Note - A digital camara for the visually impaired.

  • Robert Chapman
The Note digital camera was my main project during final year. It is designed to allow users to creatively engage in photography and challenge preconceptions, regardless of their sight, using tactile controls and adaptable UI.

Runner up for the New Designers Belmond Award.
The appearance of Note was inspired by the leather-bound journal; a comforting, familiar object associated with memory and creativity. The camera’s body consists of two aluminium casing halves, seamlessly bound in leather and secured with textured chord. The faces are smooth, interrupted only by the key interaction points. The leather’s edges are exposed at the top and bottom, reaffirming the natural, journal-inspired theme and distancing the product from contemporary electronics.
The controls are placed and shaped to allow all settings to be felt by touch, so the camera may be operated by muscle-memory alone if desired. The electronic viewfinder works in a similar way to Google Cardboard, with a lens folding over the screen to create an immersive display that can be customised to suit the user's vision.
Dual screens allowing the effect of settings on photos to be directly observed, reducing the need for trial and error. The displays' output can be customised to suit various visual impairments.
Renders and card mock-ups with the 3D printed model were used to further develop the design, allowing aesthetic refinement without diminishing usability.
To test on-screen interactions, a prototype was constructed from 3D printed parts and working displays, with details added for realistic control feel. The two displays were connected to a laptop running an Axure mock-up. As the user adjusted the camera's controls, the investigator adjusted sliders on the Axure built control panel, which altered the image on the displays. This gave the impression the user's inputs were altering and capturing images in real time.
The model was created using CNC milled aluminium, laser etched leather, and 3D printed parts. Much of the detailing was done by hand, such as the enamel painting of the engraved details, and the leather finishing. Careful attention was also paid to the part-lines and tactile moving elements, creating a realistic representation of the final product.
To see more of my work, check out my 2018 Design Portfolio.