No dot com’s allowed, 8 Hardware Innovations from Babson College PDD class
This year’s Product Design and Development course at Babson College introduced 8 new hardware products to the world within a few short weeks. Students who enrolled in the Fall offering of the course were divided into teams and challenged to come up with a new product innovation that solved a problem in a given industry. I spent time with the students early in the semester (check the blog post), so to catch up with them again at the final product showcase was a clear testament to the work that had evolved during those weeks.
What’s important to note here is that these products all started from nothing, not even the need had been assessed yet. Each team was given a budget of $500, hand tools, and many took advantage of access to a 3-D printer. Most products underwent several white board iterations, graduated to cardboard and other stationary, then finally were built out of durable plastics or fabric.
Team 1, this project was sponsored by Massachusetts’s own Portico Brewing Company. The company was founded by a pair of Babson MBA alumni who shared a passion for brewing beer. They returned to Babson with a challenge to conceive and prototype a new way to carry canned beverages. Slide Pack was was designed using 3D imaging software and manufactured using a 3D printer. Team members: Adam Cerniglia, Stella Del Rosario, Kun-Che Lee, Katy Palfrey, Felipe Sotomayor.
Team 2 had an original idea that tried to afford anyone a luxurious working space without consuming much area. Their lap-top desk was designed with several compartments to keep one’s affairs organized. The entire desk could be folded, carried away, and reconstructed without having disturbed the contents. Watching this team was fun as they had a great dynamic and stretched to bring new skills to the table. Team members: Melissa Huapaya, Maya Mukhopadhaya, Laura Piraux, Yanisa ‘KAM’ Tansalarak, Nick Wong.
Team 3 was sponsored by the popular travel site TripAdvisor.com. They developed a travel companion for customers that the company could also push as a promotional tool. The team compiled research on the most popular travel essentials and came up with more than just useful compartments to store them. The case was also equipped with a geo-locator that could reunite the founder with its contents, as if anyone would ever misplace their stuff. Team members: Jyothsna Chakravarthy, Bruno Coutinho, Macarena Escudero, Jack Kolev, Gibran Shaikh.
Team 4 brought another well known brand into the classroom, this time from outdoor apparel company, Vedavoo. The company was founded by Babson alumn Scott Hunter M’09 who launched a product line after having won Babson’s B.E.T.A challenge. The company takes pride in manufacturing gear that is more comfortable, more versatile, and easier to use for their customers. The Babson team had to design and prototype a product that could be of similar quality but in a mini-me size. Team members: Carlos Higueros, Noboru Nakayama, Gisela Santos Macedo, Katie Schoerning, Priyanka Tiwari.
Team 5 brought fun to the assignment with Puzzle Ball. Imagine a famed toy maker like Hasbro told you they wanted a new product that would both thrill and engage kids in learning. That was exactly the challenge put forth by Hasbro to the Babson team and Puzzle Ball was developed to bring both fun and learning to kids ages 3 – 4. Kids can throw the Puzzle Ball and upon collision the pieces dislodge and fall from the center. Kids put the puzzle together again while identifying the shapes and animal characters illustrated on the pieces. Team members: Christian Bax, Lauren DiPerna, Natasha Gikunju, Mrudula Nambiar, Daniel Qualls.
Team 6 sought a solution to carrying around wet bathing suits and soiled gym clothes, especially while on the run. The i-34 bag seals shut to remove oxygen and preempt the growth of foul smelling bacteria. The bag is made of a special polymer which releases liquid until the garment is eventually dry. Team members: Oriol Josa Eritja, Margo Layton, Vicky Rivadeneira, Mercè Saperas Aymar, Chadaporn Tosangchai, Takuo Urushihara.
Team 7 saw a need for a more thoughtfully made trash receptacle. Their NovBin is made with both form and function in mind sporting interchangeable side panels that are detachable for easy cleaning. Team members: Mohammed Alafaleg, Lulwa Alsoudairy, Giuseppe Stefanelli, Ryan Walker, Varinthorn Wichitcharaskul.
Lastly, Team 8, brought a practical solution to the market with The Gripper. The product is made entirely from 3D printed polymer plastics. It’s ergonomic design allows for easy gripping from the palm which then keeps fingers safely away from the knife blade. Team members: Wael Moathen, Rafael Obando, Wellington Palma, Abby Speicher, Alisha Sternenberger, Andres Valencia.