First Alert

Onelink® Smoke & CO Detector

Elevating a commodity product with beauty, safety

Smart appliances deserve equally smart design. Consumers expect connected products to be functional and beautiful. First Alert engaged Design Concepts to develop a fresh aesthetic that would communicate their latest technology in an appropriate premium-design statement.

Working in conjunction with First Alert’s engineering team, our Industrial Design professionals crafted an aesthetic solution that is modern without being austere or mechanical. At the core of the design solution is a focus on usability. Previous detectors had buttons that were challenging to find, diminutive in size and fussy to operate. The Onelink design places a large, easy-to-locate button at the center of the monitor’s face, which allows for convenient operation from floor level with a broom handle (because almost no one is seven feet tall). The sculpted top surface builds to an elevated plateau that contains the oversized button. A ring of light surrounds the button itself and shifts color to provide visual feedback indicating the device’s status.

The electromechanical engineering of the light pipe, the LED array and its functional interaction with the button required a multidisciplinary approach. Leveraging our in-house electrical engineering lab and prototyping capabilities, we efficiently created iterative proof of principle prototypes to arrive at the best solution for the product’s lighting effects. Our mechanical engineers developed the plastic parts and assemblies to a level in which they were ready for release to the tooling and molding source in Asia. The final engineered solution was functional, elegant and cost effective.

To support First Alert’s Onelink connected product line announcement at CES 2015, we created multiple functional prototypes to show potential buyers and distribution partners that the products were ready for market.



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