BARX: Video-Conferencing Product

BARX is a video-conferencing device for industrial designers and others to use for virtual meetings and remote communication. It addresses issues such as showing physical deliverables, incorporating subtle communication like body language & change of user’s tone into virtual contexts, and creates a physical-digital hybrid whiteboard for virtual meeting participants.


Through research and interviews conducted with industrial designers in various roles, workplaces, and cultures, I discovered that there are issues with the current tools & technologies for virtual meetings in industrial design practice.


The below issues were discovered through interviews with industrial designers:
– Subtle communication e.g. body language, change of tone, non-verbal expressions etc. are lost due to poor camera position and angle
– Difficulty showing physical deliverables such as sketches, prototype, or just in the moment sharing of ideas using pen and paper
– limited co-creation & interactive communication opportunities, particularly those that take advantage of an industrial designer’s skillset
– Reduced ability to impress other meeting participants with your work or utilise in-person presentation skills when using standard video-conferencing tools

The combination of these issues is currently creating unsatisfactory virtual communication outcomes for industrials designers.


Let’s start with this top part. It contains a wide-angle lens camera that records the user, allowing them to include body language in their communication. Additionally, it has a microphone that due to its high position picks up the user’s voice and change in tone more clearly. This part also rotates to the user or other users’ positions when they speak thanks to a motor and sensor in the part below
The part below it contains the laser projector and desktop-facing camera. This allows the user to stream content from their desktop to video-conferencing software for other virtual meeting participants to see. The projector feature then enables these other participants to project annotations, inputted through video-conferencing software onto the desktop. This provides a physical whiteboard for all meeting participants, taking advantage of an industrial designer’s visualisation skills and the opportunity for co-creation of ideas to occur.

The entire part’s position can be changed by rotating the part by hand thanks to a turntable mechanism in the part below. This allows BARX to be used in any direction or orientation.
The physical interface below these two parts includes a power, mute and record button.
Below the physical interface is the volume shifter for the speaker. The combination of the speaker and microphone in the highest part of the product means the user does not require the use of headphones. Finally, the wide base prevents the product from tipping over and houses the main electronics.

HOW BARX ADDRESSES current issues

In summary, here is how the user experience for BARX addresses the issues I discovered: wide-angle lens and microphone pick up subtle communication, the desktop camera allows physical objects to be shown clearly, the projector and desktop camera combo provides co-creation opportunity, and the combination of these improve the user’s virtual communication and the likelihood of impressing the other meeting participants.

Additionally, the user experience for BARX can also be described by the Japanese word “Yohaku” – meaning white space or those products that leave space for users to create their own scenario of use. For example, BARX could be used for Gaming, streaming, practical learning, remote personal communication with friends and family etc.


The manufacturing processes for various parts are aluminium extrusions for the outer shells, plastic injection-moulding for inner-housings, custom PCB production, and off-shelf electronics.

Custom PCB for BARX is located in the base of the product. It should be noted that BARX has a wired connection to computers to maintain quality of video-streaming from the product.

For the colour material and finish of BARX, I went with cobalt blue extruded aluminum shell. The inner-electrical housings are injection-moulded plastic. The base is also injection-moulded plastic, but is finished with metallic cobalt blue paint.

A snap-fit mechanism was created to join the outer shells of the product to the inner-electrical housings. Additionally, the inner-housing bodies are split in half and joined when the electronics are fitted inside to achieve zero degree draft angle. This results in the outer shell and inner-housings being flush with each other when joined.


To validate my design and project direction, I put together audio from the interviews I conducted, the feedback I have received on the project, and industrial designers who have talked about the topic of remote communication:

Exhibition poster & report

Exhibition Poster
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3 MB
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Research & Final Design Report
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5 MB
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Barclay Anderson

Driven by his own immense curiosity and will to learn, Barclay’s goal is to work as an industrial designer at IDEO, Tokyo. His superpower is the ability to think and act outside the box, which is why he chose to research and design for industrial design practice.