Topcon's GR-3 Wins Award in Product Design Contest

March 1, 2007


LIVERMORE, Calif.--GR-3, the precise positioning receiver introduced in 2006 by Topcon Positioning System (TPS), recently won an International Forum (IF) Product Design Award 2007, a prestigious design award in Germany. This seal of fine design presented to winners of an IF award is at once an endorsement of their design competence and a decision-making aid for consumers. Dan Harden of Whipsaw said, “We are thrilled to be recognized for GR-3’s design excellence, and very proud of what Topcon and Whipsaw have achieved together.”

Whipsaw is an industrial design and engineering consulting firm in San Jose. They create innovative products in the consumer, industrial and medical fields. Harden said, “Our mission is to help clients succeed by providing superior product design solutions.” Since the company’s founding in 1999, Whipsaw has received 57 international design awards.

Topcon began working with Whipsaw in 2003 on the GR-3. Harden said, “Whipsaw packed the GR-3 with design innovation. Its unique shape and component architecture offer many advantages,” including: Thoughtful ergonomics and usability factors: it is easy to hold because the battery packs are positioned to serve as a handle. It has a “quick-snap” pole mount, reducing the likelihood of damage while affixing it to or removing it from a range pole. The top is square, so it cannot roll if leaned against a wall.

  • Ruggedness: The main housing is an I-beam shaped magnesium part, engineered to withstand a fall from a range pole.

  • Weatherproof: The antenna is housed under a plastic and rubber dome which overlaps the base and battery handle, thus providing a protective umbrella effect in the rain. All switches and connectors are also protected under this overhang.

  • Balance: The two batteries are oriented vertically to keep the center of gravity as close to the range pole axis as possible, providing balance.

  • Dual, external battery packs: The battery location is convenient and the batteries are hot- swappable. They also cover the SIM and SD Media Card slots, shielding them from the elements.

  • This clever integration of functional attributes also express many important emotional cues. Most importantly it screams of ruggedness, which users of this type of outdoor tool demand. It also suggests ease of use because of the handle, controls facing the user, battery release details, and quick snap pole mount.

“TPS is a special company,” Harden said, “It understands the true meaning of innovation. Topcon and Whipsaw have been able to succeed together because we are both so passionate about providing better solutions to users needs. The GR-3 is one of those rare products that beautifully integrates technology, human factors, engineering, and design. Its unique configuration is a harmony of form and function.”

About Topcon Positioning Systems: Topcon Positioning Systems, a developer and manufacturer of positioning equipment, offers the world’s leading selection of innovating precision GPS, GIS, laser, optical surveying, and machine control, agriculture, products, software, and applications. Topcon Corporation is traded on Tokyo Stock Exchange (7732).

Source: Topcon Positioning Systems, February 28, 2007.