Apart from supporting innovation efforts of large international companies and partnering with seasoned technology teams, Nekuda has extensive (and quite fascinating!) experience working with startups. Israel, where we are based, is called the startup nation for a reason: here the entrepreneurial spirit lingers in the air and ignites lots of original ideas. Naturally, Israeli inventors are no strangers to Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other crowdfunding platforms. But raising funds is one thing, and delivering on promises is another, especially under pressing deadlines. That is when Nekuda steps in to help young startups who often have visionary ideas but no expertise in designing and manufacturing products. Working with that sort of companies over the years, we have established a methodology of de-risking their concepts and adding value to their prototypes.
Radiomize is one of the projects that started as a crowdfunding campaign — in the growing automotive driver awareness field. The company was raising money to create a gesture-controlled, touch-enabled steering wheel cover that turns any car into a smart vehicle and allows drivers to use their mobile devices more safely. Eyes on a road, hands on a wheel. Indiegogo users loved the idea, and after the funds had been raised, Nekuda was commissioned to design hardware for supporting the Radiomize steering wheel cover UX/UI.
From a product design standpoint, this project had a couple of major challenges. First, ergonomics of a steering wheel: it should be incredibly precise because a driver is limited in motion. To deal with any ergonomic issue, Nekuda resorts to existing data and sometimes — field experiments. So, once again, we made our employees try out different steering wheel covers in order to map weaknesses and find ways to eliminate them.
The other challenge was the manufacturing and assembly process. Speaking from the interaction perspective, Radiomize wanted to attach an innovative UX to a regular steering wheel, which has never been done before. To build a supply chain for the product, we needed to connect low-tech steering wheel cover factories and high-tech electronics manufacturers that didn’t have previous experience working with each other. Nekuda drafted a product integration plan to help our client better understand the production requirements and enable traditional factories to fully support Radiomize’s technology mindset. During the whole project, we provided day-to-day support to the both sides and paid significant attention to every piece of feedback. The result was worth it: Nekuda helped Radiomize not only create something technologically beautiful but actually produce the first batch within the set time frame and ramp up to deliver on Radiomize’s promise of smart and safe driving.