Finalist 2023

HyphaMESH Range: HyphaCAP (Communications Access Point) + HyphaMAP (Mobile Access Point)

Design + Industry (D+I) / Hypha by Wireless Innovation

HyphaMESH: Revolutionising global emergency communication with uninterrupted connectivity in blackspots, bolstering safety and operational efficiency.

The ‘HyphaMESH’ range, comprising HyphaCAP and HyphaMAP, is a communication networking solution for emergency + public safety services. HyphaCAP is a handheld device, while HyphaMAP is a vehicle-mounted unit, together they ensure critical communications stay live in remote areas/blackspots. Together these establish a HyphaMESH; IP transparent network, based on the COFDM waveform, that can operate independently/integrate back to a central core or wider network to ensure continuous, real-time communication in reactive + unpredictable scenarios. Designed for reliability, user-friendliness + robustness, these products significantly improve safety + recovery efforts by enabling uninterrupted channels to be established in environments where they otherwise would be lost.

Design Brief:

D+I was tasked with the complete design + development of two devices, HyphaCAP + HyphaMAP, to provide emergency + public safety services with reliable communications network infrastructures. The devices needed to sustain real-time, uninterrupted communication in remote areas/blackspots, facilitating critical data/voice communication during critical scenarios.

HyphaCAP was designed for handheld use, with specific requirements including ruggedisation (IP67-rating) for harsh environments, a lightweight + ergonomic design + a hot-swap battery feature.

HyphaMAP, a vehicle-mounted device adaptable to emergency vehicles, aircraft + drones, demanded thoughtful consideration; including a slim profile conducive to panel mounting, clear access to RF + networking inputs/outputs + thermal management to maintain operational integrity.

The ultimate objective was to launch the HyphaMESH network to the market through these devices. Notably, they were designed to be highly usable and priced significantly lower than alternative market solutions, achieved through efficient design strategies without compromising on performance or quality.

This project was developed by:

Design Process

The complete development process for the HyphaMESH product family, encompassing the HyphaCAP + HyphaMAP devices, was a systematic and professional journey, effectively harnessing the intertwined disciplines of Research, Concept, Development, Electronics, and Management into Production, all within a tight deadline of just 200 days for the HyphaCAP.

With a thorough understanding of the criticality of user context, we conducted extensive research and needs analysis involving prospective end-users from the emergency services and public safety sectors. The insights gleaned were invaluable in shaping our design decisions, leading to user-centric, functional devices effective even in communication blackspots.

For HyphaCAP, a ruggedised, versatile handheld device, we integrated a vibrant and tactile TPE overmould that accentuates grip and key touch points. An ergonomic form, clear LED status indicators, and one-handed operability were included for the convenience of frontline workers. Most notably, we developed a hot-swap battery solution, enabling the device to maintain constant network connectivity for 12 hours, even during battery changes.

In designing the HyphaMAP, we optimised device footprint and thickness to balance portability, thermal distribution, and system functionality. The integration of interchangeable OEM modules and universal components was a strategic move to improve manufacturing and assembly efficiencies. Signature LED indicators echo the user-friendly approach employed in the HyphaCAP.

The process was an iterative cycle of prototyping, testing, and refining. The resultant devices have met, and in many respects, surpassed the design brief's requirements. Their distinct features and compatibility not only maximise functionality but also enhance the overall HyphaMESH network offering. Their professional execution within a demanding timeframe, combined with their inherent adaptability, demonstrate an outstanding example of exceeding the design brief. This project is a testament to the power of a well-structured, professional design process in creating products that deliver excellence and reliability.

Design Excellence

The HyphaMESH product family exemplifies design excellence, integrating innovative functionality, outstanding aesthetics, and rigorous user-centric design.

HyphaCAP, a handheld device, delivers reliable, uninterrupted communication in challenging environments. At approximately 50% lower cost than competitors, it provides unparalleled functionality without compromise, featuring a world-first hot-swap battery system. This groundbreaking design enables frontline workers to replace batteries without disrupting active communications, a testament to the innovative thinking that defines this product.

HyphaMAP, a vehicle-mounted device, embodies a synergy of functional and aesthetic excellence. It houses core OEM electronics and a custom-developed interface PCBA in a compact form, one of the smallest in the market, made possible through efficient space management for cable routing and connector spacings. The CNC machined aluminium housing, embellished with a unique pattern, enhances thermal distribution while lending an aesthetic coherence to the product line. This functionality is coupled with a user-focused design: the device's flexible mounting options and unique two-click lock/remove system enable quick swapping between vehicles and aircraft, facilitating diverse emergency scenarios. This blend of compactness, functionality, and user-centred design is a testament to HyphaMAP's design excellence.

Both devices incorporate largely universal components and interchangeable modules, a strategic approach that enhances manufacturing efficiency and provides flexibility in production forecasting.

User experience was central to the design process. Both devices play vital roles in Hypha's mesh network offering, ensuring seamless, dependable communication in various real-world tech applications. Our commitment to domestic manufacturing also contributes to job creation in Australia, an integral part of our sustainability approach.

HyphaMESH devices have seen sales and distribution in the USA, Spain, and the UAE, attesting to their global appeal and market value. They set a new benchmark for design excellence in Victoria and beyond, demonstrating the immense potential and value of investing in professional design to deliver innovative, user-friendly, high-performance solutions.

Design Innovation

HyphaCAP and HyphaMAP were designed to meet a unique challenge: to provide a reliable, affordable, and user-friendly communication network for emergency + public safety services, particularly in communication blackspots.

HyphaMESH sets itself apart in the market with distinctive features unmatched by any other global competitor. Both devices provide one-touch operation and integrate Wi-Fi + location tracking seamlessly. Designed for simplicity, HyphaMESH requires minimal training – if users are capable of logging onto their home or office Wi-Fi, they can effortlessly establish a HyphaMESH network.

The affordability, quality and aesthetics of HyphaCAP set a new standard. The device offers capabilities equivalent to its competitors, at a significantly reduced cost—about 50% lower—without any compromise to quality. HyphaCAP's hot-swap battery is a world-first for a device of its kind, ensuring uninterrupted network connectivity for up to 12 hours. This allows the battery pack to be removed + replaced without disrupting active communications, critical for professionals operating in crisis management scenarios.

The HyphaMAP device, on the other hand, introduced an innovation in its slim and lightweight design, made possible by efficient space management for cable routing and connector spacings. This results in one of the smallest footprints in the market, accommodating various vehicle mounting orientations and facilitating its use in diverse emergency scenarios. Its CNC machined aluminium housing + unique thermal pattern not only address the thermal distribution challenge but also lend a striking aesthetic touch, reflective of the brand's energy and strength.

From the ruggedisation of HyphaCAP for harsh environments to the interchangeable core OEM modules within HyphaMAP that add flexibility to production forecasting, HyphaCAP and HyphaMAP have been designed with end-users' at the centre.

These innovations position HyphaCAP and HyphaMAP as unique solutions in the market, solving a legitimate problem and creating new opportunities for reliable, affordable, and efficient communication systems in challenging environments.

Design Impact

The HyphaCAP and HyphaMAP project is an embodiment of positive design impact on multiple fronts - social, commercial, and environmental.

HyphaMESH devices offer an unprecedented communication solution for emergency service workers. By facilitating seamless connectivity in demanding environments, they enhance response efficiency and consequently the safety of both service personnel and the wider community. The user-centred design means these devices are tailored to the harsh conditions these workers often face, allowing for improved communication and coordination during critical situations.

Commercially the HyphaMESH product line offers immense value for Wireless Innovation. Not only does the 50% lower entry point compared to competitors provide a strong competitive advantage, but the high quality and innovative design have attracted interest from global telecommunications providers, thus opening up new business opportunities. Moreover, the flexible production approach, where the hardware/software solution can be determined after sourcing manufactured parts, allows for effective cost management and adaptability to market demand.

The CNC machined housing reduces waste production, and the universal components and assembly process across the product range minimise the need for unique parts, which in turn reduces material usage and waste. The longevity and quality of the devices mean they won't quickly become obsolete, further reducing electronic waste.

Hypha's commitment to local manufacturing reinforces Victoria’s reputation as a hub of innovative and sustainable design, contributing to the state's design and creative culture. The project underscores the benefits of investing in a professional design process and will be a benchmark for design excellence, both within Victoria and globally. The success of this project in domestic and international markets (with units sold and distributed Australia wide and into USA, Spain, and the UAE) showcases the capabilities of Victoria's design industry to the world.

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