Innosparks began with project research, which included understanding users’ perception of heat and discomfort. This was the key to developing the concept of deep cooling in challenging hot and humid environments such as Singapore.
A 5m x 5m tent with a height of 2.5m was set-up and cooled with cold air from an early prototype of an urban air cooler. The tent was cooled to around 25 to 27 degrees Celsius. Individuals from different backgrounds, e.g., students, office workers, were invited to experience the air-conditioned environment and provide feedback through an online survey. Their feedback was generally positive, indicating people felt comfortable and the environment was like a morning or sea breeze.
Through generative user interviews, observation visits at potential use sites, developing use case scenarios, and understanding the differences between various user interactions with a cooling system (e.g. facility managers, service operators, and end-users), a clear concept of portable deep cooling emerged.
The team then entered a stage of design, prototyping and experimentation. They adopted a fast-failure innovation philosophy to build multiple prototypes on after another. Within 18 months, over 50 design iterations and eight systems were built and tested.
Through each iteration, the team investigated, learnt and improved the design. Ultimately, a prototype (Gen 6) was showcased at the Singapore Air Show 2016. This prototype delivered on the concept of sustainable deep cooling, in a tower form factor.
The Airbitat Smart Cooler was designed using a fast-failure innovation philosophy to build rapid protoypes. As user feedback highlighted the importance of a smaller product footprint and portability, the team radically downsized original iterations to create a final form that was right-sized and mobile. Over 18 months, the team created more than 50 design iterations while building and testing eight systems.
User feedback gathered at the event highlighted the importance of a smaller product footprint and portability of the product design.
The team continued to uncover new areas that needed design changes and tweaks to improve performance and operational benefits to users.
Many working prototypes were built across the design process, and there was a radical downsizing of Gen 6 to create a final form factor that was right-sized and mobile for its use cases.