Smartphone Design for College Level Students

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  • Topic: Personal digital assistant, Mobile phone, Smartphone
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  • Published : October 1, 2012
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Ergonomic Design of Smartphones for College Level Students

Kevin Kenneth T. Kwan
Maria Melliza Gayle R. Lucas
Maxine Abigale D. Perez

Abstract

Table of Contents

Title Page
Abstract
Table of Contents
Introduction
Background of the study
Rationale
Problem statement
Objectives
Scope and Limitations
Review of Related Literature
Methodology
Results and Discussions
Data Presentation
Results and analysis
Conclusions
Recommendations
References
Appendices

Introduction

Background of the Study
The usage of smartphone has increased rapidly over the last few years - with around 5 billion mobile phones being used in the world, 1.08 billion units are smartphones. Due to the features of a smartphone (texting, web browsing, gaming, camera… etc.), the user ends up spending more time using his device.

As much as smartphones make life easier for users in terms of being connected to others, there are dangers imposed by these devices to the users especially with the increased number of time spent using them. There have been a lot of injuries (Repeated Motion Injuries) recorded that were attributed to the use of these devices. These injuries can cause pain in the neck, hand and back. Examples of injuries are de Quervain syndrome and Carpal tunnel syndrome.

To reduce the risk of acquiring any injury because of prolonged use of smartphones, the group will develop a design that would have taken into consideration the effects of the physical attributes of a smartphone to the user. The design will minimize the stress and strain that the user will experience when using the device for a long period of time.

Rationale
Due to the increase in smartphone usage, occurrence of injuries related to usage of smartphones has also increased. A chiropractic study in UK concluded that 50% of Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) since last year is caused by the use of smartphones and other touchscreen devices. Because the usage of smartphones frequently causes cases of de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, an RSI that affects the tendons on the thumb, the injury is now being termed as “Blackberry thumb” or “iPhone thumb” in the US.

Aside from carpal tunnel syndrome cases, discomforts like “text neck” and back pain are also commonly caused by over usage of smartphones according to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy in the U.K. Since most of these injuries are caused by iPads, Blackberries, iPhones, iPod Touches, doctors are coining the term “iInjuries”.

To reduce the probability of experiencing discomfort or pain, usage time must be lessened or design of the smartphone must be improved. The usage time cannot be reduced and is classified as an uncontrollable factor because it is dependent on the college students’ needs and interests. Thus this project chose to improve the design and make it more fit for the users.

Problem Statement
60% of the 57% college students that owns a smartphone spend an average of 5.05 hours per day of smartphone usage. This amount of time spent on using their smartphone associates 95% chance of experiencing pain for base of the hand, shoulder and neck pains.

Objectives
This project aims to improve the physical attributes of the current smartphones by minimizing the bad effects of the poorly designed smartphones. The design of the smartphone must minimize fatigue and try to (as much as possible) allow the user to maintain a good wrist posture to avoid injury.

It also aims to define an acceptable range for the length, weight, width, and height of the smart phone and state effects of the new design to the users by the end of the project.

Scopes and Limitations
The focus of the project will be the design of a smartphone that will best suit college students (ages 16-24). The range is based upon the fact that young adults are the most frequent smartphone users for real-time information. Ages 18-29 comprise 43.5% of...
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