Design for the unconnected
This is truly a big, hairy, audacious goal – connect the whole world to the Internet.
Provide the half of the world that currently has no access to the digital revolution with a platform to participate, which will spur improvements in the economies, living conditions, healthcare and education of developing countries.
Accomplish this through a large array of small satellites streaming data at lightning-fast speeds. Make it easy to connect using lightweight, portable satellite terminals that can be powered by solar energy in emerging markets and rural areas. Create terminals that work on planes and emergency response vehicles to enhance safety and efficiency. Make it affordable. Make it beautiful.
That’s the challenge that Greg Wyler, CEO of OneWeb, has taken on. He has good company in his quest – Sir Richard Branson, Founder of the Virgin Group, and Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, Executive Chairman of Qualcomm Incorporated, are on OneWeb’s board of directors.
OneWeb had a challenge for Design Concepts – design ground-based satellite terminals for three usage scenarios and a portable solar array. Then create realistic visual renderings and build a high-fidelity visual model for the Satellite 2015 show.
And, by the way, get it all done within a month.
Moving at the speed of light, we devised and refined a cohesive brand language with a user friendly and elegant appearance. With little to go on – just OneWeb’s vision and a set of dimensions to accommodate the embedded technology– our industrial designers quickly created a range of concepts. The selected approach uses an articulating mount to secure the satellite terminal onto a solar array that folds up neatly for greater portability and ease of distribution.
Our engineers tackled the mechanical challenges of a folding solar panel, designing the articulating mechanisms necessary for smooth, reliable operation. With plans in hand, our prototyping team built a glossy, realistic model to unveil during Wyler’s keynote address at Satellite 2015.
Our prototyping team took on an interesting side challenge – designing the display that would hold the model during the presentation. They designed and built a simple structure with a pitched roof that could be assembled and disassembled onstage without any tools.
Design Concepts' work was recognized with a bronze International Design Excellence Award (IDEA) in the social impact category.