PDT

Product Development Technologies (PDT) is a global, full-service product development firm with over 125 employees worldwide. Team members have expertise in a wide range of product development disciplines, including strategy, design research, industrial design, user experience and interface development, electrical and mechanical engineering, software development, laser scanning, and tooling. Our mission? Deliver on the promise of truly seamless product development, innovation through execution.

PDT was founded with a fresh vision for how product development should work. This unique approach has propelled our growth to a firm spanning the globe with over 125 dedicated experts. Since 1995, PDT has been committed to providing truly comprehensive product development services via a proven, process-driven approach. Grounded in creativity, our work is balanced by a solid understanding of our clients’ business, the needs of customers and demands of the market. Even our own corporate structure - flexible and entrepreneurial in the best sense of the word - is designed in response to the fast paced nature of the industries in which our clients compete.

ISO 13485 Certified
ISO 9000:9001 Certified
ITAR Registered

Consumer:
With a rich heritage in telecommunications and consumer electronics, PDT’s growth was fueled by innovating within the consumer industry. Nearly 20 years after our inception, our portfolio of consumer products is vast, and includes toys, home office machines, soft goods, fitness equipment, technology gadgets and much more.

Medical:
PDT was one of the first development firms to achieve ISO 13485. Over 50% of our projects are for medical clients and they include Class I, II and III devices.

Defense:
PDT has maintained ITAR registration since 2006, enabling us to develop highly secure products for the military, defense and homeland security markets.  PDT offers secure project zones, firewalled servers, isolated systems, compliance auditing.  Our team includes design to MIL-STD and IP rated specialists who develop rugged designs that can meet the challenge of the intense environments in which they are used.

Explore:
Technology and trend scouting, Development Research

Create:
User Experience, Interface design, Industrial Design, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Software Development, Laser Scanning

Realize:
Prototyping, Quality Assurance, Tooling, Sourcing

  • Corning / Gorilla Glass Tablet Concepts

    Brief:
    Corning sought to inspire its customers, connect with designers and entice a whole new audience while motivating its internal teams. They turned to PDT to help them demonstrate the uniqueness of glass and provide a vision of what may soon be possible with its famed Gorilla Glass on mobile devices. With over 160 years of experience in materials science and process engineering, Corning has a rich and deep history. PDT brought a fresh and impartial view. 

    Approach:
    Our team built understanding of near term capabilities and gathered inspiration around the unique properties of glass to serve as target points for exploration and brainstorming. A pyramid of considerations were explored through design exploration, connecting PDT’s rich knowledge of mobile trends and customer desires with Corning’s aspirations for Gorilla glass and the unique attributes and benefits that only glass can bring. The team challenged themselves to develop a tangible, multi-stage vision of how to connect with real life scenarios so that people can use and could use Corning’s proprietary Gorilla Glass to enable new experiences that change the way people interact. We designed a product that featured transformation, a second screen, unique interaction, social tools, and 2.5D Glass. We also created solutions that could always be on and are responsive, personal, and tactile by leveraging unique 3D glass.

    Result:
    Our solutions enabled entertainment, gaming, interaction, collaboration, and growth with 2.5D glass. Accurate prototyping enabled Corning to experience and share the vision with their customers, designers and internal teams.  “This is incredible, we have captured the uniqueness of glass. It feels wonderful. I can’t put it down.” - Director of Commercial Technology at Corning Incorporated

    See more of our results at www.pdt.com

  • Cynvenio / LiquidBiopsy

    Brief:
    Cynvenio was looking to improve its existing prototype of its Liquid Biopsy Platform, an automated system designed for the recovery and characterization of circulating tumor cells (CTC) from blood. The device automates flow cell preparation, sample loading, CTC purification and immunofluorescent labeling of captured cells.

    Approach:
    PDT updated the machine to add functionality, improve the user experience for lab techs, and address issues of reliability and maintenance for use in the client’s CLIA-certified laboratory. We paired the locking system with software to prevent users from unlocking the tray mid-cycle, preventing spillage and contamination of samples. By rerouting tubing and electronics, PDT’s engineers were able to improve both overall aesthetics and usability.

    Result:
    The LiquidBiopsy isolation and analysis technology has proven itself a powerful tool to effectively identify mutations in patient CTC samples. The platform has immediate applications in the clinical trial setting where, for the first time, CTC technology can address the need for better access to, and tracking of, biomarkers in near real-time. 

    See more of our results at www.pdt.com

  • Fellowes / Binding & Laminating Range

    Brief:
    Fellowes wanted to leverage design to return a business unit to profitable trading.  In 2006, the Fellowes UK team was challenged to return the Binding & Laminating (B&L) business unit to profitable trading. To meet this challenge, it was decided that a completely new range of innovative binding and laminating machines needed to be designed.

    Approach:
    The multi-disciplinary team of designers and engineers produced sleek ideas that incorporated inspiration from the automotive industry and moved the design language away from being purely functional. Based on the success of the Cosmic Laminator, Fellowes later asked PDT to expand their binding and laminating range to be consistent with the Cosmic Laminator design language, but incorporate different materials and colors. A new design language and brand identity was created that focuses on unique styling and aesthetics. The use of high gloss and metallic finishes adjacent to matte textured finishes and the use of prominent, well finished shut lines enhance the aesthetic appeal of the product. The products all have a simple, uncluttered design with smooth 'wrap over' skins that really emphasize the finishes and aesthetic style.  Clear and easy to understand graphic illustrations and labeling were developed detailing the key features to the operator. This use of icons rather than words makes the products easy and intuitive to use no matter what language they speak. Designed and engineered for the needs users including storability, portability, and general usability. Despite the business pressures and tight project timescales, the first product was on the shelf seven short months after the initial design concepts had been produced.

    Result:
    The design quality and aesthetic appeal of the machines, combined with highly effective packaging across the whole product range, resulted in a 48% global sales increase in the year to March 2008. The Fellowes binding and laminating business is now enjoying consistent profitable trading. The International Export Award in the annual DBA (Design Business Association) was given for the development of the enormously successful Fellowes binding and laminating machine families for leveraging the true value of design.

    See more of our results at www.pdt.com

  • Life Fitness / Discover User Interface

    Brief:
    Existing iPad accessory cases and stands on the market had become a major source of frustration for users. They only supported limited viewing angles via clumsy and awk¬ward configurations. Equally problematic, these case-stands were heavy, cumbersome and unattractive. HumanToolz approached PDT with the idea of developing a stand that supported limitless viewing angles and matched the high end finish and materials of the iPad that was lightweight.

    Approach:
    Chosen for its strength, rigidity and dura¬bility, the HumanToolz Mobile Stand is cast out of a single piece of high performance aluminum. The 4-corner, high strength aluminum design protects each corner and prevents the entire rear of the iPad from making contact with damaging surfaces. The aluminum finish matches the back of the iPad precisely. To accommodate the functions of the iPad, the stand features cutouts for the camera, volume control, and screen rotation lock button. Urethane pads enhance the fit while protecting the iPad finish. And it fits seamlessly with the Apple Smart Cover to provide 360-degree protection.

    Result:
    The HumanToolz Mobile Stand is the most versatile, naturally fitting stand for the new iPad. It is the only iPad stand that provides limitless viewing angles for use on any surface, allows users to easily change between landscape or portrait viewing, and weighs just 2 ½ ounces all while protecting the iPad’s rear surface from everyday use. Its sleek, thin design blends beauti¬fully with the iPad.

    See more of our results at www.pdt.com

  • Intermec / CN50 Mobile Computer

    Brief:
    Intermec, looking to showcase a new Qualcomm processor which supports both UMTS and CDMA2000, turned to PDT to design and engineer a rugged product that maintained the design language already established by Intermec.

    Approach:
    By leveraging PDT’s strengths of experience in military and consumer products, we were able to infuse new methodologies to solve several design and engineering issues that allowed the CN50 to become a reality. PDT’s team was challenged to design a highly durable product able to withstand rigorous daily activity in a small and light-weight device. The team selected appropriate materials and paid considerable attention to surface creation in order to develop a device that withstands abrasion, moisture and repeated drops.

    Result:
    Intermec’s CN50 is the industry’s most advanced rugged mobile computer. It is the only wireless mobile computer that combines a small and light-weight form factor with a rugged design to deliver the most advanced, high performance voice and data communication solution specifically designed for the highly mobile field worker.

    See more of our results at www.pdt.com

  • Life Fitness / Discover User Interface

    Brief:
    Life Fitness, the global leader in commercial fitness equipment manufacturing, turned to PDT to help merge digital life with the workout experience via a fresh, new user interface for its new treadmills, exercise bikes and cross trainers.

    Approach:
    PDT ‘s user experience team designed a framework that surmounted a host of challenges for Life Fitness, such as the organization of exercise information and content, new to the market end-user delighters, personal content, ensuring the ability to operate while in motion, as well as developing a user interface that allows for future updates in functionality and features to lengthen the lifecycle of the interface. To quickly enable users to navigate Discover, the interface menu is made of a single row of content panels that a user can swipe or jump to through quick buttons, in order to access internet, social networking, television, music, personal content, exercises, workout data and games.

    Result:
    Discover provides exercisers enhanced interaction, internet connectivity and entertainment options on an easy-to-use, sleek interface. Discover makes exercise more fun, enables users to stay connected in a busy world and is building customer loyalty to the Life Fitness brand because of the unique experience it delivers. Discover was based on research and built for the people who use it with the intention it will evolve as its users do, making it a tool exercisers will look forward to using now and in the future.

    See more of our results at www.pdt.com

  • Moji / 360 Personal Massager

    Brief:
    Moji approached PDT with a project, to develop a portable personal massager that gives users the ability to easily adjust the intensity of their massage that could be used comfortably and effectively with mini¬mal space and effort required.

    Approach:
    The team’s goal was to develop a port¬able myofascial massage tool to provide real therapeutic relief to a wide variety of muscle groups. It was a major challenge to strike the balance between an effec¬tive deep massage usually found through a visit to the masseuse and something real¬istic and easy to use on a regular basis. An early learning from an athletic trainer that helped drive the process was “the best form of therapy is the one that you will actu¬ally do”. The development process was one of iterative design trial and error to find a design that worked well and drew interest from the athletes. Concepts in the form of physical mock-ups were regularly vetted by professionals in the sports medicine and physical therapy fields.

    Result:
    Moji 360™ offers multiple methods of self-administered myofas¬cial release, a technique that makes fascia tissue more pliable. Administering this massage on a regular basis has proven to be a very important preventative step to prevent muscle injury. Moji 360™ provides flexibility of use and portability enabling users to treat their muscles anytime, anywhere. Along with active mas¬sage through movement of the Moji 360™ the device also pro¬vides acupressure and trigger point therapy, which delivers direct pressure with one ball. The curved design conforms to different body areas such as the lower back, neck and feet.

    See more of our results at www.pdt.com

  • Perkins / SMART Brailler

    Brief:
    Perkins wanted to bring the most widely used mechanical braille writer, the Perkins Brailler, into the modern age to help bridge the learning gap between low and high-tech products while helping users learn and become proficient in braille. The new Perkins SMART Brailler™, a high-technology Microsoft CE based braille learning device was to be built on an existing mechanical system with its own logic, allowing the SMART Brailler to train users so they can be familiar with any similar braille device.

    Approach:
    In-home user testing allowed the team to observe that adding audio and visual feedback expanded the learning experience to parents and siblings, creating a powerful self-learning and sharing environment. Prototyping various components and assembly methods allowed the team to deliver cost-effective yet desirable features to the broadest user base that could be assembled and serviced by Perkins and its vendors. The creation of a usable physical device with responsive analog controls that delivers lush, discernible feedback for tactile interactions was the number one goal of the team. PDT also designed the full unboxing experience for the product: a sturdy and reusable box, combination print and braille instructions, both leading to an audio tour after the device is powered on for the first time.

    Result:
    The Perkins SMART Brailler is a distinctive, usable, and competitive product, enabling the capture of braille key strokes and translating that input into embossed braille, dynamic audible speech output, visual braille and text on the screen, and files that can be saved and printed.

    The SMART Brailler is a step-change improvement of current methods; the added output of the brailler helps facilitate play, trial-and-error experimentation, and independent learning for everyone – children or adults who are blind, teachers, and parents.

    See more of our results at www.pdt.com

  • Qualcomm Life / 2net Wireless Health Platform

    Brief:
    Qualcomm approached PDT with a challenge: to develop a device that connects wireless medical devices to the cloud, enabling a pooling of biometric information which can then be viewed on one software interface by health care providers, caregivers and the patient. Adding to that challenge, the team was required to develop the Android powered device to run on an Arm 9 processor with a low memory footprint (128 MB). PDT accepted the challenge and Qualcomm Life’s first product was born.

    Approach:
    2net is an integrated wireless device that runs Android Gingerbread, capable of cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ANT+ wireless protocols. The hub itself is a small device which plugs into a standard electric outlet and seamlessly connects to integrated partner medical devices via shortwave radio, making it largely plug-and-play. Over a cellular connection, data from the medical devices is encrypted and then stored in the 2net Platform. Once the platform has received the transmission, patient medical device data is transferred to the manufacturers’ interface of choice for the end-user.

    Result:
    2net supports an ecosystem of medical devices, software, and clinical analytics to make it easy for any one patient to have multiple devices simultaneously connected, simultaneously sending information, to a backend system that provides software interfaces that enable patients to self-manage and share information about their health conditions.

    See more of our results at www.pdt.com

  • Reconn / Mobile SATCOM Toolkit

    Brief:
    The ability to rapidly deploy a global communications network is critical in the battlefield. Current SATCOM equipment is cumbersome, heavy, and fragile- all factors that potentially restrict deployment and accessibility. PDT helped rewrite the rule book and develop an integrated, user focused solution enabled by an iPhone.

    Approach:
    Working bench top prototypes allowed the integrated team to deconstruct functionality and determine a hierarchy of requirements to optimize the electrical, software and mechanical interactions and the physical volume. Focusing on ‘functional elegance’ while  maximizing usability and durability was a primary goal for PDT... Reconn toolkit gives FSRs nearly identical capabilities in a 8 lb box. The Reconn toolkit includes a spectrum analyzer, power meter, multimeter, WiFi transceiver, USB hub computer processor, GPS receiver and several other tools in one small box.

    Result:
    At a fraction of the cost, weight and size, this solution, along with Reconn's App suite, has the ability to revolutionize how SATCOM operatives work. “The fine people at PDT understand our needs and can work around any speed bump to deliver on time, if not early.”
    Coolfire Solutions

    See more of our results at www.pdt.com


  • STERIS / Low Temperature Sterilization System

    Brief:
    The sterile processing departments are generally filled with stainless steel products that all fit the same mold and format. With the development of VHP, STERIS had the opportunity to design a more aesthetically pleasing product with features that addressed user wants and needs.

    Approach:
    The previous product, V-PRO 1, featured a handle that was prone to breaking and uninspiring. The new design features an integrated handle recessed into the system providing improved ergonomics and aesthetics of the device. To reduce manufacturing costs, the existing internal frame of the V-PRO 1 was used. The front panels and location of the display and printer were modified to enhance viewability, improve ergonomics and generate a new look that establishes a clear path forward for future related products from STERIS. New materials and colors were implemented. PDT investigated alternative manufacturing processes and materials considering the products low annual volume and chemical resistance requirements.

    Result:
    The team took full advantage utilizing lighting, an intuitive user interface and forward thinking design. The external appearance of the product has helped STERIS win many customers and contracts. With the launch of this product STERIS surpassed their sales forecast by 30% domestically and even more internationally. This product solidified V-PRO as the go to VHP brand in the market. With the launch of the V-PRO maX, STERIS staked its claim as a true competitor in the market due to the flexible cycle contained within the unit.

    See more of our results at www.pdt.com

  • SkyCaddie / SGX GPS Rangefinder

    Brief:
    SkyCaddie’s ground breaking rangefinders have revolutionized the way serious golfers approach the course; GPS data and information on thousands of courses around the world provide them advanced support for their games. The SGX Rangefinder has become a favorite in the industry but was in need of a new design language to communicate its cutting-edge technology and sophistication and keep SkyCaddie a leader in their market with a premium proposition.

    Approach:
    PDT ran the development of SGX in parallel with SkyCaddie’s technology development, rocketing the project forward in record time while meeting lofty design goals. The team created an extremely durable design that proves resistant to both moisture and dust, achieving a level of water resistance and durability rarely attained within such a small device. Premium finishes were chosen for the refined device while a large 3” easy-to-read transflective LCD screen provides brilliant color images even in the brightest sunlight. Always keeping in mind ease of use, the team applied an innovative dual-navigation option to provide easy one handed operation and precision positioning without blocking critical screen information oftentimes visually hindered by fingers and smudges.

    Result:
    PDT’s design solutions have elevated SGX into an incredible technical achievement, given its powerful capabilities and small size and wrapped it in a tough but elegant package.

    See more of our results at www.pdt.com

Connect

Headquarters:
North American Headquarters:
One Corporate Drive
Suite 110
Lake Zurich, IL 60047

European Headquarters:
3 Ashurst Court,
London Rd,
Wheatley Oxford,
OX33 1ER,
United Kingdom

Website: 
www.pdt.com

Contact:
Phone: 847.821.3000
Fax: 847.821.3020
E-mail:askpdt@pdt.com
Contact name:
Tanya Sillitti

Awards

PDT’s award winning product designs have been recognized with over 70 awards.
Industrial Designers Society of America, IDEA Award: 2011, 2009, 2004
Spark Design Award: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009
Good Design Award: 2013, 2012, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004, 2003
Design Business Association, International Export Award: 2008
Appliance Design Magazine, Excellence in Design Award: 2007, 2006
Design Journal, ADEX Award: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2005
Electronics House Magazine, Product of the Year Award: 2006
Consumer Electronics Association, Design and Engineering Showcase Award: 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002
Consumer Electronics Association Best of Innovation Award: 2004
PTC, Design Engineering Award: 2004, 2001, 2000
KMPG, Illinois High Tech Award: 2002
Inc. Magazine, 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America: 2001, 2000

Services/Capabilities

Founded: 1995

Team Members:
125 Worldwide