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.
The G0G0 Transporter was an internal FUSE science project seeking to solve 2 problems: 1. What’s the most ecologically friendly way to take advantage of Portland’s 20 minute neighborhood concept? And 2., what happens to the expensive strollers that children certainly grow out of ?
Answer number 1 is the wagon. With a wagon you can haul almost anything while on foot. That is :a 50 lb bag of dogfood, groceries, kids, even a large potted plant.
The question then became “is a wagon enough?” Would other people share this wagon love? So we thought more, and I had colleagues that were about to become parents and his or her colleagues would pitch in and buy them a really cool expensive stroller. This got me thinking about what happens to these strollers beyond being used for a younger sibling. No one wants a pooped-on, barfed-on second hand stroller or at least there did not seem to be a robust used stroller market. So, what if the stroller could be built more like a roof rack system where you could evolve the product to transform it into some-thing or things more useful once the child gets out of infancy?
This turned into the GoGo Transporter System whereby adding or subtracting components, you can make a variety of wheeled products.