It's been a busy time around the office the past few months. We are gearing up for CES which means we are launching a ton of products. Here's a brief summary of one of my favorites:PWND - There are many iphone/ipod touch gamers out there so it was an easy decision to make a case catered to their needs. Much of the research I had done unintentionally while playing games on the iphone. Going into the project I had already identified a few key features of this product.
1. Conforms to the shape of the hand to make it easier to grip the phone during times of intense game action without adding to much bulk.
2. Identify a texture that is both visually and tactically simulating.
3. Use a soft plastic or rubber.
Then I did a little competitive analysis.
I found some to be to large for realistic use:
Some didn't achieve an ergonomic shape which also effected the ability for the phone to slide into your pocket:
And others were just... Clever.
With this base of knowledge in my pocket, pun intended, I set out to define the optimal shape of the case. It needed to be smooth for two reasons: to slide into the pocket and to allow a comfortable grip at any angle. The natural placement of the hands while playing games in landscape format made the desicion obvious to place the two grip zones on the top and bottom of the case. The concave on the sides are for the fingers to rest. The convex shapes on the top and bottom was designed to fit snug into the palm.
Next came multiple iterations of textures and design motifs to define what the case would like. The name came from the cross hair design... If you play counter strike or halo you know what I mean. The square grid pattern around the central design hearkens back the age old game of chess.
One of the challenges of this project wasn't really seen until we had T1 samples. By increasing the amount of material in the grip zone area it strengthened the case which was great in case you dropped it but not if you flexed the corners. To overcome this we increased durometer of the plastic which made for a better fit.
Hope you like it. And yes those are my hands in the product video haha. I would post some W.I.P photos but they are all on the work computer and I'm on vacation right now.