Deguchi: As a Micro Vault user myself, I also wanted to refine the access indicator in the new model. The previous model has an access indicator on front. But on some computers, you have to insert flash drives upside-down, which is frustrating because you can't check the indicator.
With the new model, the access indicator is visible whether you're looking from the side or the back. The LED itself is mounted on the circuit board, so without a little modification, the glow wouldn't be visible from the other side. That's why we added a window of clear, ribbed plastic, which catches the light like a prism to make the glow visible all around.
Sketching how the indicator should glow was easy, but creating the effect took a lot of hard work. Make the indicator too clear, and you can see all the way to the circuit board under the LED. It would look too dark this way. But make it too opaque, and you sacrifice brightness, which defeats the purpose. After repeated attempts at achieving the right effect, we succeeded in adjusting the brightness by making the window slightly milky white.
I should note that Micro Vault drives in different capacities glow in different colors. This was a gesture for users of previous models, who will know intuitively from the color which Micro Vault is the capacity they need. So when we met with our engineers, planning the right glow, we considered not only the transparency of the window but also shades of LED that could be easily distinguished.
Oka: Another detail I was careful about was the finish of the strap hole. If you've ever tried to attach a strap to mobile phones or similar devices, you know how frustrating it can be. This was a potential problem Michio prevented with a simple, practical approach.
Deguchi: The wide opening allows straps to pass through easily. It's also shaped so that the strap slides easily along the curved surface and out. The bottom of the hole is labeled with an arrow, so you know which way to thread straps through. You'll also notice that the strap hole is offset from the central axis of the body. This prevents straps from interfering with the click mechanism.
We've also added subtle bumps on the side of the body. They protrude only 0.3 mm, but thanks to the bumps, you can tell by touch how you're holding the device without needing to look. The bumps are also perfectly positioned as a finger rest when you remove the device from a USB port.
Oka: I think we've arrived at a perfect form for the Micro Vault. You'll see what I mean when you hold it in your hand. The smaller a product and the more often we use it, the more critical thoughtful design is. Every inch of this model was designed with convenience in mind. It's an excellent example of universal design.