Project GEM

A Whole New Mobile Device  2020

Project GEM is about creating new perspective and experience on mobile device.

Its radical formfactor is a strong manifesto of tech-life balance that refocusing our behaviors on what matters. 

In order to deliver unique experience, we've designed whole ecosystem of GEM by creating charging dock, case with accessories, and packaging.

Head of Design: Clement Puertolas

Sr Industrial Designer: Kevin Hoffman

Industrial Designer: Jay Kim

 

 

 

 

 

 

A NEW APPROACH

GEM is the new category of mobile device that is more portable than a smartphone and more capable than a smartwatch.

The potential target audience could be for the people who want to reclaim their time by taking GEM for a travel, dinner. It helps people to get away from endless scrolling or messages from work. So, it is basically a strong manifesto of tech and life balance that refocusing our behaviors on what matters to our life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sketches

lots of sketches with this radical form factor, with upcoming high-tech such as camera under display, foldable display, new manufacturing process, 3D glass, treatment of I/O, and even no usb port for true wireless connectivity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prototypes 

Explore different proportions and profiles to evaluate how it feels in hand and reachability to screen corners.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cosmetic Models

We picked designs we liked the most to build hi-quality cosmetic models which gives a very accurate design gesture. Because of the actual materials, texture, finish, and even weights.

we explore different layouts of camera, flash light, and mic. Also, if camera bump is inevitable, how can we sculpt and translate it to aesthetics,  or embrace its protrusion in an elegant way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GEM Vision 

We picked models which have best proportion and other details such as a camera bump and profile gestures. So this was a great way to pursue GEM design intent to all leaderships of teams, especially to challenge the ENG team to follow overall design intent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Materials and Manufacturing Processes 

engineering team has been searching for innovative materials along with manufacturing partners. ID team also reached out to a material-specialized design agency to search for unique and refined materials. So we curved out a list of materials such as PEEK with ceramic filter, PC/ABS blend composite, and Fiberglass in GEM formfactor and evaluated to find one that has great aesthetics, feels, strong mechanical properties, RF transparency, and new intriguing CMF treatment. 

So, in the end, we were fascinated by the simplicity of glass unibody housing that removes so many partlines and no antenna breaks as well, which makes GEM super minimal. On top of that it was quite strong on the drop test, this material was really for limited edition and also a part of a marketing tool to grab attention from the media.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Final GEM Design

GEM with color-shifting finish. We worked a lot to find the most interesting color shifting coating, and it turns out that Green to Blue to Purple was the most exciting coating. As it was the world-first glass unibody, there are so many unexpected challenges to the design. Such as post-processing of keysides holes to minimize stress on the glass housing. 

 

Beside glass housing, we’ve also worked on plastic housing as well for the offerable SKU. And the interesting part was that plastic housing requires thicker walls to maintain mechanical properties. Therefore, the overall size got slightly bigger than glass but wasn’t that noticeable, which can share the same cases. 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Charging Dock 
Domestic Tech

As opposed to flashy looking GEM, we tried to keep it soft and clam design gesture to create nice contrast. Also, when it’s not in use, it looks like a small sculptural art piece that complements the home interior. So, we worked hard to find a color that represents domestic tech. We sampled out 20 off-whites in different color shades of cool and warm. And found the one color that looks great under natural light, and also under yellow light from a bedside lamp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Than a Charger

When GEM sits on it, it creates new experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sketches

Various form studies, and ideas of adding interesting UX of charging. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High-Level Architectures

High-level architectures with pro and cons, and at this stage, we keep all renders in gray without any detail, because it is important to focus on the form and architecture first rather than be distracted by other components and lose track during the cross team discussion.

Also, charging dock played important role to tell GEM story as well. Primary phone. or Secondary phone for weekenders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Prototypes 

With early architectural studies, we evaluated the user experience of resting GEM on it, and how it looks on the table. And also how is it like when it charges GEM and regular phone together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Secondary Prototypes 

Explored different forms and functionalities within selected architectures. Also, lots of detail refinements such as sitting angles and length of support lip that is long enough to grab GEM nicely and not so proud that is too noticeable.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angle Study

Finding optimal viewing angle for bedside table and also on the desk. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only for GEM  vs.  For Both

It was a big questions for ID, Marketing, Sales, and Engineering. 

Only for GEM is simpler and no visible parting line, but it only dedicated to GEM.

For Both is keeping small form factor and accommodating GEM and typical smartphone, but requires 3 coils, and potential mechanical issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Challenges

First of all, wireless coil on GEM is not centered because of the FPS. Therefore, it requires two charging coils to charge in both directions. 

Also, the width dimension of the charging dock was defined by camera bump to keep GEM in center. Also, the Camera bump is a good indication of GEM is placed correctly for charging.

 

 

 

 

 

Case and Accessories