Esco is an intelligent fire alarm designed for public spaces and larger cooperate buildings. Esco, short for 'Escape Companion', alerts and guide you safely out of the building in case of a fire.

The Esco alarm consists of 2 primary elements: light and audio. Pulsating light and directional sound, guides the people out of the building. The movement of both audio and light creates a path, highlighting the most efficient and convenient exit.

Esco was designed as part of a 2 week sound design course.



Our project ideation was focusing on 'sound' as our main element, as this was a course requirement. From here we then looked into various products that currently uses sound, where we thought we could do an improvement. Fire alarms was a product with both challenging and interesting aspects, that at the same time seemed suitable for a 2 week scope. 

We sketched on various shapes & sound designs for the product, while also looking into which existing technologies could enhance our product.


Our Process

From the beginning, we realised that we had little time and had to move quick. However, we didn't want to undermine the importance of user involvement.

In this process video, we try to show case how we quickly set up various user scenarios to test and validate. These tests we in the end used to determine the final sound design for our fire alarm.


Hardware Prototype

The prototype was made interactive by using an Arduino and an Audio Shield. This allowed us to mount the fire alarm in the roof for our presentation, so that we could make a live demo of how the sound and light would work.

We also used a Sound Lazer, to demo how directional sound could be used to guide the sound through the building.