About the project

Mobile workers don’t want to worry about whether or not their laptop is charged or synced with the back office as they move from job to job. This docking station was designed to fit the Casebook rugged tablet / laptop, and connect it to power for charging and USB for peripherals, as well as antennas for syncing.

The challenge

A cost effective, lightweight and secure solution was needed. This had to not only fit the laptop, but be very simple to use with no training given.

Limited space and weight

The docking station needed to be able to be installed in a wide range of vehicles, and in particular in very tight glovebox spaces. As these areas have stringent weight restrictions, the docking station needed to be light, but also durable enough to take abuse by users.

Security and functionality

Due to the location in the vehicle, any impact could cause the laptop to become a flying projectile aimed at the passenger’s head. The docking station also needed to be user friendly and very quick and easy to use – any restriction in this would reduce the uptake of the technology.

The process

The dock went through 4 major design iterations, with each of those containing up to 12 minor iterations. Each stage was concepted, prototyped and soft tooled before being rolled out into production.

The design changes included a complete re-working of the locking mechanisms used, as well as optimisation of weight and size to fit an ever expanding range of vehicle fits.

The solution

The final design included two different locking mechanisms, connection to 3G antennas, Wi-Fi antennas, power for charging and USB. The dock could be fitted into almost any vehicle, including having custom fitting jigs for popular models.

When compared to competitor’s systems that offered similar functionality, this product could be pre assembled in a glovebox and installed when the vehicle arrived on site, whereas other solutions needed a complete rewiring of the vehicle fuse box and equipment welding to the vehicle chassis.