Look ma no hands! Those who use exercise bikes are not necessarily cyclists, yet stationery bikes have continued to mimic the mobile model. By removing the handlebars and shifting the support to the back, this bike better suits the needs of its users who are often overweight. Removing the front cut production costs by half and slashed the price to $140. While the rest of the fitness product market grew at a 2% rate, this bike rolled to a 55% increase in sales in the year after it was introduced.
Contact: Vincent Leenhardt, Decathlon,
+33 3 20 33 75 09;
Designers: Decathlon, France
Client: Polaroid Corp.
Polaroids have always been a hit at slumber parties and now the phenomenal success of this slim updated instant camera proves they are still party animals. Holdable and hip, this camera breaks boundaries in photographic technologies to deliver a mini-scale image with a sticky back that becomes an instant stick anywhere image. Its manual operation is simple and fool-proof yet allows young users to play with three light control settings.
Contact: Scott Underwood, IDEO,
Designers: Polaroid Corp. and IDEO
Client: World Kitchen, Inc.
Customer satisfaction was high, but Pyrex was having trouble attracting new consumers to its 10-year-old food storage line. A few obvious innovations were enough to pull customers away from lower cost plastic alternatives and gain $8-9 million in incremental sales for the Pyrex brand. These new features included plastic lids that snap onto the bottom of each container so that users can always locate appropriate lids. Consumers can choose from two styles of tabs for each lid and the rims are thick enough to be gripped by potholders without taking up too much space in the refrigerator.
Contact: Donald W. Stucke, Jr., IDSA,
World Kitchen, Inc.,
Designers: World Kitchen, Inc. and KEK Associates, Inc.
Client: OXO International
OXO decided there was room in the non-stick market for a higher quality utensil that is meant to be displayed. The company added its signature rubber good-grip design but addressed other issues observed during research. The OXO tools are a half-inch longer to put more distance between the user and the hot pan. More nylon was added to prevent warping when left in a boiling pot.
Contact: Penni Bonaldi,
Smart Design LLC,
Designers: Smart Design LLC
The rabbit wins again with this new version of the lever-pull corkscrew invented in 1983 by a Texan with many oil-drill patents. The original sold for $150 but the redesigned model retails for $80 and boasts ergonomically sculpted lines that create the "bunny" profile. Grip pads were installed on the top and bottom of the top handle to improve leverage and a rubberized texture was added to all surfaces. Working parts were designed for fast assembly on a mass production line to meet the $80 target price.
Contact: Edward Kilduff, IDSA,
Pollen Design, Inc.,
Designers: Pollen Design
Client: Freudenberg Household Products, LP US
Mopping made easier is the subject of this design exercise that reduces bending and keeps hands out of the water. Wringing this strip mop is achieved by simply pushing downward. Male auger wings on the mop head are matched with female spiral ribs on the cone head that start the cone spinning as it is pushed down. And the spiral design is aesthetically sophisticated in addition to being functional.
Contact:Paul Specht, FIDSA,
Designers: PBS Design, Inc.
Preventing that slippery cordless phone from falling off its vertical wall-mount was just the project for an industrial designer. The solution is a handset with a self-centering bale wire that secures the handset to the base no matter how carelessly the handset is placed on it. The hard geometric lines of the wall mount bracket are juxtaposed with the blue and yellow santoprene "call" and "feature" buttons.
Michael Graves & Associates,
609.924.6409 ext. 261;
Designers: Michael Graves & Assoc. and Con-Air Corp.
Client: Kash 'n Gold Telemania, Inc.
Kash 'n Gold traded in its WWII retro style Jeep brand boombox for this futuristic design that expressed the emerging Jeep aesthetic of refined ruggedness. Gone are the clunky, boxy forms and analog toggle switches. The new forms are pure interlocking geometric circles including the speakers and buttons.
Contact: Betsy Sforza, Fitch,
Client: InFocus Corporation
Portable projectors have been traditionally so burdensome and undependable that many mobile professionals forego the advantages of a projected presentation. Designers approached their mission to create the smallest most usable, full-featured projector from the inside out to optimize space for components. They gained space by moving the tallest components to a central access. Now the 3 lb. 6" x 8" projector can fit into a briefcase or alongside the laptop in the same case.
Contact: Stephen Brown, IDSA,
Designers: Fiori and InFocus Corporation
Modulus appeals to a new category of architectural speakers that integrates seamlessly into the interior design of a home. This complete home theater solution provides an unlimited range of placement. The base rotates so the product can be freestanding, wall, ceiling, stand or TV mounted. Speakers can be secured to the TV with a unique clamp and fastener free mounting bracket.
Contact: David Wathen,
Designers: Ashcraft Design and Origin Design