M Design develops a really tough case for business professionals who find themselves in situations where their iPads are bumped and bruised while they perform their everyday tasks.
Targus recently tasked M Design with the fast track development of an iPad Rugged Case for hard-working professionals on-the-go. The new case had to be tough, durable and robust without looking bulky or awkward to convey a favorable image closely aligned to the Targus brand.
Functionally, it was necessary to integrate subtle ergonomics with intuitive operation, provide ample protection from shock and drops, yet be slender enough to slide conveniently into luggage and backpacks. And of course, its materials and fabrication could not be overly complex or costly.
M design kicked off the process by engaging in consumer research to better understand how mobile professionals utilized their mobile tablet devices. M staff designers also studied how Targus would compete with other brands by offering features and styling currently unmet in other rugged cases. We documented our observations and distilled the outcome into a “wish list” of proposed features and aesthetics for the new Rugged Case.
After presenting the preliminary research to Targus, M Design kicked off the actual design process by conceptualizing several diverse design directions to allow Targus stakeholders the opportunity of selecting a direction they most identified with. The great thing was that each concept still closely adhered to the original wish list to fulfill Targus’ objectives.
It was a difficult decision to pick a final design from all the concepts, but after careful deliberation a single direction was chosen that best represented Targus wish list objectives. The selected concept was then further developed into 2D photorealistic drawings and 3D full scale looks-like-the-real-thing rapid prototypes. The prototypes were fabricated in M Designs’ large in-house shop, which is a great benefit when our clients prefer to not share confidential projects with third party vendors. The appearance models were semi-functional to save cost and time, yet clearly demonstrated what the proposed design looked like and how it felt in their hands.
After a final round of approvals M Design followed through on eleventh hour mechanical design by supporting Targus’ off-shore manufacturing vendors with design detailing and CAD to communicate critical elements such as hinges, snap closures and other fastening details before going into full scale manufacturing.
The production injection-molded case incorporates many features that are suited to a mobile end user. It has a removable shoulder harness and a hand strap that rotates at indexed points 360-degrees to be securely held at any angle, even if the wearer presents the iPad to another individual. The design hinges opens like a clam shell with the iPad resting between a soft inner lining that serves a dual function; to absorb shock and also to avoid marring the smooth glass and aluminum surface of the iPad. Once the clamshell is folded closed, it creates a liquid resistant seal and is secured with a secondary cam lock to prevent accidental opening even if bumped, dropped or hit.
It has a grippable, soft-touch, non-slip perimeter that won’t slide on a work surface. When not in handheld mode, the Rugged Case features a sleek rotating flip stand for viewing in portrait or landscape mode. It also has a flush mounted stand that deploys to let the iPad Rugged Case rest at a shallow angle for data to be input like a keyboard.
The Targus Rugged Case protects an iPad in extreme circumstances where dropping an expensive electronic device is not only likely but inevitable. It performs well for professionals atop an off-shore oil rig, in a delivery vehicle, or simply strapped to the side of a businessman running at full speed to catch a late flight. An added benefit is that it’s as likely to be appropriate at outdoor sporting venues and activities, such as a point of sale register on a hot day in Ibiza, or in a multi pitch climb on the side of a remote cliff while rock climbing.