PRODUCT DESIGN | MECHANICAL ENGINEERING | PACKAGING DESIGN
Home automation is becoming increasingly popular. Dimmers, switches, climate control, thermostats, AC, blinds, loads of sensors and energy monitoring systems. Just a few examples of devices we can now control with our phone. But these products are often operated with their own apps and hubs, which makes it very inconvenient. Thinka provides homeowners with the tools to install and manage their smart home in an intuitive and easy way.
Studio Mango was approached for the product design and engineering of their new Z-Wave hub. A device that allows you to control all devices in your house with one app. This hub allows you to connect a wide range of products to HomeKit, Google Assistant or Alexa. The Z-Wave protocol has the largest range in the world with devices that connect seamlessly with each other. It has an optimal coverage, no interference with other networks, and is very energy-efficient. It was up to us to integrate this technology into a clean and well thought-out housing.
simple design with character
The industrial design of the Z-Wave hub reflects Thinka’s philosophy. The housing hides the complexity of the inside and instead offers a minimalist design that fits anywhere in the house. From the living room to the hall closet. Thinka preferred a simple, square-like shape to symbolize the ease of use and to match with the appearance of many home automation products. Our challenge was to find the right shape with which we could differentiate it in a market full of square shaped domotics. In addition, the Z-Wave hub is a supporting product and it was therefore important that it did not draw too much attention.
The result is a softened square shape with the smart button as central element. The language of form, which is both friendly and technical, symbolizes the bridge between human and its devices. The LED interface uses the 3 colored dots from the Thinka logo, which gives the product a recognizable character
smart product engineering
Although the product looks simple from the outside, our team thought carefully about the engineering. For example, the assembly is completely screw-less, allowing the entire product to be assembled within 10 seconds. Every detail was designed in house to the highest standards. We made several prototypes to achieve the perfect button click feedback, optimized the structure to withstand drop tests and tested various options for the best possible display of the LED’s. During the project we worked closely with the electronics developer. Studio Mango designed, prototyped and engineered the product and transferred the files to the manufacturer.
Our design team also contributed to the concept of the unboxing experience. With many cardboard prototypes, we investigated how we could involve the user as much as possible into the introduction and installation of the product. Together with our client, who developed the app, and our development partners, we created the complete Thinka Z-Wave experience.