Develop a communication system for full face masks that can be operated intuitively to ensure excellent communication between firemen, even under extreme circumstances.
As a leading international company in the fields of medical and safety technology, Dräger develops innovative equipment and solutions trusted by users all over the world. No matter where Dräger products are used: it’s always about life. Whether for use in clinical, industrial or mining applications, in firefighting or rescue services, Dräger products protect, support and save lives.
“Technology for Life” is about taking responsibility for the lives of those who use Drägers products and depend on them. The FPS-COM 7000 communication unit was rewarded with an iF Product Design Award in 2016. The jury praises the design for the clear shape and position of the operating buttons.
The communication unit enables firefighters to communicate with each other clearly, even in extreme situations. Tool free installation and compatible with the existing Dräger respiratory masks, this unit is ergonomically designed to meet the different users’ requirements. Voice-activated transmission keeps the firefighter’s hands free to perform the actual rescue work. The externally located voice amplifiers enable direct communication with the casualty. Due to their clear shape and position, the four operating elements aid intuitive operation, even when wearing protective gloves.
For missions requiring respiratory protection you should expect extreme conditions: thick smoke and noise obstacles that not only cause stress, but also significantly hinder any form of communication. The Dräger FPS-COM 7000 in in combination with the proven full-face mask Dräger FPS 7000 was developed especially for these circumstances. By carrying out various user studies and creating personas, MMID identified the most important requests, which were translated into proposed designs that have later been integrated into the mask.
Several firemen tested different switches and buttons to find the ideal operating buttons. As a result, the buttons in the new mask are intuitive to use. The operating button on the mask for using the classic walkie-talkie function for team communication is large, robust and tactile. Firemen can unfailingly find the button. Also, the other communication functions, such as the volume or the channel, have been incorporated into the mask in a tactilely logic and clear way.
Bastiaan Soltész, designer Look & Feel at MMID: “The look & feel was an important focal point for us. Firefighters want to exude authority, and we incorporated that into the design.”