Retail Stand for iPad

The Shopify Retail Stand for iPad extends their point-of-sale software. The tablet stand is thoughtfully designed to support day-to-day activities that include transactions, inventory management, and business tracking. The ipad case, designed to fit a range of ipads, quickly and easily disconnects from the dock/stand to support the merchant to untether from the counter and provide a key requirement, flexibility. The ipad is continually charged when docked and hidden USB connectors allow the merchant to also power peripherals.

Conceptual Direction

During a transaction, the screen is often shared between the customer and merchant. With a focus on the ipad, an OS that natively reorients the screen graphics, it was observed that a “teeter-totter” design could exploit this feature and offer a functional benefit. This approach, in comparison to traditional POS devices, would require a reduced footprint. A variety of functional specifications and this key insight led to the overall conceptual direction.

Concept Exploration

We set about exploring design concepts for Shopify Retail Stand for iPad that aimed to encapsulate the schematic mechanical details, and expand the Shopify brand deeper into the physical realm. A physical brand identity is articulated in many ways: the relationship between forms – intersecting vs. piercing vs. nesting, edge transitions – soft vs. sharp, the use of colour, the application of materials, and finishes. An example of one of our deepest collaborations, we worked very closely with the team at Shopify to explore what the design should be.

Concept Refinement

With a selected concept direction our efforts shifted toward the details. Through a series of 3D CAD and photorealistic studies, and ultimately functional prototypes, we developed the concept toward the goal of a manufacturable solution.

Mechanical Design

Our work extended into the mechanical design initiative and required us to balance aesthetic aspects with a variety of critical-to-function details. The case had to adapt to 5 iPads and retain key functionality, attach and detach easily to facilitate portability, ensure the stand remained stationary when the case was removed, limit “touch bounce” at any position in the teeter-totter range, securely lock the ipad case to the stand if desired, provide discrete charging for peripherals, and incorporate essential electronic components for routing and charging.

Design Definition

We developed a 3D and 2D documentation package for hand-off. The package captured specifications for off-the-shelf components, and essential aesthetic and functional details that set Shopify and a chosen manufacturing partner onto a path for further development and mass manufacture.