The Radius on a job site. It resembles an orange traffic cone but has an obvious display and a black handle and black base. Two more devices are seen being set up in the background.

Radius BZ1 Area Gas Monitor

Area gas monitors alert workers to hazardous gas leaks on industrial job sites. Typical area gas monitors are awkward to lift, handle, and stow and they stretch the definition of portable.

The need for these monitors to survive rough handling, and a widespread perception that the U.S. market wants to see durability expressed a certain way, has led to equipment with an outdated, overdone rugged look and a fading sense of visual appeal.

The Radius BZ1 is the safety industry’s most portable wireless area gas monitor and was designed to reframe and refresh the U.S. safety equipment market’s definition of ruggedness, visibility, and physical ease of use. The Radius' industrial design won a 2017 CREATE award from the Pittsburgh Technology Council, and garnered Finalist status in the 2017 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA).

After exploring a wide variety of configurations with weighted interaction mockups, the team arrived at a tall proportion, inspired by lighthouses, to keep the omnidirectional warning lights as high as possible. We joined an outer structural frame, firm handles, and a tower-like central volume into one cohesive form. With a closed, sturdy-looking outer silhouette, we made an open gap through the center of the device as the entry point for gases, allowing Radius to collect air from all directions while sheltering the gas sensors to a degree that competing portable monitors do not.

The Radius BZ1’s industrial design also evokes the standard traffic cone, calling to mind safety and a toss-able level of ruggedness, while providing a practical signal to the vehicular traffic that crisscrosses industrial job sites.

Different LED colors convey escalating alarm urgency, helping workers quickly understand the severity of hazard conditions, while the LCD screen—the largest available among area monitors—displays distance-readable details and safety commands.

Radius’ rubberized base and rugged structural shell make it better prepared for deployment on real-world surfaces. Radius also brings a new level of smart connectivity with other devices on the job site, via constant sensing, instant wireless signals, and noise-defying alarms, creating a virtual ‘safety net’ across a job site.

The product’s easy handling and maneuverability are unique. No other portable area monitor offers this sensitivity to human factors. We considered every aspect of the user's experience, from the tight spaces workers must maneuver through while carrying the Radius, to how chaotic environments impact the detection of alarms.

Training and Facilitation
Interface Design
Industrial Design
Human Factors
Ethnographic Research
Mechanical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
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Full Service Development