Handheld Spectroscopic
Material Analyzer

Case Study


The Problem

Industry-standard spectroscopic analyzers were large, cumbersome, not portable, and not user-friendly.

The Solution

Rigaku worked with Smithwise to develop Progeny™ and Progeny X2, the new, user-friendly, handheld Raman spectroscopic instruments with a range of applications for pharmaceutical, chemical, homeland security, and life-sciences industries. Used to characterize a material’s chemical composition and structure, Progeny’s unique technology gives users the ability to analyze materials without destroying them, whether they are inside or outside of a laboratory setting.

Smithwise led the industrial design, engineering, prototyping, and production transfer efforts for Progeny.

The final design direction is a distinctive handheld device that blends the Rigaku brand identity and design language with usability details commonly found in consumer electronics. One of Progeny’s most distinctive design features is an elegant heat sink solution that permits the device to be completely sealed while managing the temperatures generated by the high-performance optical engine. Through effective design and engineering solutions, the instrument is only 3.4 pounds, fits into tight spaces, and provides a large touch screen. Progeny also has a complementary docking station that offers a cradle for safe storage and battery charging, which increases the device’s usability and laboratory functionality.

The Progeny X2, the benchtop counterpart, is a portable, dual-wavelength system that maintains the same design language as its sibling.

Targeted at a slightly different type of customer than the handheld analyzer, the Progeny X2 offers a desktop format that is easily carried from one place to another. Smithwise provided the refreshed industrial design for the Progeny X2, incorporating design details that matched the rugged look and feel of the handheld platform.

In 2014, the Progeny won the Bronze Award for the Portable Analytical Instrument Industrial Design category in the 2014 Instrument Business Outlook (IBO) Design Awards.