. (Physical activity statistics 2015, 2016)

Market sales for treadmills are approximately 83 million per year (Yozgat, 2014); this may not be accurate but it’s worth looking into treadmills.


Statistic shows people on higher income tend to exercise on a regular basis (Physical activity statistics 2015, 2016); aiming at the middle to top-end of the market would be ideal.

The people that use treadmills tend to be those that are trying to lose weight, may have medical conditions making an exercise machine that can measure heart-rate and blood pressure in valuable.

The largest group of people that exercise are aged 25 to 54, the working age; they do it to feel good or look better. (Fitnessforweightloss, 2015)

Product information:

Figure 7: ARGOS catalogue part 1 (ARGOS spring/summer 2017, N.D)

Figure 8: ARGOS catalogue part 2 (ARGOS spring/summer 2017, N.D)

The Argos catalogue showed a range of treadmills costing £100-£3500; this includes manual treadmills and motorised treadmills.

Cheaper models were less sturdy, had a smaller running surface because higher speeds cannot be achieved.

Lower end models had smaller motors thus unable to maintain set speeds when an incline is introduced, creating a weight restriction for user usage.

Top range models fold away electronically; this could be a safety concern for younger children.

Materials & Technologies:

Parts Table


Extrusion rails


Electric motor


Treadmill belt


Drive unit




Motor hood cover


Running deck


Treadmill frame


End cap


Electric circuit board


Elevation motor actuator


Control unit


Motor pan


Hand rails


Motor fan


Electric supply unit

Figure 9: Basic treadmill parts( c.searspartsdirect.com,N.D)

Table 1:Parts table for figure 9

The main materials are Polyurethane, Nylon-Polyester (treadmill belt), Steel or aluminium (frame) and wood (running deck).

These are good materials with good properties; they’re recyclable or renewable making them environmentally friendly.

Figure 10: Basic unit (Jhony, 2017) Figure 11: Advanced unit (fitness-superstore.co.uk, N.D.)

As can be seen from above figures the control units can be basic to very advance; measuring all aspects of the fitness routine.

Technologies already incorporated into treadmills are heart-rate monitoring sensors and blood pressure sensors.

There’s opportunity to add ECG monitoring or Bio-electrical impedance for body fat measuring.

I have a safety concern about treadmills that operate without a user being on it, this could cause harm to children.

Word count 399 (limit 400)

Section 2: Research

Figure 12: Outer box

Figure 13: Inner packaging

Figure 14: Possibility of trapping wiring

Figure 15: Cheap plastic part

Figure 16: Feet rest with roller for moving

Figure 17: MP3 connection

User Research:User trip on a Reebok ZR9 treadmill, beginning at unpacking, assembly and first time use. During each stage I stopped and took note of my feelings, what I found interesting or disappointing. I was experiencing all four pleasures, something I have never taken notice of before, the Reebok brand made me feel like an athlete, the control unit made me feel excited about the different routines I could try out, the smooth lines of the treadmill is a pleasure to look at and professionalism is evident in all aspects.

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Points to note, packaging creates initial feeling of excitement and professionalism. Assembly was simple and clearly laid out, a concern is that electrical wiring could get trapped during assembly. Some parts looked cheap, not in keeping with design. Using the treadmill is user-friendly, no method of measuring weight and as I have no MP3 player the function to connect to one is of no use, create a wireless connection so any media can be played through the speakers.

User trips are good for experiencing the pleasures but may be biased; I found I was willing to overlook faults. Prior operation knowledge meant I have learnt to navigate around nuisances meaning I may have missed something.

I interviewed a personnel trainer at my local gym, this was very informative; I was able to learn a lot about what types of people use treadmills, when and for what reasons they use it, the trainer also pointed out some user tendencies. Interviews widen the variety of information available to you as designer.

Things to note, treadmills are mainly used as a weight loss device and novice users only use the quick start function as they feel intimidated by all the different settings and functions.

User Profile: I initially split my potential users into 3 groups, this was done by splitting them into age groups (15 to 23, 24-56 and 57+ years), I chose to do a user profile for the group aged between 24 to 56 years because this seems to be the group more likely to use and buy a treadmill based on their characteristics.

User characteristics

Treadmill users aged 24 to 56 years characteristics

  • GenderBoth male and female.
  • Physical limitationsMay range from fully-able bodied people to having some limitations such as, hearing and sight problems, mobility problems such as loss of a limb, can also range in shape and size.
  • EducationLittle or no education, unable to read or write up to very high levels of education.
  • Computer/IT skillsLikely to be well educated in computer literacy and technological advances.
  • MotivationCan range from being well motivated to use a treadmill for social interaction, enhancing fitness state, relaxation (stress reduction) or controlling body weight to unmotivated to use it because of health reasons.
  • AttitudeLikely to be positive depending on how effective the treadmill can provide the required training levels and features the user may be expecting.
  • FinanceLow to high levels of income, more likely to be on higher levels of income as career tends to be well grounded at this stage.
  • Daily physical activityMay range from being inactive due to working in an office; to very active working as a postal worker for example.
  • Exercise equipment experienceVery likely to have experience in the use of a range of exercise equipment.
  • LifestyleLikely to be athletic viewing exercise as fun, be sports-savvy viewing sport as a fashion statement, may be health oriented -likes to have a specific diet or may have medical reasons for keeping fit.

User Persona: Leroy (Persona for the treadmill users aged 24 to 56 year group)

Leroy is a 28 year old male. He works as a stock broker and earns £80 000 per year, graduated from Queen Mary University with a MSc Wealth Management degree. Leroy is in a steady relationship with Claire, they are living in a spacious three bedroom upmarket apartment in a London suburb, it is situated near a large gym and very close to an Underground station; this makes travelling to pubs, shops and other amenities very simple. He lives a very fast paced life, takes great pride in his image. Shopping for good expensive clothing is important as this makes him stand out from others. Leroy plays squash with his friend Paul in the mornings to get him in the right frame of mind for work; this helps because he is very competitive. After work he will meet Claire at the Gym to do some cardio on the treadmill, this helps them to relax after a tough day. Having a treadmill at home will free up some time that he would appreciate spending with his friends and family.

I used the persona activity to create a template for my persona, I immersed myself in to it, I imagined myself as Leroy, I know this may not be a true reflection of a real person and asking someone else to complete a persona notebook would perhaps give me views I could not imagine.

Word count 849 (limit 800)

Section 3: Detailed design brief


To design a motorised treadmill that will improve overall fitness levels of the user according to their current state of health and well-being; with minimal programming input from the user.


People use treadmills for weight-loss, relaxation and stress-management or to maintain and improve their health and well-being. The main reason users don’t exercise is; a lack of time, figuring out what program is best for the user’s goal is time consuming and confusing thus most users tend to use the basic stop start functions; making the user experience mundane and therefore the user is less likely to stay motivated. Users that have a goal to work towards or that is stimulated audio-visually are more likely to stay motivated and return to exercise more frequently. This brief provides an opportunity to challenge the traditional image of the treadmill that is seen as mundane by creating something interesting that forms part of the user’s everyday life.


The design must:

  • User-centred, ease of use and functions to be self-explanatory.
  • Energy-efficient, energy consumption must have an energy-efficiency rating of ‘A’ or better.
  • Non-moving parts to last lifespan of the design.
  • All parts must be recyclable or come from a renewable source.
  • Ready for market launch within a maximum of 5 years.
  • To retail at approximately £750.
  • Able to connect with a variety of devices.
  • Maintain a maximum speed of up to 16 km per hour with a maximum user load of up to 140kg.
  • The running-deck must have a minimum running area of 135cm x 46cm.
  • Mains operated.
  • Be safe and reliable


The design should:

  • Usable by able bodied and disable bodied users, limitations can include sight problems, hearing-loss and loss of limbs or mobility issues such as arthritis.
  • Appeal to male and female users aged between 16-56 years.
  • Require little to no maintenance.
  • Assembly should be simple and easy to follow.
  • Able to be stored neatly and compactly.
  • Be easy to move during storage.

Word Count 324 (limit 300)


ARGOS (2017) ARGOS spring / summer 2017, ARGOS.

Aston Martin Rapide S (2017) Aston Martin. Available at: http://www.astonmartin.com/cars/rapide-s (Accessed: 4 February 2017).

C.Searspartsdirect.com (No Date) Available at: http://c.searspartsdirect.com/lis_png/PLDM/P9110011-00001.png (Accessed: 6 February 2017).

FitnessforWeightLoss (2015) Gym statistics: Members, equipment, and cancellations. Available at: http://www.fitnessforweightloss.com/gym-statistics-members-equipment-and-cancellations/ (Accessed: 4 February 2017).

Fitness-Superstore.co.uk (No Date) Available at: http://www.fitness-superstore.co.uk/technogym-spazio-forma-folding-treadmill-with-training-link.html (Accessed: 3 January 2017).

FreeGreatPicture (2016) Free photo man sports competition game Racquetball exercise. Available at: http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Man-Sports-Competition-Game-Racquetball-Exercise-89823 (Accessed: 9 February 2017).

Image: History – Gilbert (no date) Available at: https://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gilbertsa.co.za%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F01%2Fhistory31.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gilbertsa.co.za%2Fhistory%2F&docid=8eSbVl-aVYRhrM&tbnid=wdHhJhz5Z8ZayM%3A&vet=1&w=725&h=275&bih=636&biw=1242&q=rugby%20ball%20history&ved=0ahUKEwjGo7jm0vbRAhXBD8AKHW8oAyoQMwgeKAIwAg&iact=mrc&uact=8#h=275&imgrc=wdHhJhz5Z8ZayM:&vet=1&w=725 (Accessed: 4 February 2017).

Image: Rugby ball – Wikipedia (no date) Available at: https://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2Fthumb%2F3%2F35%2FRichard_Lindon_(1816-1887).jpg%2F150px-Richard_Lindon_(1816-1887).jpg&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FRugby_ball&docid=lW8pE2oOw1kUKM&tbnid=JYnP6tWeXFBirM%3A&vet=1&w=150&h=218&bih=636&biw=1242&q=rugby%20ball%20history&ved=0ahUKEwjGo7jm0vbRAhXBD8AKHW8oAyoQMwgpKA0wDQ&iact=mrc&uact=8#h=218&imgrc=JYnP6tWeXFBirM:&vet=1&w=150 (Accessed: 4 February 2017).

Jhony (2017) Buy Opti manual folding treadmill at Argos.Co.Uk – your online shop for treadmills, fitness equipment, sports and leisure. Available at: http://www.argos.co.uk/product/6127743 (Accessed: 6 February 2017).

Metabolic disorders (2016) Available at: http://www.technogym.com/gb/business-solution/metabolic-disorders/ (Accessed: 3 January 2017).

Pebble Technology (2012) Pebble watch trio group 04 Available at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pebble_watch_trio_group_04.png (Accessed: 23 January 2017).

Physical activity statistics 2015 (2016) Available at: https://www.bhf.org.uk/publications/statistics/physical-activity-statistics-2015 (Accessed: 4 January 2017).

Push button tap (no date) Available at: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=push+button+tap&espv=2&biw=1242&bih=636&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjh3-aK1_bRAhVTOMAKHZ7gACkQ_AUIBygC#imgrc=AQF6rJotS-erZM: (Accessed: 4 February 2017).

The Open University (2013) Designing for people: Book 2, Milton Keynes, The Open University.

Yozgat, B. (2014) How many treadmills are sold each year? Available at: http://www.howmanyarethere.net/how-many-treadmills-are-sold-each-year/ (Accessed: 4 January 2017).

(The references are not included in the word count)



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