BATTING GLOVE CONCEPTS

Hey batter, batter!

Wilson  Sporting Goods owned DeMarini, came to FUSE to  to get concepts for a  batting glove. Batting gloves do a few things to make batting better for the batter:

1. The batting glove  adds a protective layer of skin, like a callus,  to protect the player from the friction injury caused by wielding a bat. The injury is usually just blistering, but  this is painful, can keep a player from participating and becomes and entry point into the body for more lethal  bacteria.

2. An errant pitch can hit the dorsal surface of the batter’s hand.   Injury can range from bruising  to real broken bone and nerve damage. Putting  protective armor and or energy absorbing materials on this dorsal surface can mitigate this problem.

The less great aspects of the batting glove is the reduction of feel and the increase in heat or rather hand heat.

The challenge of creating  a good batting glove  is to provide protection, not impede articulation and keep them as thermally neutral as possible. Below are the more traditional winners.

 

SUPER HERO MASK

FACE – ON

FUSE was contacted by a team of seasoned  product marketing professionals at the onset of the pandemic. They wanted help designing a face mask for professionals working the front line in health care, teaching and  emergency services.The team had identified that  seeing the facial expression of these first responders and front liners would be valuable to  reinstate the calm and confidence  these pros always want to communicate to the people they’re helping. The team was also obsessed with  minimizing  the waste associated with disposable masks. While the filters are not washable, they are recyclable.

To achieve the crystal clarity, the mask would need to be silicone injection molded. This lower durometer material and process also allowed for the undercuts we needed for a clever face seal and the nesting of the replaceable filters cartridges.

Keen viewers will recognize the Iron Man inspiration in the chin area of the mask. Actually, what  we were doing was reinforcing the chin to keep it stiffer so we could achieve greater elasticity in the jaw for mouth opening and talking while still maintaining a good seal to the face.

MARWALL POD

VACUUM PACKED.

A couple of entrepreneurs came to FUSE with a big idea: they wanted to reduce all the CO2 and waste created by single use disposable containers. They wanted to replace all these earth killing, land-filling, leaky containers with a collapsible silicone container that diners could bring with them. This sounded good, but these containers exist.  The pandemic certainly didn’t help either.

We thought, “This isn’t good. We can’t take their money to make another plastic container….”. We brainstormed. We drew concepts. Like we always do, we explored.  We also knew the pervasiveness/success of all the insulated water bottles. Could we bring this insulated utility to food?

We  hated all the fussy bento box-like little containers. Who eats like that?  People are eating bowls of low glycemic index carbs and proteins. Or, imagine if you’re a frutarian, wouldn’t cold watermelon be good at noon?  Yes it would.  Do you really want to risk that thirst quenching red goodness to the office fridge? No you do not.  You know your so called trusted office mates are food thieves!  Maybe it’s a sign of  security that they know you well enough to eat off your containers.  Beyond food security, we also imagined other uses (e.g. a nice product to take on day hikes, a way to carry  temperature sensitive medicines, etc).

We did some concepts and shared  them with our world saving duo.  The team  liked it.  Now we had to find a way to make this product something other than cylinder shaped. I’d get into the details, but you’ll notice almost all twin-walled, vacuum sealed stainless steel containers are cylindrical. There are lots of You Tube videos on how these are made, but our soon to be Marwall Pod would require a new path towards commercialization. This was  a problem.

We scoured the world and located a company that believed in our team’s vision and they found a way. Armed with this confidence and this new factory partner, we forged ahead. FUSE did  multiple thermal studies and realized we needed a twin walled lid to achieve the insulative properties we wanted. We added utensils (keen observers will recognize this as giving a nod to ancient Inuit tools) and stored them on the inside of the twin walled lid.  We sealed the pod and the twin walled lid  with a silicone gasket. Sliding latches with rotatable carabiner-able loops lock the lid to the base.

We imagine the metal part can last a lifetime or more (barring a fall off a cliff), but the plastics (don’t worry — they’re BPA-free Tritan) while tough, may succumb over time. All these parts are replaceable, so your pod will last a lifetime (if not cut short by a climbing accident and we know you’ll only be thinking about your Marwall Pod in that event…).  We are so confident this is a lifetime-plus product, inside the metal container there’s  an area to engrave to whom you want to bequeath your Marwall  to.

 

 

NED (NOT BREAD)

EDIBLE PACKAGING

A few summers ago we were on a camping trip with another couple and one of the partners  had a gluten allergy. We had stopped  at drive-thru for a quick refuel on the way back. The gluten free friend (GFF) had ordered a vegan burger with a lettuce wrap to avoid the bun. What a mess! There were condiments all over her hands and  subsequently, my car!   Not only is the gluten a problem, it’s also the high carbs of that bun. A typical burger bun is some 40 grams of high glycemic index refined white flour. There had to be a better way.

When we got back to or studio, I grabbed ( hang on, not physically)  a colleague and  we brainstormed. I always loved the genius of the edible ice cream cone, especially the  one inaccurately named the “cake” cone.  I did a little research  and these wonders of industrialization, a literal injection  molding  of water and flour are only 6 grams of carbs and that’s with rice flour. And, it gets better…, if you use almond flour, you can bring the carb count down to zero! Not to mention how brilliant the whole  family of edible  packages are!  Taco shells! Sushi! And then.. wholly cow ,  and  start digging in more,  and  did you know  the average common restaurant – remember those , burrito  flour tortilla  can be 80 grams of  carbs!!!

The big idea was to make a small edible piece of luggage, kidding, not luggage but a bread or tortilla  replacement that could be gluten free if needed  and lower carb. This is good for celiacs, diabetics and everyone that wants to lower their ingestion of high glycemic  index carbohydrates.  By the way,  the term “Keto” was Google searched for more than Subaru in the Pacific NW.

In terms of design,  this concept  allows  almost infinite shape, color, texture and flavor. This concept can replace anything where bread is simply a carrier. Think pizza, tacos, burritos, all the bread shapes,  even low carb snacks like crackers can be NED. Best of all if you were brought up by TV like some of  us were, then  you’ll love  the brand-ability of this concept. See the images above.

Knowing there’s a fair amount of tooling (though relatively inexpensive per mold) to make these things, we approached the Joy Cone company with NED. They are biggest  ice cream cone maker in the U.S.  with plants in Pennsylvania and Arizona. Joy makes special branded cones for  some of their largest customers.

I don’t  want to say we’re brilliant, but I think  given the hand friendliness, this qualifies as thumbelievable!

Ok, shutting up now –  have a look!

 

ANAND SPORT POD

Serial entrepreneur and avid competitive tennis player, Dr. Rahul Anand (he’s an anesthesiologist),  was annoyed when he saw  college and pro tennis players throwing sweat laden towels on the court after wiping off. Initially, he had hoped this was just a rare occasion, but it continued to happen. Dr. Anand even contacted the players and/or their management teams to make them aware of the hygiene problem this towel discarding was causing.  Still, no change.  Exasperated, Dr. Anand decided to take this problem on. This is where FUSE comes in.

Armed with the problem Dr. Anand  was trying to fix, FUSE got to work.  FUSE retraced the research, and for sure, this problem is a new animal. Not that it’s rare, just that its not been recognized. Lots of products start  this way,  we as humans adapt to  situations. Look at what TESLA is trying to do  with the removal of stalks.

After numerous concepts and a couple of full scale prototypes.  A tight production budget started to provide clarity.  Our team and Dr. Anand settled on the Rocket concept.  Initially the Rocket was a single  part roto-molded creature. It  would hold towels, warm-up clothing, balls, hydration and personal items (phones, keys , wallets, etc.).

While initially designed for tennis,  our team imagines the pod being valuable in multiple venues. The Sport Pod is at home pool side, beach side, in the gym and in the world of hospitality. With available accessory trays, the Anand Sport Pod is the perfect guest at your next barbecue.

In order to ship around the country, the world, and not ship air (or cost more than the product), we  worked with the molder to make the the legs  snap on. It fits into a FEDEX and UPS friendly box and sets up in minutes with no tools.

 

ARIEL CHAIR

When they go low, we go high.

The Ariel chair is an update to the Crane chair. This new version  adds a visually thicker mold-able cellular structure that conforms to the  users’ body.

The Ariel Chair  features that same elastomer powered lift mechanism that allows users to set up standing desks and sit only when needed. Users can sit and lean against the Ariel with its easily locked casters. Ariel’s more minimal i-Back encourages active postures.

Complex only 3D printable structures are super intriguing, but really hard to make. At the moment, 3D printing while compellin,g is unbelievably slow compared to modern injection molding. This design  creates a thermally neutral  cellular surface that is cleanable and most importantly, mold-able.

Sciatic Stretcher

Athletic Trainer Taylor Peasha and  professional Deep Sea Diver Steven Macdonald  came to FUSE for help designing a super versatile training aid. Combined with some simple exercises and stretches, the medium density elastomeric ball provides just the right amount of point load to massage  knotted muscles and compressed nerves.

On the engineering front, the big innovation is we use a single injection molded part that is simply flipped over to  hold the strap securely.  This part features a snap finger that  locks to itself.

OTTOLOCK PRO MOUNT

The OTTOLOCK has been a break away success for OTTO, but the company was looking for a more stable mount for their coiled genius. OTTO came to FUSE with a  physical model that was  pretty close and FUSE worked with OTTO to refine their idea and prototype the refined design.

FUSE  refined and simplified the design to separate the mounting to the bike function and the securing of the lock to the mount function.

ABOM HEET GOGGLE

The ABOM Heet is the newest snow sports goggle from ABOM Labs.  The Heet is incorporates the latest fog eviscerating technology from ABOM. A built in moisture sensor  auto magically eliminates the fog creating condensate from inside the goggle. The Heet is sleeker and offers a better fit for both men and women. The tighter chassis also fits most snowmobiling  helmets so those riders can enjoy a clear, fog free ride as well.

 

ROFILL FOOTWEAR MANUFACTURING CONCEPT

Foot Fist

Outdoor footwear  giant  KEEN, called on FUSE to help them with a concept for a new way to make footwear.  KEEN had access to some  highly  productive German footwear making machines that could potential utilize the proposed manufacturing method. Outside of the highly insulative properties this manufacturing method provided this job was mostly a styling job. Our goal  was to exploit the inherent properties of the process to create a super protective yet breathable and lightweight  product.