By Li Yen & Cindy Liew | Epoch Times Staff
Are you frustrated with the dangling cables on your work desk? Won’t it be nice if there’s an organiser that stores these cables efficiently and elegantly on your table?
Three Industrial Design students from National University of Singapore (NUS) – Chow Jia Yi, Kevin Chiam and Ryan Chan Shi Ming – recently embarked on a crowdfunding project for their invention: the world’s first desktop cable organiser with the flexibility to lengthen and shorten your cables.
Called “NOAH”, inspired from Noah’s Ark where all the animals are neatly stored inside, this nifty organiser houses up to nine cables with a simple twist.
The secret of NOAH cable organiser lies in its internal zig-zag structure and a quick looping gesture, which combine to give NOAH that magic touch to extend or retract your cables.
NOAH cable organiser arrives in a palm-sized rectangular box that looks like a vessel. The humble vessel has a taper form which organises cables on three distinct levels; in addition, it acts as a springboard that pops the lid off when one nudges the structure. To add to its wonder, NOAH can still support cable storage even when flushed against a flat wall, all thanks to the tapering. NOAH’s inviting surface is also ideal for convenient storage of stationery and thumb drives.
Available in Chalk Grey and Carbon Black, NOAH is designed with a sturdy ABS (Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene) frame to look pretty on your desktop. NOAH’s silicon base for traction also ensures that it will not slip, and its base is currently available in colours like Plum Red, Tangerine and Midnight Blue.
The Epoch Times met up with the creators of NOAH to understand their design journey. Kevin is the designer and organiser of the team; Jia Yi is an inspired entrepreneur who took charge of the project’s costing and retailing; and Ryan is a “joker” of the team and a freelance fitness trainer who has an academic background in engineering.
In the interview, one can easily sense the enthusiasm of these young designers. From ideation and sourcing for suppliers to prototyping and deciding on the launch pad, their journey has been rewarding.
ET: What is the most valuable thing you have learned from this project?
Kevin: I learned that support from friends and family is very important. For a lot of Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaigns, the very basic support actually comes from friends and families. That’s a very invaluable thing.
Jia Yi: For me, it’s the marketing effort. I think one thing we have overlooked is the pre-launch event. We missed making people aware about our campaign launch.
Ryan: I have learned about the manufacturing process and the ordering process, for e.g. how MOQ (minimal order quantity) can really affect the pricing, and how to balance the mould, packaging and shipping costs to get the right MOQ vs. the cost that we are selling.
ET: How many tests did you conduct to come up with the final product?
Kevin: The cable organiser started off to be something quite huge, but we stretched it down and even changed the angle.
Just a simple change of angle can affect the way it works. With a simple tapering, it looks smaller and it doesn’t really affect cable storage much. We went through a lot of testing to find the right radius.
Ryan: We had a hard time deciding on the internal structure. We did around five tests to get ready the zigzag structure.
There were lots of little refinements, which took us eight weeks to come up with this final product.
We did an EOS 3D printing, but the product wasn’t what we would like it to be. So we outsourced it to a manufacture firm, and this one and only piece costs S$600.
ET: Why did you choose to study Industrial Design?
Ryan: Prior to this, I had a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering with Singapore Polytechnic. And you know, engineers cannot work with designers, simply because their designs just seem illogical.
Coming from that point of view, I want to be a designer that can design something that engineers will make.
I went on to study Industrial Design to [hone] the other side of me. And I guess my mum, who is a fashion designer, has passed down that gene to me.
Jia Yi: For me, I studied Retail Management previously in Temasek Polytechnic and I am inspired to be an entrepreneur.
I wanted to study something different and be exposed to more things as I believe that to start your own company, you need to get the whole picture.
I believe that in marketing, the 4Ps – product, price, promotion and place – product is always the most important.
Kevin: For my side, I think it’s quite a no brainer because I took Product & Industrial Design in Temasek Polytechnic. What drove me back then was my interest in furniture design. While I haven’t been exposed to furniture design yet, NUS’ education gave me a different perspective of what design is. I realised design is not really about tangible products or solutions. It can be versatile like a service.
ET: In the future, what products would you like to design?
Ryan: I’d like to design something for the fitness industry, especially for the elderly.
As a fitness trainer, and combining the skills of both engineering and design, I hope to come up with something for the elderly.
Jia Yi: I would like to design an e-business system or structure that is cost efficient for the business as well as for consumers. I’m looking into successful stories like IKEA that is able to produce cheap products that look nice.
Kevin: I would love to design my own set of furniture. That said, I am preparing to launch a designer watch with my friend on a launch pad in 2016. Titled VOORT One, it is a beautiful and simple timepiece that goes easy on the wallet.
Though the team has not raised US$18,000 via their crowdfunding platform, your support can still help bring their idea to life. Visit http://noahcableorganiser.weebly.com/ for more information.
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