LAS VEGAS-Plastics played a major role in the design development of most of the products that received awards at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show, held Jan. 6-9 in Las Vegas. The Design and Engineering Honors Program recognizes eight broad categories of hardware, including accessible products, audio/video, electronic gaming, lifestyle electronics, mobile and portable electronics, multimedia, small office and home-office, and vehicle electronics. The Industrial Designers Society of America endorses the program.
Products are judged on innovation, value to users, aesthetics and contributions to the quality of a user's life. Each entry credits the designer or design team responsible for the product. Following are some of the award winners.
The Metro division of Plano Molding Co. in Plano, Ill., won with the newest product in its Attitudes line of compact disc carrying cases, the 8332 Compact Disc Book, designed byPlano's in-house design team.
The injection molded polypropylene case has CD beds styled after the jewel box insert, and holds 32 CDs. Its design makes the CDs easy to find and remove with one hand.
Plano Molding produces a line of molded storage and shelving products for cassette tapes, CDs and computer disks. Its products include Caboodles cosmetic organizers and Plano tackle and toolboxes.
Tenex Corp. of Elk Grove Village, Ill., received honors for its Multimedia Disc Tower, a two-tier storage unit for computer disks that is molded of polystyrene and polypropylene and is designed to save desk space.
With a footprint of about 5 inches square, the Tower takes up 50 percent less desk space than other disk storage products, the company claims. The Tower's top section has space for 30 31/2-inch disks. The bottom section has a removable drawer for easy transport between workstations, with space for eight CD-ROM disks. Both sections contain dual-function, adjustable dividers.
Tenex, which has some injection molding capabilities, also manufactures floor mats, chair mats, office and desk accessories, waste containers and household storage systems.
Recoton Corp. of Long Island City, N.Y., a manufacturer of wireless speakers and antennas, received honors for its portable, 900-MHz wireless speaker, the W410.
The mushroom-shaped speaker has a built-in 10-watt amplifier powered by a 12-volt, rechargeable battery. Made of a copolymer, the enclosure resists weather and temperature extremes. Design and engineering were done by the company's in-house design team. The product is made in China.
A new computer keyboard designed for children age 3 and up received honors for kidBoard inc. of Edina, Minn. The brightly colored keyboard is available as an extended MacIntosh or IBM-compatible, standard 101-key keyboard.
The imprinted icons on the key pads are designed to help children learn how to use it. KidBoard is made of ABS by custom molder Scientific Molding Corp. in Somerset, Wis.
It comes with Board Games, a software package that includes three programs to help children become more familiar with the alphabet, keyboard and computer opera-tions.
KidPad, a computer-based digitizer tablet, also won design honors for the company. It features a large drawing area and is molded from ABS, and enables children to draw on a personal computer. KidPad features a built-in coloring book of 100 sketches and illustrations that can be used as a starting point for drawing, tracing and coloring. Prototech Engineering, also in Minneapolis, manufactured the prototype for kidPad.
Design development for both products was by Nu Design of Minneapolis and kidBoard in-house engineers. KidBoard is available in computer and electronics stores for a suggested retail price of $99.
KidPad will be available in May in both IBM-compatible and MacIntosh versions, complete with drives, software libraries and a one-year warranty, for a suggested retail price of $139.