Here One | Doppler Labs
2015 - 2017
Wireless Ear Buds
Here One was the first truly wireless headphone with real world sound control to hit the market in 2016. The product gave users control of the sounds around them by letting users focus on a converstion or turn down the noise in the office while providing table stake features like music streaming and phone calls.
The design research and early concept phases took place in a world where truly wireless earbuds did not yet exist. The design team ideated around the new functional challenges associated with a wireless product but also wrestled with more philosophical questions such as "what do we want this technology to feel like?" and "what are users attitudes toward new technology such as HereOne?". Through an iterative design process that resulted in the creation of hundreds of prototypes and involved users with all kinds of ears and backgrounds a new product architecture emerged that set the foundation for the design of Here One.
The ambition of the design was to make this new technology feel as simple and approachable as many of the products we have adopted into our day to day lives. We had learned from research that the form factor of hearing aids and blu-tooth headsets often left users feeling uncomfortable and stigmatized in social environments. We wanted to design product that would allow people to use it in a broad range of social scenarios, extending beyond those of your typical headphone. To get there we knew the form factor needed to be discreete yet differentiated enough to speak to the fact that this was not just another headphone.
With the goal of making a product that was approachable and comfortable to both men and women the team set out to develop a form factor that distributed the largest components efficiently within the ear. The compact architecture that emerged proved to move the center of gravity closer to the head for a more secure fit. The pronouced circular shape in the design embraces the circular geometry of the coin cell battery which allowed an overall smaller and more efficent shape, benefitting smaller ears.
Recognizing the limited battery life of a wireless product and the fear users had of loosing their buds the team designed a portable charging case. The combination of a carrying case and a power bank feature gave users a consistent incentive to returning the buds to the case after each use.
The case design was inspired by objects that people carry in pockets and handbags and was driven by a goal of making the buds as easy to access as possible for the user. The final design incorporates a satisfying lid mechanism and a compact form that presents the buds and relevant charging information in a welcoming way.
"The form factor needed to be clearly distinguished from the stigmatic hearing aids and polarizing blue-tooth headsets yet speak to the fact that this was not just another headphone."
Like what you see?
Let's work together!