Software and Softwear
Combining physical and digital experience in product design has always been our forte. Our most recent, notable designs include Tzoa, Ftsy, BBB, and last but not least, the Mio SLICE. As years progressed, we are now witnessing clients emphasizing the strong need for digital product design (cohesion of UX and UI with the physical product) in addition to industrial design.
The Mio SLICE was the most recent project we had to tackle from the ground up. Mio challenged us to design an attractive, ergonomic, and desirable wearable that functioned seamlessly with an engaging mobile app. The experience you have with the wearable when running around the block, and the experience you have when trying to decipher heart rate graphs at a nearby cafe have to be consistent. To put it in another perspective, the Mio SLICE would not be a successful launch if either sides of the product were eliminated from the equation - the Mio SLICE wearable would be meaningless without the software, and vice versa.
How many companies out there marry software with softwear? Our friends at Wiivv have literally coupled shoe insole design with a mobile application, allowing users to create tailored insoles within minutes without the need for an orthotics expert. Google partnered up with Levi’s to build Project Jacquard, a jacket with conductive yarn so people can answer calls and change songs with a swipe gesture over their sleeves. On a more adorable note, Owlet created an infant sock that is integrated with an app to indicate the baby’s well-being to the parent. What all these companies have in common is that the are trying to leverage digital technologies to shape the fabric that literally covers our bodies.
The big challenge here is bringing together the worlds of softgoods design (think pattern making and fabric prototyping) and technology design (think wireframing and PCB design). These two approaches are still miles apart in terms of necessary skill sets, technological challenges, and overall cultures. As a studio with experience developing numerous body worn wearables, we love being able to help our clients bridge this chasm between fashion design and firmware design in order to create the next great product.
It goes without saying that smart devices are prevalent in this day and age, but integrating this intelligence into products that make our clothes smarter and more aware is something people in 2017 would truly spend their hard-earned dollars on.
Contact us here if your team needs help with software and softwear.
再見 (Chinese for ‘bye!'),