Bar Code Scanner
Co-designed new age bar code scanner
(Blue Water Digital, Inc., 2000)
Similar to Digital Convergence Corp.'s "CueCat," in 1999, these bar code scanners promised to be the next cell phone as far as next generation technology goes. The product allowed users to click on tiny bar codes printed in newspapers and magazines which would store a url in the device. Later at home, the user could connect the device to their PC and visit all the websites they had read about earlier.
Once people realized that they really had no need for this device and didn't miss carrying yet another item in their pocket or pocketbook, the product flopped. I had nothing to do with the marketing or technology, but I did co-design this scanner with Massimo Vignelli of Vignelli Associates and Terry Glenn Phipps of Blue Water Digital. We had a great deal of inspiration from Bang & Olufsen.
It's a pretty straight forward design, the user points the "pen" at the bar code, clicks the top pad to scan the code, and the url scrolls past on the LCD screen on top. The on-off switch is on the back and batteries are inserted through a flip cap in the top of the pen. I still think it's a beautiful design even though the product, and entire industry for that matter, was a failure.