Here One | Doppler Labs
Wireless Ear Buds
Here One was one of the first truly wireless headphones with real world sound control to hit the market in 2016. The product aimed to give users control of the sounds around them as well as stream music and phone calls through a smartphone app. The product was a huge step forward for Doppler Labs and a significant challenge both in terms of the technology and the design of the product itself.
The initial 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 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 process that resulted in the creation of hundreds of prototypes and involved users with all kinds of ears and backgrounds a design emerged.
The core idea behind the design was to make a new and complex technology as simple and approachable as any of the products we take for granted in our day to day lives. 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. It was first of a kind. The final form of the buds not only appears simple but it embraces the circular geometry of the battery which make the design especially compact, benefitting smaller ears.
Recognizing the limited battery life of a wireless product the team designed a portable charging case. The power bank feature gives the user 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."
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