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GIRA Smart School remote control by Felix Fastenrath - no official product by GIRA

gira
smart school

Please note that this is no official product by GIRA

problem

Problems that keep the teacher from teaching

Photo via Fotolia
Contrastwerkstatt

Design a device that saves time for high-quality tuition by taking care of common tasks in the classroom!

How to tackle the growing number of devices in classrooms

Smart devices for classrooms

With the rise of smart home technology and digital learning methods, there is more and more that needs to be controlled in the classroom. Of course this needs to stay in the hands of the teacher. Controls should be fast and easy, so that it does not affect the flow of the tuition.

research

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Rebuild and market overview

During the research phase, in which I have rebuilt an old remote control, I found out that most smart home remotes on the market have a problem organising all the available functions and devices in an easy way.

concept

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Most digital functions

Two push buttons are required to control all the digital functions of the device with the most of it.

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Most dimmable functions

To operate three dimmable functions, one analogue slider and two option buttons are needed.

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Special functions

Two special functions need extra buttons to be available all the time: a laser pointer and a horn.

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How many buttons?

To determine the basic form of the remote, I analysed what needs to be controlled and how many and what kind of buttons are needed for this. I decided to design it for GIRA, since they are a leading company in home automation, and had a look at their geometric, clear design language.

Moodboard for the design language of GIRA

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refinement

Sketches and mockups used for refinement of GIRA Smart School remote

Sketches and mock-ups

Due to the geometric and clean style I was aiming for, I had to check and define each detail of its shape, such as proportions, sizes and button layouts. I did this by creating a vast range of variations in sketches and paper and foam mock-ups.

design

GIRA Smart School design model moneyshot
Detail of option buttons – GIRA Smart School smart home remote control Detail of analogue slider – GIRA Smart School smart home remote control
Detail of how to attach a handstrap – GIRA Smart School smart home remote control

Simple and robust

Following the GIRA design language the remote is very simple and geometric. But this design language does not really fit to the sometimes tumultuous working environment of a teacher, so I added a TPE bumper that gives a more robust look and feel.

construction

GIRA Smart School smart home remote control technical construction exploded view

Display

Housing

Circuit board

Fastening

Display

To keep the puristic look of the remote, the interface uses translucent plastics backlit with a thin yet powerful OLED display instead of a regular one. This technology is also used to make the front buttons change their interface.

Housing

The housing is a flat injection molded cuboid made of glossy ABS plastics. It is split in a front and a back half. The buttons are made of the same material. They are flush with the housing and have thin splitlines.

Circuit board

The circuit board contains IR sensors and an IR emitter, a laser diode, the CPU, a vibra motor, a beeper and a bluetooth module. Thus it can provide alll the functions needed.

Fastening

The two parts of the housing are attached to each other using metal clips. The elastomer band around the housing provides additional hold and hides the clips and the battery slot.

interface

GIRA Smart School smart home remote control interface detail
GIRA Smart School smart home remote control interface detail GIRA Smart School smart home remote control interface detail
GIRA Smart School smart home remote control adaptive interface detail

Point and control

Using infrared tags, the remote notices on which device the user is pointing, be it a thermostat, a screen or simply the lighting. Depending on the chosen device the icons on the buttons change thanks to translucent plastics with very bright OLED displays behind it.