For this teardown, we were joined by Jon Denby, a long time Fictiv customer and the Product Design Lead behind Rylo — a small, yet powerful 360° camera. Jon provided us with tons of great insight into the product design choices behind Rylo.
Rylo’s magic lies in a phone app that stabilizes the 360° video and allows the user to track objects, scenery, and even people as they move through the shot. This means you only need to record one shot and then can re-cam it however you want after the fact. While the software is Rylo’s big selling point, the camera hardware has clever design hidden throughout, resulting in a compact product with a high-quality feel.
Here are the features of interest we’re drilling into for this teardown:
Tearing down the Rylo showed that the devil, or perhaps the distinguishing difference, is in the details. The parts of a camera most people usually look at — like the shutter button, the display, and the aesthetics — were all well done. However, the amount of thought put into areas most people wouldn’t consider, or even see, is what sets the mechanical design apart.
Before the cameras are even assembled, good design for manufacture makes Rylo’s main enclosure stand out. It serves as the outer shell, heat sink, electrical ground, and mounting point for everything in the camera, and yet avoids the normally high cost of using CNC machined parts in production devices.
Simplifying the assembly process with a smart use of fasteners further reduced the production cost. This also means that if a Rylo breaks, the faulty component can easily be replaced.
The same amount of thoughtfulness that went into the manufacturability also shows in the user experience. The shutter button is intuitively placed and the outer enclosure has a high quality and durable feel of brushed metal. Even an action as simple as opening the door for battery replacement is a satisfying interaction.
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