Graduates 2017: David Howlett

“I wanted to design for the preteen and teenage market to build upon the experience I gained at Disney during my placement year.”

Hi David, can you tell us about your work:

“This year I’m designing for 8-13 year old males with excessive gaming problems. My aim is to provide a gaming alternative that provides the same thrilling experiences without comprising the health of the user. To do this I’m combining two up-coming technologies, virtual reality gaming and remote control drones into a product that I call Maverick.

Maverick is a drone with a camera located in the cockpit, so when the player puts on a virtual reality headset they are essentially sitting in the pilot’s seat. These drone’s can battle each other using infra-red laser technology similar to laser-tag, which is completely invisible and harmless to the user’s eyes.

This gamifies the drone, encouraging social and competitive play which are two key success factors in the gaming industry. Players are given a virtual pilot’s licence where they can earn experience points by flying and battling with their drone, this XP can be spent on upgrading and customising their virtual cockpit; making the product rewarding. “

Maverick logo: David Howlett

Can you tell us about your inspiration?

“My responsibilities at Disney were revolved around cobranding and product licensing which have great application to my product this year. I decided I wanted to work with drones and virtual reality technology out of personal interest and their currently both in a stage of growth with drones entering a 18 month drone boom starting this year. “

What are your plans after graduation?

“After graduation I plan to carry on developing my product by launching it as a start-up company or by pitching it to market leaders as a means of breaking into the preteen and teenage market. Meanwhile I will be keeping my eyes open for other employment opportunities.”

How did you find your course?

‘Product Design at Brighton University facilitates any young designers dream of becoming an entrepreneur or corporate designer by giving them an entire year to take products from concept through to launch. This approach gives students the ability to build a portfolio that is tailored to their interests and career aspirations.”

See David’s Linkedin profile

Contact David here

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