ROBRADY design Helps Develop an Idea People Can Get Behind
We’ve all seen them. We’ve probably even been them at one time or another: Rubberneckers. But the curiosity of passers-by frequently becomes a problem when it causes traffic slow-downs and, in the case of crime scenes, an obstacle to police work and a threat to victims’ dignity. When Carl Cannova thought of a solution, he partnered with ROBRADY to realize his idea.
Though it happens when there is a traffic accident, the pervasive and frustrating phenomenon of “rubbernecking” also occurs for events as mundane as someone changing a tire or a work crew picking up roadside litter.
“For the past few years, every time I get caught in an accident on the highway I think, ‘what are these people doing? Stop looking at nothing’.”
> Carl Cannova, SRN, Inc.
Cannova, a Sarasota resident who was growing restless with retirement and looking for something to invent, found his answer on Interstate 75 during one needless traffic jam too many. Working with Dickie Herbst, ROBRADY design’s Director of Brand & Retail, Carl drew up plans for what would become the SRN-1000 security barrier. (SRN derives its name from its objective to Stop Rubbernecking.) Carl then spoke with numerous law enforcement officials who confirmed rubbernecking was one of their biggest problems at accident scenes.
While a good idea is a good start, turning that idea into a successful product is a disciplined process. So, convinced of his idea’s merit, Cannova turned to ROBRADY design to develop his “portable security barrier”.
“When we first started talking with Carl, he wanted to know how we actually turn his idea into a finished product.”
> ROBRADY design CEO / Design Director, Rob Brady
Turning research into reality is what ROBRADY does. In a meeting with Carl, ROBRADY CEO / Design Director Rob Brady outlined the process on a whiteboard and talked through the steps.
Among those first steps was identifying and addressing fundamental issues for a product designed to block vision. Because each crime or accident scene is different, the barrier would need to be modular and because it would often be used outside, it had to withstand heat, rain, snow and, most importantly and most challenging, gusting wind.
To resolve these and other issues, ROBRADY used a process that’s come to be known as “From the Whole to the Parts to the Whole” approach. Starting with the desired end result, ROBRADY’s team works closely with their client/partners to break that result down into component parts and then figure out the best design for re-integrating those parts into a superlative product.
Achieving the best design frequently means refining initial ideas through several iterations. In the past, returning to the drawing board was expensive and time-consuming. In worst cases, it could kill an idea before it even went on the market. ROBRADY design’s rapid prototyping capabilities have dramatically reduced the time and cost needed to fully develop a product such as the SRN-1000.
Aside from its capabilities, ROBRADY’s collaborative nature also contributed to this concept’s success.
“I think that’s what the difference is with ROBRADY: we introduce clients to the concept of “design thinking”.
> ROBRADY design Director of Brand & Retail, Dickie Herbst
Throughout the development of the SRN-1000, Carl and the ROBRADY team explored various design elements, from the thickness of the screen to how to fasten it to a frame to how to weight it all down in the wind. And though there were times where the questions seemed to come faster than the answers, the time-tested ROBRADY process met with success that no one could have seen coming. The final product today meets all the requirements of the original mission and at an attractive price.
Carl’s initial “aha” moment has grown beyond a single product idea into a successful and rapidly growing company he now runs with his two sons. SRN, Inc. has four domestic distributors throughout the country, two in Canada and seven resellers. The initial demographic target of police departments has grown to include forensic crime units, coroners’ departments, even schools and resorts—anywhere safe, reliable barriers could be used for restricting access or view.
“I worked with ROBRADY for about a year and a half, designing and creating a dream of mine, which has now become the Stop Rubbernecking product. What began as a conversation turned into exactly what I envisioned and more. ROBRADY’s professional staff has been ready at every occasion, and their precision shows in the results. The finished product is getting great reception, I couldn’t ask for better partners.”
> Carl Cannova, SRN, Inc.
> To learn more about the SRN100, visit their website at www.srn1000.com.