Evo is a wireless video streamer for your home, that simply celebrates each product touch-point in new & exciting ways. By re-thinking both the antenna and the connections, Evo is a consumer electronic device that looks to re-engage the everyday user with a completely different experience. This project is only at a concept level, but has been designed for manufacture and includes technology that is widely available.
The consumer electronic market is over saturated with a sea of sameness that goes far beyond the eye can see. One way I thought I could differentiate a new design was through distinctive, new and particularly engaging tactile user experiences. If you start looking at people’s day-to-day routines, TV tends to take a good chunk. Online TV streaming has rapidly invaded our homes over the past years, whilst ordinary cable TV is growing in obsolescence. Following some market research, I found that most video streaming devices weren’t particularly engaging, or nice to have on show – most users would probably hide it inside their TV cabinet. So I took these insights and turned them into an exciting self-generated brief: “to design a wireless video streamer that differentiates through an engaging tactile/physical/sensorial user experience”.
Unlike every other video streamer, Evo eradicates the bad experience of the classic clunky USB antenna by introducing a twin-shot over-moulded TPU (flexible) body. The USB antenna beautifully nests onto the front of the device; and when plugged onto the computer/laptop it can be flexed into any shape.
Evo also takes the opposite approach at dealing with the wiring; instead of hiding these behind the scenes it brings them to the front stage and celebrates them. With the connection ports located at its core, Evo creates an additional level of interactivity via a higher plugging and unplugging experience.
The style –
This particular style is actually very much part of my own language and identity as a designer. My work has simple, pure forms; combined with exquisitely detailed surfaces, patterns and well distributed touch-points, that converge into a balanced and powerful statement in an individual design artefact.
Colours & materials –
Since this device was designed with manufacturing as an end-result in mind, the material was selected to reflect this. Most of the internal structure is simply black injection moulded plastic, with surface definitions and textures that would simply be part of the cavities in the moulding process. Other materials include black TPU rubber used in different ways across the design on both the streamer and antenna, and a two-part stamped and textured steel mesh that create the outer contrast of colours on the body of the streamer. Simple LEDs have also been used to create an additional level of interaction and product communication for the user.
Tools & process –
My tools for ideation and concept generation are always black fibre pens, a couple of marker pens to highlight key features or to identify colour highlights and colour breaks, and my A5 sketchbook.
This project was highly conceptual, so when it came to implementing the design, I turned to 3D CAD mainly and visualised as I went. I always kept the sketchbook at hand, because I like to revisit a lot of my previous design assumptions as I work my way through the concept. I particularly go back to my sketchbook to define details, surface transitions and overall compositions once I’m happy with the initial form direction. I went back and forth multiple times; it was a bit of a messy process!
I also tend to create mock-ups that guide my forms, proportions and dimensions as I work through the design. Sometimes a quick and dirty prototype with bits of 3D prints, cardboard and whatever you have at hand gives you the result you’re after; and in this case it was enough to inform my process.
People’s response –
The project was very well received on Behance, which is where it was initially released as a concept design in the summer of last year. There’s been a lot of interest from third parties in taking this further, but unfortunately I’m not currently in a position to do so. That said, I always keep an eye out for opportunities and will consider the right one at the right time.
This project was an invaluable lesson for me both as a process and as an outcome. The process taught me how much time and effort is actually required to create something out of nothing that is genuinely compelling in an industrial design environment. Being self-critical and truly honest with the quality and the beauty of your design as you work through the project is as important as answering the right question and the right brief in the first place. These two elements work collectively to tick the ‘compelling’ box; but combining this with working on personal side projects whilst being a full-time employee at an established industrial design agency is truly exhausting.
The outcome however outweighs this. The outcome was the greatest lesson: it built a lot of confidence in me as an industrial designer. This project was a learning curve, and looking back now 6 months later, there are many things I could improve in the thinking, the process, the industrial design itself, the presentation, etc.
I’m a young Italian-Argentinian industrial designer. I’m currently based in the United Kingdom, working for DCA Design, a world leading product design and development consultancy. For more info about my work, visit www.gianniteruzzi.com and follow my Instagram @gianniteruzzi for insights into my design process, with behind-the-scenes shots and work in progress sketches.