envis precisely

Natural Breeze

Intuitive control solutions for an innovative air vent system in your car.

Client Behr GmbH & Co. KG
Location IAA, Frankfurt/Main
Year 2011
Link press report
Partner struktur9,
Prof. Gerhard Reichert
(HfG Schwäbisch Gmünd)

Innovative technology needs intuitive controls. BEHR, a renowned car parts manufacturer reinvents the conventional in-car air vents with the new product »Natural Breeze«. Now you can get intense ventilation without any uncomfortable draft.

Analysis

To get a grasp of the market in which Natural Breeze had to position itself, we started by thoroughly examining existing concepts. Based on their strengths and weaknesses, and in accordance with the established usability norm ISO 9241 we defined assessment criteria for our concepts.

Concepts

Based on our research we developed over 20 concepts to mechanically control the new air vent. These concepts had to incorporate the usual parameters for strength and direction with the new control for the spread of the airflow. After assessing these concepts we chose the fittest three to further refine them.

Helix-Grip project scribbles and illustration

Helix-Grip

This concept incorporates all three parameters (strength, direction and spread of the air stream) in one control: the air vent itself. Because of that you get immediate feedback and can therefore understand the function easily.

Helix-Push project scribbles and illustration

Helix-Push

As a direct opposite to Helix-Grip, each parameter has its own control in Helix-Push: a thumbwheel for the strength, a push button to change between diffuse and direct airflow, and in direct mode the elevated vent itself to change the direction of the airflow.

Helix-Ring project scribbles and illustration

Helix-Ring

To visualize the mechanics behind the diffuse airflow, the vent is left open. By that, the current mode is clearly visible and one can easily grab the vent to adjust the direction of the airflow. Strength and spread are controlled on a ring around the vent. Thereby the palm is directly in the airflow while adjusting, so you can feel every change instantly.

Natural Breeze Demo for IAA 2011

Definition

To finalize this project we designed a set of symbols to visualize the new function of the air vent and created some renderings of possible implementations of our concepts. With that, BEHR had everything to not only make the ventilation in cars more comfortable but also easier to use. Natural Breeze was first presented to the public at IAA 2011.

Philipp Sackl