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.
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.
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.
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.
DeMarini, the maker of high performance baseball and softball bats and a division of Wilson Sporting goods came to FUSE to get help to design two high performance gear bags. We did a bat roller bag and a bat pack (backpack). After a ton of design work including modeling all components to be stowed we delivered multiple concepts. We developed the cut and sewn tech packs and any CAD needed for molded components. FUSE went even further and helped develop both bags and went to the factories to help push them through. The bags that came out were both named Black Ops and came in a Black on Black colorway.
The last two images were generated for a little mascot we dubbed the BATGER. This little guy was designed to capture the tough, small dog with a big bite spirit of the company’s founder, Ray DeMarini. We had heard Ray lost an eye to cancer, but it had little effect , he just became even more driven.
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.