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.
This was a proactive project providing a solution to the problem of bike parking since most bike have lost kickstands. The problem is you lean your bike against paint damaging poles and then your bike suffers more than cosmetic damage. We got this into Wired magazine and sold into REI. The rubber manufacturer who was pressing BIKEBARK bought the product a few months after we premiered at Interbike.
Hybrids are the future.
Furilla had some moderate success in that it was optioned by toy maker and purveyor Kid Robot. FUSE principal, Tory Orzeck, has this ongoing chicken love and had this idea for a line of toys based on the offspring of 4 legged mammals getting together with chickens. Of course, single eyed creatures are also close to heart. This would result in these bipedal animals he dubbed BIPETS. He pitched the idea to KidRobot but got a big “Meh”.
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.
Mayan Temple Or Cute Floor Cleaning Friend?
Florbot was created as a market development tool for GE Plastics (now Sabic) to stimulate material sales in the floor cleaning appliance market. FUSE principle, Tory Orzeck, then in the GE Plastics Advanced Design and Development Group worked with Carnegie Mellon Robotics technologist Alan Branch to develop this prototype. The product leveraged bleeding edge technology at the time and GE’s portfolio of engineering thermoplastics.
To use, the owner would take Florbot out of the box, charge him up and and set him against a wall. Like an old graphics fill program, Florbot would circumscribe the perimeter, then sweep the interior area and go back to its charging station when done.
Design-wise we knew the product would always be visible so the design was a combination or architectural and companion robot, think R2D2. We especially like that the dust bin’s handle doubles as a mouth. Additionally Florbot’s cap was made from translucent amber ULTEM. At the time, GE was pushing the idea that copper traces could be imaged directly onto heat resistant ULTEM so surface mount components could be attached directly.
OTTO came back to FUSE to help them style their brilliant lightweight bike lock. We started with sketches and finished with a complete surface Model to provide photorealistic renderings and ultimately exterior control for engineering.
FUSE named this division of DWFritz and we did the identity design for OTTO.
OTTO came back to FUSE after we helped them with their break-througn iphone app enabled rear deraillieur tuning system. This time they wanted concepts for bike tools. This would certainly complement their tuning system. As you may know, FUSE named this division of automation specialist, DWFritz, and we did the identity for OTTO.
Slabtown In Stumptown
A very clever guy came to FUSE with an idea. A better way to set up a grid of rebar that floats within a slab of concrete. This wasn’t a totally new idea, but Kerry, the guy, had a host of improvements he wanted to add and he had a plan to make these really sell. These concrete chairs turn the painful time eating chore of setting up a grid of rebar into literally a snap. The rebar just pops into place at just the right height.Our job was to make them super strong and super cool. We made them feel like the super utilitarian future by instituting this octogonal theme throughout the structure. The octogonal base not only provided visual branding but also helped with keeping the rebar layouts in the field straight. FUSE designed all 27 variations that accomodate different sized bar and different heights. FUSE also redesigned the BIP logo along the way.
When we built Orp, the super smal really cool bike horn/ bike light, we built it to be Remote Ready. Meaning: make a small wired switch that cold be placed under thumb that could go wherever the rider wanted. This simple product makes the Orp experience that much better as you never need to lift a hand to actuate either of Orp’s horn sounds. The REMORP uses a slick dual action switch. Press lightly on REMORP’s bulbous swelling to fire Orp’s loud sound and then press a little harder to fire Orp’s 96dB loud sound. The other cool thing about the REMORP is it provided an update to the Orp product line that worked for all Orps and Orp owners. It’s super neat and you should go to Orpland.com to get one… now!
Be More Splatterproof!
Orp was developed after a spate of fatal right hook vehicle vs. Bicycle accidents hear in Portland Oregon. It seemed like there had to be a way to make bikes more visible to drivers. It seemed a a loud horn could make this visibility happen. Also with this digital platform we could design our own sounds and have multiple sounds. We were really excited and started with just a dual tone horn but got a big “meh” from targeted users. When you look at the circuitry it got us thinking, it would be really easy to add LEDs wyhout adding a whole lot of volume.
Adding the lights made Orp much more intriguing. You ve got to have a light, right? With a slew of positive feedback we launched a Kickstarter campaign and it did fairly well. Our media coverage during the campaign and after production was amazing. Highlights included the TODAY show, Wired and the Wall Street Journal.
It took a year to get us to production Orps. We went to the factory twice during that year. About a year later we introduced the REMORP-Orp’s Remote. All Orps were built Remote Ready.First year sales were amazing there are around 30,000 Orps in the world and stillm its growing.