This is an exciting time for RKS Design and our clients, whose projects were selected from thousands of great innovations. On the third episode of California by Design airing this weekend, Saturday, July 11th, two of our designed innovations will be showcased! Here are sneak peeks behind how the RKS Team designed the NearSight Magnifying Phone Case and the portable Elevate Grill.
NearSight is the first-of-its-kind solution for all of us who need reading glasses. We often don’t have our reading glasses handy. Knowing that so many people currently need them and that almost everyone will at one point in their life, Dr. Brisco came to RKS with a patent on a phone case with an integrated flat magnifying lens tucked into the underside. The RKS team knew that this innovation was needed to help assist reading everything from menus to websites, but knew that if it wasn’t cool, few would use it.
Led by Mike Elam and Creative Director Lance Hussey, the RKS team recognized the inherent challenges; the design had to provide functional benefits and integrate into a protective case while also being a lifestyle product. We envisioned the interaction “conceal and reveal” for its transformative effect. We also thought that when it’s not being used to magnify, its clear lens could be integrated into an aluminum protective cage that enhances the beauty of the phone We knew that a truly elegant design would require as few hand movements as possible.
The biggest design challenge was to make it as thin and light as possible and yet without any compromise. Easier said than done. The design and engineering teams worked together and constructed dozens of prototypes, undertaking extensive user testing as they refined it. With inspired engineering, the final design uses an aircraft-grade aluminum sliding frame with articulated joints and snap-haptics hinge technology—as used in quality eyeglasses—which created a minimal form factor. The resulting product is a thin, robust phone case that transforms from case to magnifier reader and back again almost effortlessly.
“RKS is the next level in Industrial Design skills and creativity—they took our patented idea and made it world-class. No stone was left unturned—from design to the application of Psycho-Aesthetics to manufacturing. Ravi is a master at taking entrepreneurs and inventors like myself to market. I am very appreciative of my whole team’s effort and for making NearSight a reality.”
— Dr. Elise Brisco, OD, FAAO, CCH, FCOVD
Holistic Optometrist CEO
Founder of Nearsight
The second RKS innovation on California By Design this week is the Elevate Grill. This innovation started as the challenge of creating a portable grill that carries like a briefcase, with handles that fold down as legs. The concept was posed by RKS Founder, Ravi Sawhney, to Creative Director Lance Hussey, who loves a good challenge!
Starting with a sketch of the closed grill, it looked like a simple briefcase. But this case was far from brief! Lance and Ravi worked together, overcoming obstacles as they went. They needed enough depth for the burners to work properly and be elevated sufficiently above the table surface or ground so nothing around it would burn, and it needed a way to catch the grease from grilling and retain it when folded. The list of challenges seemed never-ending. Designing an efficient grill, easy to set up, precise in its heat distribution, simple to operate and great looking were some of the biggest challenges. The team progressed from hand sketches to CAD models to fast fails to design models. Finally, they were testing functional prototypes, followed by production samples required for safety testing.
Lance Hussey points out that what makes the Elevate Grill first in its class is its ease of use, its efficiency and its portability. The Elevate Grill is unique, having ample surface area to cook for all of your family and friends, without the clumsiness and storage space requirements of a large grill. Every detail of this product has a purpose. It was designed with the canister, valve and propane tank stored inside the base, so parts do not have to carried separately.
The RKS team created the entire package: the product, the brand identity and the retail packaging that represents their vision for innovative products and forward-thinking culture.
Airs July 11th, 2020
KCBS Los Angeles-Saturdays at 3PM
KPIX Bay Area Saturdays at 7 PM