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Now Computing

Wearable technology meets gaming

Brief

The world is seeing an explosion of wearable technology across many sectors including sports & fitness, healthcare, enterprise solutions and gaming.  Now Computing had a vision to deliver a high-performance, wearable device pre-loaded with games to be used with any computer, allowing players to have their personal game data with them at all times. Speed to market was critically important to Now Computing. In order to meet these objectives, they approached Cambridge Consultants.

Approach

Starting work in mid-January 2014, we very rapidly developed the mechanics, electronics and firmware for the product whilst, in parallel, carrying out a vendor selection exercise in Asia to identify the best manufacturing partner and supply-chain for Now Computing. We continued to support the transfer to manufacture through the design and manufacturing process verification and pilot builds. We were regularly on site with the manufacturers to ensure that the design intent was maintained, and to support the transfer into mass production.

Particular challenges that were overcome with this development included the tight space envelope for the custom LED-matrix display and associated electronics. This required a challenging, multi-layer, multi-fold, flexible PCB design, and innovative firmware techniques to maximise the performance available from a very small battery.

We worked with the manufacturing partner to ensure that the 140 pixel LED matrix display could be easily assembled into the Gameband and produced a clear, high-contrast image within the multi-curved surface moulded caseworks. We produced prototype PCBs and rapid prototype plastics to prove the design before working alongside the manufacturers and toolmakers to qualify parts for volume manufacture.

Like all good designs, the bands look deceptively simple with their low profile clean lines which, at the same time, achieve the high level of robustness required for the target market. Our experienced tooling experts achieved this by stretching boundaries of what is possible in tooling design and process control, which required careful tuning of the co-moulding and over moulding processes.

Benefit

With the launch of the Gameband, Now Computing brings a new form of wearable computing to the gaming world. Working with Cambridge Consultants enabled the design to move from early prototype to initial production in just nine months. The result is a beautiful product, which is set to change the gaming world dynamics forever.

“We went to Cambridge Consultants because they have all the required skills and experience under one roof to take an early prototype through to mass production. Few firms offer the broad people skillset required to do this, understanding how the mechanical, electrical and software elements of a product work in tandem. Access to this skillset and the team's willingness to work in close partnership with our manufacturing partners (including being involved in sourcing them) is what led us to Cambridge Consultants,” said Feargal Mac Conuladh, CEO and Founder of Now Computing