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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
ABOM wanted to extend run time for their unfoggable goggles for the endurance athlete and those that engage in expedition activities. This meant designing an external power pack with a larger lithium ion battery.
We made the design fit the body with a gentle curve like a nice flask. We were sensitive to the potential for disconnection and keeping the pack weatherproof should the skier/snowboarder/snowshoer/ explorer take a spill. Beyond the industrial design, FUSE added convenient, logical features like a flashlight and additional USB port for charging a cell phone or other accessories.
FUSE had done alot ot work with FISKARS’ Gerber knife and tool division and then Gerber’s president became the head of FISKARS US operation where they did all the School, Office, Craft (SOC) and Garden products under the FISKARS brand. We were tasked with designing a few SOC products but we had this notion that FISKARS garden division needed to do a Mower. Not just any Mower but a fitness Mower. We’ve all have had experience with these crappy steel mowers that seem to be rusted after only one season and thought: what if we could marry the technology of thermoplastic composites to the simple reel mower. Sort of a TREK OCLV of mowers. FUSE Designer Ahren Laurinate had a good idea of making the mower self-fertilize the lawn by grinding and spreading compost while mowing. This would make the lawn grow faster and thus, you’d need to mow more – perfect for a Fitness Mower. Tory restyled this concept and Lori Katz did the Alias model. What’s shown here is what was presented. FISKARS liked but was afraid of the cost.
It turns out Patagonia’s founder’s sion , Fletcher enjoys wild boar hunting, or at least, chasing. The team at Patagonia knew we could draw and even cartoon a bit and hired FUSE to develop an sub identity to reference Fletcher’s hobby. We generated several including Lard Hamilton, a reference to a pig version of big wave Surfer Laird Hamilton (that’s a double point maker given Ham is in his last name, but only this spear weilding boar was used.
Gerber came back to FUSE to help design a multitool that was designed for a slightly different demographic. A demographic that would appreciate a more hand friendly tool. This group would include maybe an older user and women. This meant easier tool deployment and a reduction of point load on the hand.
A Multitool That Takes Selfies
With our experience in designing tools and knives for GERBER we end up dreaming of versions of these products all the time. Most of them are not so great, but some are so simple and good they need to be realized. The multi-tool tripod was one of them. We put our noses to the grind stone and created a series of sketches, a wooden model and a presentation that could show how this new product would be appealing to a demographic new to the multi-tool world. This demographic included women and urbanites more familiar with Instagram than deer hunting. We presented and GERBER said “ME WANT” or the equivalent for a big corporation. FUSE did not do the industrial design but we do own the IP.
We were awarded the utility patent in 2014.