August 24, 2017 (CHAPEL HILL, NC) Two-time IDEA Award winner Trig Innovation, a North Carolina-based virtual firm working at the intersection of innovation, design, and marketing, has earned a 2017 IDEA Award from the Industrial Designers Society of America for its work on Sunscreenr.
Created by North Carolina entrepreneurs David Cohen and Jon Meyer, Sunscreenr is an outdoor camera that aids in the application of sunscreen by making the invisible visible. Sunscreenr’s camera displays and records video of people after applying sunscreen. The device displays video through a proprietary lens that filters UV light, revealing where users may have under-applied sunscreen or had it wash away with sweat or water exposure during swimming.
Sunscreenr’s design features define the product for a wide market of potential users. “This product solves a problem with broad market appeal of verifying whether you and your family are truly protected from the sun’s ultraviolet light.” said Trig Innovation founder Ty Hagler. “It’s small and quite portable, made to fit in a beach bag, waterproof and rugged enough to take on the rigors of use by the whole family. Sunscreenr's integrated loop that allows it to clip onto a keychain or bag also doubles as a handle that can be gripped even when your hands are slippery. The product is also covered in a special rubber that won’t degrade from sweat, salt water, or chemicals in sunscreen.”
Senior industrial designer Patrick Murphy enjoyed the “pioneering” nature of the project. “Our clients entrusted us with arguably the most fun of all tasks in design, building a product around technology that was truly new to the world,” said Murphy, a six-year veteran of the firm and lead designer on Trig’s IDEA Award-winning work on cycling products for ALTR ERGO and medical devices for 410 Medical. “We had a big goal here, where the design had to be as vitally functional as the Sunscreenr’s camera technology. Our team knew that this product would help protect people from sunburn and skin cancer, which affects more people annually than breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancers combined. We felt like the stakes were high – we needed to get it right.”
To reach the breakthrough design of Sunscreenr, the team visualized the user scenario first, letting people's behaviors in sunny environments tell the story of a device that would perform in that dynamic without being a hindrance. The team then dealt with critical features and the constraints raised by the size of the device’s internal components. For users to really adapt Sunscreenr as a safety device compatible for a wide array of outdoor activities, the device had to be small and lightweight enough to carry alongside a bottle of sunscreen.
“We are honored to be a finalist for this year’s IDEA Awards,” said Hagler. “And we owe this opportunity for recognition to our clients, who not only chose us for the work, but also gave us great guidance and feedback throughout the design project. Their collaboration was critical for bringing out our best work as a team. Together, we’ve designed a product that could have a huge impact on the health of families for a generation or more.”
The Industrial Designers Society of America will announce the winners of the 2017 IDEA Awards in August.
About the International Design Excellence Awards
IDEA is a premier international design competition, recognizing and promoting excellence across a wide array of industries and disciplines, including commercial products, entertainment, home goods, social impact designs and student designs. Gold Silver and Bronze winners are recognized. Winning entries receive worldwide press and are housed in a permanent collection at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.
About Trig Innovation
Now in its ninth year, Trig Innovation is focused on excellence in innovation, design, and marketing services for entrepreneurs and product development teams around the world. Based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Trig offers services ranging from design-for-manufacturing to virtual ideation and marketing automation.
Ty Hagler, Founder and Principal