The Trimble TSC7 was recently recognized as a winner of the 2019 iF DESIGN AWARD, a world-renowned design honor. The TSC7, with its user-friendly, rugged design, won in the Computer Product category.
Trimble’s TSC7 was chosen by the iF International Forum Design’s 67-member jury, made up of independent experts from around the world. A key component of the competition included three days of intense discussion, dispute, examination and testing of all 6,375 entries submitted from 52 countries. The jury chose 1,190 entries worthy of the prestigious iF DESIGN AWARD, presented March 15 at the BMW Welt in Munich.
The Trimble TSC7 design team spent long hours strategizing on the product’s design and then let those innovative design features shine on the award application. The Trimble® TSC7 Controller product design itself was four years in the making, including two years of conceptualization and two years of project development. The product design team gathered more customer feedback for the TSC7 Controller than in any other previous product launch.
“A good device design is not for free,” says Mathias Roehring, TSC7 product manager for Trimble. “It takes time, prototypes and compromise.”
The product, designed to be used in various field scenarios and appeal to the “iPad generation,” integrates a tablet experience with a physical keyboard and includes among its many features:
Windows 10 & Intel processor;
sunlight readable screen;
function key and customizable “Favorites” functionality; and,
two hot-swappable batteries that allow for safe removal and insertion into the product while it’s still running.
“There is no other device on the market with a full keypad, a 7-inch display (more than double the area of the TSC3) and the Windows 10 Professional operating system that a user can operate one-handed,” Roehring says. The Windows 10 integration allows users to look up information, as well as send and receive files. This integration improves workflows and eliminates the need for a separate device to handle those tasks.
Roehring shared details of the extended design team’s efforts to create a product worthy of an iF DESIGN AWARD, which is a globally recognized trademark for design excellence. The process involved employees from Trimble industrial design, mechanical and electrical teams, as well as several external partners, with the final product evolving from numerous prototypes made from clay models, CAD designs, customer feedback and lots of iterations.
Michael Sanders, a senior mechanical engineer for Trimble, details how the hot-swappable battery location, encompassed in the hand grip, was a key part of the overall product design. “The battery design and positioning has given the product really good weight balance,” he says.
Other key elements include an ergonomic design that enables users to easily pick up the device with one hand and glass reinforced material that enabled a thinner, lighter housing than with traditional plastics, Sanders says.
First impressions are important in any new product, and the TSC7 also was designed to appear thinner to counteract initial impressions that it might be bulkier than the TSC3. “If you make it look thin, it appears lighter,” Sanders says.
From the TSC series beginnings in 1992 to the first touch screen in 2001 to the introduction of GSM for data transfer technology in 2011, the iF DESIGN AWARD-winning TSC7 is a modern controller that stands for the same values Trimble embraces: honesty, reliability, ruggedness.
Janos Faust, Caroline Rogg and Roland Winkler with the TSC7 iF DESIGN AWARD