HCI & Design at the University of Washington
Prototyping is a key part of the hardware product development process. When done well, prototyping can reduce the risk of a product being delayed or not meeting target specifications. In this talk, we’ll go through the hardware product development process we use at Synapse, how to decide what type of prototypes you should make, and the importance of testing the prototypes that you build. We’ll walk through some examples of product we’ve developed at Synapse like the Nike+ SportWatch GPS and how we prototyped during their development.
Kate is the Director of Electrical Engineering at Synapse Product Development. She specializes in miniaturized low-power electronic design, including flexible and high density PCB design, low power microcontrollers and radios, batteries, and display technology. She has extensive experience in design for manufacturing, contract manufacturer ramp up, and production test development. Kate received her BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Olin College.
Bret is a mechanical engineer with a wide range of product development experience. While earning his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Olin College, he joined the engineering team at Seahorse Power Company (now BigBelly Solar) to design prototypes of the first solar-powered garbage compactors, which are now seen on street corners in cities around the country. He later moved to Slipstream Design in Seattle, where he worked on a diverse set of projects, from ski pole adjustment mechanisms to lab equipment for cleaning rodent cages in research institutions. After a hiatus as a Crew Leader at Washington Trails Association for volunteer trail maintenance crews, he joined the Synapse family in 2010. During his time at Synapse, Bret has worked as a mechanical engineer, a project manager, and a mechanical engineering lead on projects like the Philips AirFloss, the Viableware RAIL, and a number of small, highly integrated consumer electronics. In his current role as Director of Mechanical Engineering, Bret is responsible for ensuring that Synapse’s Mechanical Engineers are delivering high-quality product development consulting to meet their clients’ needs.