First responders keep communities safe, diffusing dangerous situations with timely information and swift action. Hazmat teams need to detect unknown chemicals to evaluate their threat, and the list of harmful agents is constantly growing. Mass Spectrometry is a proven and versatile method for analyzing unknown chemicals - but it was previously only available in research labs. 908 Devices set out to change that. The Silicon Valley and Boston-based startup has revolutionized chemical trace analysis with the world’s smallest mass spectrometer, the M908. The M908 and its big brother, MX908, can identify tiny amounts of toxic chemicals in less than a minute, and their portable size allows them to be carried almost anywhere.
908 Devices partnered with Loft to develop the user experience (UX) and Industrial Design (ID) for the MX product line. It was imperative to meet the user’s needs quickly in a high-stakes situation, so the first step was to get to know who would handle the device. For first responders and hazmat teams, the interface needed to be approachable and useful. Drawing from 908’s deep knowledge of their customers, the UX makes mission-critical information accessible and actionable to new users without compromising the integrity or efficiency of the analysis.
The device brings powerful analysis outside the lab and into real-world conditions. Response teams often operate in bright and hot environments (not suitable for touch screen interfaces), and they need to make split-second decisions. Designed for triple gloved hands, glaring sunlight, and extreme conditions, the display can be controlled with large navigation buttons. High contrast color coded icons display the type of threat at top level, giving a clear, at-a-glance view of potential imminent danger. More information about each chemical can be easily accessed with a few clicks.
With complementary skill sets, both the 908 and Loft teams collaborated on this highly-engineered, user-centered product to bring a best in class device to production.
The MX908 interface walks users through mission-based workflows to rapidly detect acute toxics, narcotics and trace chemicals in the field. Users get the information they need to make potentially life-saving decisions in hazardous operating environments. Loft’s emphasis on the end user experience and housing design combined with 908’s knowledge of the customer and technical design to yield a device that is easy to navigate in the field, empowering first responders and hazmat teams to keep us safe.