Carbon Again Ranks as Top 10 Design Firm

Carbon Again Ranks as Top 10 Design Firm

With two Carbon Design Group collaborations selected as winners in the 2012 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) competition, the world-recognized product design and development consultancy has been ranked as a top 10 design firm by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).

The 2012 ranking was for IDEA awards received over the past five years. This is the fifth consecutive year that Carbon has been recognized as a top 10 design consultancy based on IDEA wins.

Carbon and its clients captured two awards in this year's competition. "We realize our client's brands depend on the products we help create," commented Carbon president, Dan Blase. "It is especially gratifying that these products have been recognized by the IDEA Jurors."

As part of Carbon's long history of collaboration with Microsoft, the Microsoft Touch Mouse was recognized with a Bronze IDEA. The Microsoft Touch Mouse is the first multi-touch mouse from the Redmond, Washington based titan. The Microsoft Hardware User Experience Team worked with Carbon to explore what it meant to give form to a multi-touch mouse experience. The final result clearly communicates that it's a mouse and that it's an entirely new kind of mouse. To facilitate multi-touch commands, which involve a wide array of finger combinations and strokes, the multi-touch surface extends seamlessly across the top and down the sides of the mouse. A subtle indication tells users where the left and right-click zones are. The touch surface itself is indicated by a finely textured pattern that references the underlying capacitive touch array. By merging a multi-touch surface with the form factor of a traditional mouse, the Touch Mouse was designed to introduce multi-touch computing to a new audience.

The Milgard SmartTouch Patio Door Handle also earned a Bronze IDEA. The simple, intuitive SmartTouch is easily operated with a single hand-all in one easy motion. In contrast, most sliding doors employ a separate button or lever to engage the lock. This makes for an awkward, two-step process. The SmartTouch handle pivots slightly so that locking and unlocking occurs as a natural result of opening or closing the door. Pulling back on the handle naturally pivots the handle away from the face of the door. Conversely, pushing the sliding door closed results in forces that push the handle toward the door. Simply push or pull. The result is an intuitive product that also leverages existing internal mechanics, enabling Milgard to develop a new premium door line for the development and tooling costs of only a handle. The SmartTouch handle is so easy to use it has also received an Ease of Use Commendation from the Arthritis Foundation. In 2008, the Milgard SmartTouch Window Lock (another Carbon/Milgard collaboration) was also recognized with IDEA Bronze.

The Toggle Multimode Touch Remote concept was selected as a Finalist in the competition. Designed for the evolving connected TV viewing experience, Toggle uses an innovative application of inexpensive technology to create a rich, touch experience without a display screen. Its core is a simple touchpad, much like you might find on a laptop. This capacitive surface is printed with images, characters, and icons. The four different modes are revealed by the use of a grid-patterned mask. When the base and mask are aligned, Toggle is off. While holding the device horizontally, shift up to reveal a qwerty keyboard. Shift down for a touchpad or right for casual gaming. Shift left and hold like a traditional remote for surfing.

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