Smart Water Heater

Birth Story of the Lyra range of water heaters for Venus Home appliances, the Market leaders in South India, starts from the changing needs of the next generation of digital savy customers, in the internet age. Venus as a brand is very well known for its reliability and customer service, but in terms of aesthetics and trends the existing products were not meeting the changing needs.

Customer and Trend Research

Customer research to validate the brief was done by meeting them and understanding their needs and studying their buying pattern. Consumer durables trends in the market and enhancing the user interface needs were researched to enhance the usability and align the product with the latest trends in the market.

The customers who buy water heater for their houses are young, tech savvy – use multiple gadgets and are of the iPad and ipod generation. The customers needs are towards minimalist, clean looking designs.

We wanted to create a WOW feel to the customer when he walks in to the showroom, giving him the latest in trends to meet his contemporary taste and enhance his usability with a smart interface.

Ramesh Manickam, Design Director, Centroid Design

The customer wants choice and he wanted to choose the colours of the panels based on his taste, the style of tiles and other products in the bathroom

Concept Design 

An In depth trend analysis of the products in the market and the contemporary customer likings were mapped both with the products and inspiration from nature – image maps were made to highlight the story line to the clients.

Usability mapping – minimal user interface and enhancing the interface concepts explored. When the customer switches on the water heater, at a glance we wanted the water heater to communicate if the water is hot or cold

Various concept sketches were explored, and the potential few were moved further to quick surface modelling and photorealistic renderings for presentation.

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Water heater Concept Design Sketches

As a designer every individual who interfaces with the product are our customers, the heater was designed from serviceability, manufacturing and assembly perspectives brought in to Industrial Design.

Concept Story 

The concept presentation, highlighted the story and the inspiration, trends, Usability aspects. Minimalist trends, with contemporary glow of the circular lights was selected for further refinement.

The round glow of light – changes colour, when the water is cold it glows in blue and when hot it changes colour to red. Smartness in terms of at a glance getting to know the status of the water inside. To add to the above, a digital indication was added.

Design for manufacturability and assembly were considered from the industrial design phase itself, and during the concept presentation the panel breakups, materials and processes used in the design were explained to the client.

The final images of the presentation shows how the water heater will look in scenario. These were made to assist the client in visualising our idea in scenario.

Concept Refinements and Preliminary Engineering

After the concept was shortlisted, further refinement in terms of the panel parts proportions, the form of the colour panel were further explored and concepts shown for shortlisting

The final concept in different colours were checked and how it looks with respect to competition were checked.

The Slide show show all the stage from concept to final renderings, different phases in development of the product.

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Colours and Graphics

A Detailed study of the colours and trends in this segment were studied, inspiration maps made, and from that the colours for the product were shortlisted.

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Foam Mockups and Proportion Checks

Mockups in foam were made and check to proportion and feel aspects.

Detailed Engineering

Engineering of all panel parts were done.

Prototypes and Tooled up Components

The tools were made for the 25 litres model in China and for the 15 litres model in India. Fine refinements in the front panel mounting were made during the tool making processes.

Product Launch  The time from concept to launch was completed in 8 months. The images for the brochure and the packaging were provided by centroid – photorealistic renderings.

 Product Launch Video

 

The advertisement campaign revolves around the smart theme…

 

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