For my final project, I am creating a hidden blade like the ones featured in the videogame Assassin’s Creed. In this post, I will evaluate design alternatives both in the aesthetic and functional features. The aesthetic of the hidden blade has varied in each game, featuring the common styles of the era the game is based in. Some of the ornamentations consist of the hidden blade cover and the majority is shown in the bracers that hold the blade cover to the user’s arm. The more modern hidden blades shown in the games are compact and not always feature bracers (due to the fact that we no longer fight battles with swords and don’t need to protect our arms and wrists from getting cut). However, the design variations of fan-made hidden blades, especially in the DIY environment, feature either nice-looking modern styles or the evidence that the parts were made from readily available components such as cabinet roller slides.
I was initially thinking about doing a futuristic shape with metallic color. However, after learning about the effects of certain aesthetics in class, I realized I could implement some of these concepts into my design.
Minimalistic Hidden Blade Design
This design is simple since it features a rectangular box container that holds the blade mechanism. It would feature two slots on each side to insert elastic bands to retain the hidden blade to the user’s arm. The mechanism would also be designed as simple as possible and the Assassin’s crest would be engraved onto the surface. The large crest can capture people’s eyes and bring unwanted attention and reduce stealth in what is supposed to be a hidden weapon. The black color has the possibility of remaining undetected and can serve for increased stealth. However, the color black can trigger an alert response in people who see the hidden blade. The mechanism shown is a simple tension spring with a thumbscrew that the user can pull back and push into a retaining pocket. When the user wants to engage the blade, he simply needs to push the thumbscrew to the side and the spring will pull the blade all the way out. This design is a little dangerous since it can be accidentally triggering, so a locking mechanism would be necessary.
Less Aggressive Hidden Blade Design
This design gets rid of sharp edges and substitutes them for curves. The entire box is made of basically three semi-overlapping circles. The idea of having a curvy profile is that it has a lower chance of triggering an alert response in people who see the device on the user’s arm. Given today’s technology and many wearable electronic products, people will lean to think it’s some sort of Fitbit or a similar product. With this design, the user can feed three elastic bands through the slots on the edges of each circle to attach to their arms. The Assassin’s Crest is still featured but it will be smaller and located in between where the elastic bands cover the device. For this model, I was thinking of using a moss shade of green. I believe this color poses little threat compared to the intimidating black and it is still dark enough to remain stealthy. The mechanism of this device would be a small DC motor attached to an internal battery which is activated to turn a pinion on a rack. This would create a transfer of energy between the rotational motion of the motor and the linear displacement of the rack. By attaching the rack to the blade, the user can extend and retract the blade at the push of a button.
In conclusion, I believe I will adopt the less aggressive aesthetic onto my project and design the mechanism encasing with a shape as featured in this new model. However, I still need to find a way for the users to activate the button in a safe way and without having an accidental blade engagement with their hand in the way.