A Camera for Kids

This was a class project while I was working on my Masters in ID degree. I found the project to be interesting mostly because of what I learned by paying attention to my users. The project brief was simple: “design a product” I was interested in consumer electronics and as a father with young children, I had been watching my kids interest in photography grow thanks to the smart phone. I decided to tackle a kids camera. Looking around at current offerings, I could see that they skew heavily toward cameras that take marginal to unusable pictures.

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I also collected some inspirational objects that spoke to the aesthetic that I was wanting to align to

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My first direction was a fairly conventional shape. The side handles are larger than the body to protect the buttons and screen. This is a pretty familiar camera shape to kids, and they understand how to use it.

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When showing my work and discussing it a conversation came up about how my daughter is left handed and what that meant for a conventional camera shape. I decided to make some foam models and see how my kids would play with them. I had high hopes for the single grip camera, I felt it addressed the left vs. right handed issue rather nicely.

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During play with the models, I notice that the kids enjoy the more conventional shape. Even though they haven’t had a lot of experience with cameras, they have a mental model for how cameras are held. Using the one handed camera is foreign to them and I notice that they tend to use two hands.

A chance encounter at a friends house led me to rethink my direction: my kids picked up a kaleidoscope and just loved it. I noticed it right away and thought about all the times they had played with paper towel rolls into telescopes and decide to explore using a horizontal tube as the main shape.

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The final model combines a tube with a body to create space for a screen to review photos. The soft rubber grip provides a tactile experience for the users. The controls are minimal, and the aim is to provide photos that match the quality of smartphones by providing space for a larger lens.

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Grip is removable and interchangeable to allow for personalization.

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© 2019 Matt Cardinal. All rights reserved.