GasAlertMicroClip, by now in continuous production for a decade, is a portable four-sensor gas detector with best-in-class ergonomics due to miniaturization of two key technologies. Lithium-ion polymer rechargeable battery technology and MicroPEL sensors (see image) make for a highly compact spatial envelope. In certain jurisdictions petroleum industry workers must be protected against hydrogen sulphide, carbon monoxide and flammable gases as well as enrichment or depletion of oxygen in ambient air. This typically burdens a workforce with heavier, larger, more cumbersome gas detectors.
GasAlertMicroClip is only moderately bigger than a many small single-sensor detectors offered by the competition at the time of market introduction, obsoleting such concerns.
As industrial designer I exploited the opportunities afforded by these innovations to the fullest, aiming at an extremely flat profile that makes the device pleasant to handle and unobtrusive to wear whilst attached to protective apparel - both positive motivators for workers against forgetting to carry their detector. A pleasant experience people are keen to make a habit of results in higher staff compliance, more reliable protection, and lower incident rates, than merely negative enforcers like rules and penalties.
User Interface Design
GasAlertMicroClip was BW Technologies' first project with a dedicated, front-loaded UI design cycle, by my own initiative. The detector has a limited number of user-launchable operations and is for the most part configurable through fleet management software. This choice was deliberate to ensure user-accessible functions are restricted to what is absolutely essential - eliminating any sources distraction is vital for this product. The few essential functions at the user's fingertips by contrast must be trivially easy to initiate.