Group 5 – Octoboard

Group 05, Videoprototype

What is it

The Octoboard is an enhanced keyboard designed to optimize the workflow of an operator in a security guidance system. With the Octoboard you save time and stress through keystrokes reduction. Furthermore the Octoboard contains a videosystem control unit, so you don’t have to control two separated systems with one keyboard.

How does it work

The Octoboard gives you optical guidance by flashing the currently enabled keys (green light), and reduces your error rate by disabling incorrect keys (wring keypresses generates a optical feedback by flashing red lights).  We replace the multilayered keyboard-layout (currently over 100 shortcuts) with mode-dependent layout. The Octoboard is based on a basic keyboard, but with a lot of helpful features, like police-call buttons. The videosystem control unit is a touchscreen, adjustable to the current situation. So we (or you) can customize the keyboard to fit your personal needs.


The Octoboard does not only save the time you need to process an incoming alarm and significantly reduces your error rate (especially in an security guidance center it should be null), it also reduces the time you need to get used to the system, currently about two and a half years.


The Octoboard could be used in any situation. It is highly flexible and could be a great helper for many users of other systems, basically every system that is controlled by keyboard. For example we could collaborate with numerous keyboard production companies and benefit from their knowhow and experience.

Less stress – more comfort – Octoboard

Concept Phase – enhanced Keyboard Solution for an emergency guidance system

Concept, Group 05

After visiting the security company Ehrl we gathered our collected information and started brainstorming for problems with using the system and possible improvements to shorten the process time and overall reaction period for the next incoming alert. We used the presented techniques like an Affinity diagram, HMW questions, an Opportunity Mind Map, NABC Analysis and Scenarios. After all we created some storyboards with our focused Use-cases which involved improving the existing main working tool, the keyboard.


Through all the Brainstorming iterations we zoomed-into our collected key features: simplifying the keyboard usage by guiding the operator through optical support and reducing wrong inputs by deactivating non necessary keys. We also wanted to eliminate double keyboard allocations and complex shortcuts by separating the video system controls from the keyboard. The next step will include finding a suitable name for our product, building the video prototype and demonstrating the benefits in a casual day working flow.

User Research – A day at a security service

Group 05, User Research

We visited Ehrl Sicherheit – a security service – where emergency messages from about 10.000 observed objects  are running together.

Foto 3

They receive messages from alarm systems (in case of fire, burglary ore anything else), hold contact with their security service field workers and will be the persons you talk to when you get stuck in an elevator. After passing a security checkpoint, we got an one hour long guided tour trough the complete working space.


We found ourselves in the operating center of their security guidance system, with giant monitorwalls (that currently showed the whole building from the outside) and 6 workingspaces, just designed for the needs of an 12 hours straight working security operator.  We were told that they receive about 40.000 messages a day but just 8000 important messages that have to be processed by the operators – that means 78 messages per operator per hour . The workspace of each operator consists of 3 monitors, 2 telephones, two keyboards and one mouse. Maybe something to improve? Before we were able to start working with our interview partners we were forced to sign non-disclosure agreement. We had the chance to interview five employees from three different departments. So we had a pretty comprehensive impression of the work at Ehrl Sicherheit.