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Does Industrial Design Effect Us All

Apr 5, 2008
Talk of industrial design and automatically many of us will think about our history lessons back at school regarding the industrial revolution. It cannot be denied that this was the pinnacle of industrial design when so many ideas came together from so many diverse sources that it thrust the developed world into a time of accelerated advancements in all directions.

Industrial design has come on leaps and bounds with the products it creates and the whole business of design itself has speeded up beyond belief with the use of computer aided industrial design. Concepts can be tested out via computers, saving money by not having to build the prototype before all areas have been tried out.

Life has become ever easier with inventions of all descriptions for the home, for business and for transport. And it hasn't stopped since. Along with all the inventions of industrial design comes the extra pollution that it causes. This then gives birth to more invention possibilities with the need to correct the environmental damage.

One of the most inventive and environmentally friendly products to emerge from the world of industrial design recently has been the Tesla Roadster. This is an electric powered sports car that hopes to smash to pieces the image that electric cars have adopted since their inception. Ugly and slow is the idea that many people have when they think electric cars but not so with the Tesla Roadster.

This car is low, sleek, beautiful and ultimately sporty in its design. It looks no different from the sports vehicles that pollute our air but this one comes with zero emissions and one charge will see you happily through 250 miles. Slow is not in its vocabulary - reaching 60mph in 4 seconds.

Of course, with ever increasing speed being encouraged through industrial design we then encounter the problem of human failure. This problem often occurs when driving, often from the simple hitch of fatigue. Drivers falling asleep at the wheel has been the result of many a fatal accident and is something designers have been looking at for a while.

The latest offering from the field of industrial design to tackle this problem is one of the winners of the Industrial Design Excellence Award with their invention of the Optalert. These are an innovative pair of sunglasses with built in technology that will monitor the movement of drivers eyelids. When the eyelids are becoming heavy with fatigue they react slower. This will be sensed by the micro electronics within the glasses and an alarm will be activated from the dashboard.

Of course, if this isn't enough and the dreaded accident should occur, you would want the best technical rescue equipment that was on offer for the emergency services to rescue you. This would come in teh form of the 2006 winning industrial design of the Resqtec G2 Cutter.

This small piece of brilliance is one in a line of hydraulic rescue equipment items to be used by fire rescue units. It can be attached to hydraulic pumps and will cut through debris in the event of a vehicle accident, quickly freeing the occupants where they will be transported to hospital to reap the benefits of more industrial design.
About the Author
Design expert Catherine Harvey looks at the way industrial design impacts on everybody.
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