Electronics companies focusing on ergonomic innovations
Consumer electronics brands are striving to make their home appliances easier and safer to use, focusing on improving the customer experience.
When using a vacuum cleaner, many people find emptying the dust container a chore as they have to separate it from the device and then put a replacement back in before charging the device. That is why LG Electronics streamlined the process for its All-in-One Tower for CordZero cordless stick vacuum cleaner, introduced as an example by the company during an annual conference hosted by the Ergonomics Society of Korea and the Korean Society for Emotion and Sensibility. Sponsored by LG Electronics and the Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, the conference ran from April 28 to 29.
Ergonomic design aims to optimize a product to work well with the human body, making it more comfortable and safer to use.
Released last year, the CordZero All-in-One Tower is a charger and a docking station for the company's CordZero vacuum cleaner. When the stick vacuum cleaner is placed in the All-in-One Tower, it automatically empties the cleaner's dust container and charges it.
"Compared to the existing model, All-in-One Tower reduces the muscle use by about 81 percent and allows consumers to bend their body 85 percent less when using it," said Yoo Byung-do, who led the planning of the product, adding that it took 3 years for the whole project, from design to marketing of the device.
Another example from LG Electronics is the refrigerator. LG explained that it adjusted the light inside a refrigerator so it is not too bright during the night.
The electronics manufacturer is also developing a technology to make looking at display screens for a long time less tiring. The company advertises that its artificial intelligence(AI)-based camera which detects the user's posture and eye level will automatically adjust the monitor screen to reduce the muscle fatigue on the neck and shoulder.
Samsung Electronics reshuffled the company to make its products more ergonomically efficient.
Samsung Electronics recently moved experts from the ergonomics research lab, which used to operate under the home appliance unit, to other departments in order to adopt the ergonomic design in every product. The Bespoke Jet, Bespoke Jet Bot AI, and Bespoke Qooker are the most prominent examples.
Samsung Electronics enhanced the user-friendliness of the Bespoke Jet vacuum cleaner by making its length adjustable, redesigning its handle and changing the positions of battery and dust container to make it easier to handle.
Logitech, a computer accessory manufacturer from Switzerland, is famous for its vertical mouse which lessens the pressure on the wrists. Herman Miller, the U.S. furniture company, also made a name for itself with its office chair designed to reduce the pain in the back and neck.
"The main focus of ergonomic engineering in home appliances has been improving the interface to reduce discomfort in using," said Kim Sang-ho, industrial engineering professor at Kumoh National Institute of Technology.
"Recently, however, companies are focusing more on innovating the concept of a product based on the personal needs of each consumer," said Kim.
BY CHOI EUN-KYUNG [email@example.com]