YAK-ON FOR BLACKYAK
• Research and Analysis
• Wearable Layouts
• Concepts design
• Design refinement
• Follow up on Manufacturing
Yak-on is a wearable device that allows to warm up a dedicate line of Black Yak Jackets especially designed for those that endure long exposure to cold weather. The jackets are put together with an embedded solenoid between the layers of the lining and b-on creative goal for the project was the design of the actual device and connector that would feed and interface the system.
In fact with the Yak-on he user is able to manage the internal jacket temperature directly from the device as well from his/her own smart phone.
At the time of the project few other competitors had launched on the market similar devices and our goal was to come up with the new gold standard for this new category. While the other products were designed like typical Electronics packs, with cables jacks and snapping buttons to keep the unit in place our aim was to achieve a design with quick simplicity in the interaction with the unit. Quick because when temperatures are not comfortable last thing desirable is to have to deal with something tedious to set-up inside your jacket internal pocket and simple because the user would in most case wear gloves and will not have much tactile sensitivity to go trough the task.
We proceeded after a phase of research into the definition of several electronics layout for the Yak-on and at the same time analyzing in 1:1 the wear-ability of each concepts testing the interaction over the human body. Once the final internal components layout was clear and approved together with the client we moved to the next stage of the project and started the design of its unique identity and functional design factors.
The Yak-on concept selected was called "Fremito" (Italian word for shiver - thrill), it was build on a flat type of layout to make it familiar to the dimensions of current smart phones; from the point of view of the design use-ability "Fremito" had a unique way to connects at the jacket, the object is missing one corner and its shape completes only once was connected to its base and operative, a visual immediate way the design can communicate and operate a fast connection of the unit.
The hook simplify the connection
Special design internal Pocket
Iconic outline of the device
Yak-on single switch button and LED's status
The design is asymmetrical and dynamic with a gradual thrill of surfaces
The detail on the part-line shows a unique zig-zag design achieved with basic 2 shells molds
The button is shaped like a diamond making it easy to perceive even if operated with gloves
The design is meant to be sturdy for outdoor use with the possibility to hook the unit to other gear in case would be used as an emergency battery for the phone
The magnetic connector are embedded in the silicon badge that acts as a base and on the back of the device
As all the other concepts developed during the project the final Yak-on was designed to be operated with the minimum effort and so just one simple button would meant to be used for all settings, a single red button easy to operate inside a pocket and on a product with large flat surfaces. For that reason the button was designed with a ¾ position on the higher edge of the device and with a comfortable angled sliding mechanism.
On top of all that Yak-on did not have any cable to plug it in, the unit is designed to connect to its base, a specially designed silicon badge stitched on the jacket, via a magnetic connector that grab the device from users hands, keep it down in position and transfer the low voltage electric stream to the system embedded in the jacket, a no time effortless overall interaction.
From the Aesthetic point of view we wanted to achieved a unique technical and sportive feel and the concept of gradual thrilling surfaces was explored in many ways and proportions. The concepts were verified in real with volumetric mock-ups and refined based on the those findings. The goal for b-on was at the same time to create design details and as well an iconic outline of the product, a very distinctive silhouette of the unit that would be easy to recognize by the users in small images while browsing the web and or making online purchases.
The design was then ready for the pre-engineering and quickly after the initial working prototypes began of what it would become the Yak-on: within 2 steps of semi working prototypes and consequently 2 steps of technical refinements the product and the pocket design were ready for their final manufacturing specifications.
Pre-production CMF specification
Verification of surfaces and draft angles during the pre-engineering
Cleaning and assembling of RP parts
Wear-ability research and analysis of the best locations, ergonomy and sizing of the device
Brainstorming and sketching initial concepts over 2 types of technical layouts
Phase 1 final concepts "Fremito" and "Stinger" with relative inspirational boards
"Fremito" concepts variations developed during the Phase 2 of the project
Revision and refinement of the "Fremito" concepts before the pre-engineering stage
Volumetric prototypes to evaluate use-ability and aesthetic of the product
Pre-engineering of all parts of the assembly either for the device as well the connecting base and the pocket
RP parts of the first semi-working prototype developed in the Phase3
The final product launched on the market maintains all of its design detailing thanks to the in house pre-engineering and extensive follow-up