We recently developed a body scanner for SafeView, a security start-up in Santa Clara. It is a walkthrough imaging system for screening visitors at checkpoints in secure environments such as airports, border crossings, government buildings and correctional institutions. This imaging system meets the requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Institute of Law Enforcement.
SafeView had an urgent need for the industrial design, mechanical design, analysis, prototyping and testing to support their product development. We quickly complemented their product team with an experienced mechanical team, providing immediate team-level support for their program needs without the risks and delays of hiring mechanical team members individually. Such a hiring approach would have made it nearly impossible to meet their aggressive schedule and to satisfy their time to market requirements.
Full Animation Overlays
We did full animations of the device working in the target environment. Using internal pictures of the location, we overlaid our animation right in their world so they could see it working before it was built. This was once a leading edge approach that we now commonly employ to minimize misunderstandings and identify potential gaps in specifications and use cases.
Human Interface and User Ergonomics
The system needed to work for a varied population consisting of people in all shapes and sizes. The design had to facilitate rapid inspection to keep the line of people moving. We built full-scale prototypes with various integrated safety systems in order to test it with real people.
Transparent Enclosure to Prevent Claustrophobia
One innovation proposed by Fusion was to make the exterior of the unit transparent, so people could see both in and out. This reduced the possibility that a person going through a secured checkpoint might experience a feeling of claustrophobia. It also allows the operators to monitor everyone and their activities in the scanner. This transparent enclosure required a careful choice of materials but it had a significant impact on the overall safety for everyone involved.
Dynamic Motion Analysis
The unit uses two large sweeping arms to send and receive signals from arrays with hundreds of detectors located within the arms. One major design challenge with the high-speed scanner system was to ensure that these two spinning arms were as stiff as possible, so they didn't bend too much and create inaccurate measurements.
Fusion Design’s experienced engineers understood the safety requirements including FCC, Building Code and Earthquake Safety Requirements. Our safety concerns ensured durable ramps, safety plastic windows, contained motion, no pinch points, and a ruggedized attachment to the building in the event of an earthquake.
Impact: Market Leader Shipping Product Globally
This product is shipping globally, and the startup was able to get its competitive technology into the marketplace and quickly became a market leader. Since then they have been acquired by L3.