Yves Béhar’s fuseproject designs Neo, the smartwatch for kids by Vodafone
Designed by Vodafone in collaboration with design studio fuseproject, Neo is the smartwatch empowering children to discover, play and grow.
What is the ideal watch that gives children a sense of independence while letting parents stay in touch every step of their adventure? Designed for kids between the ages of 6 and 9, fuseproject worked closely with Vodafone to design the latest product to join the ‘Designed and Connected by Vodafone’ range.
In a world more connected than ever, fuseproject learned how parents are looking for new ways to stay in touch with their children—protecting them as they approach their preadolescent years. To redefine what it means for parents to support their kids without being intrusive was the main experience and design challenge.
Understanding this opportunity, fuseproject helped develop an ownable and iconic device that sets a new standard for kid’s smartwatches.
Neo, the smart kids watch, is an ergonomic, customizable, and playful smartwatch that allows parents to stay connected to their children, even when apart. Neo’s real-time phone connectivity empowers the child to be independent and responsible while giving the parents peace of mind throughout the day.
The smartwatch’s durable design is coupled with an angled watch face that improves the viewing angle for the user, reducing strain on the wrist. The angle also provides an ergonomically natural way to use the front-facing camera. By tilting the screen at a 45-degree angle, fuseproject removed the need for problematic over-articulation of the arm, offering a more comfortable movement for viewing and interacting.
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The straps are designed to be customizable across an array of bright colors and materials that are suitable for kids. The strap closure mechanism is a simple and intuitive loop and buckle design, with an anodized metal pin to secure the watch to the wrist.
Thanks to a clever attachment mechanism, the watch straps can also accommodate a straight-facing orientation.
A tactile elastomeric button is ergonomically positioned at the top corner of the screen and serves as the primary action button for all of Neo’s basic functions (camera shutter, answering a call, gaming, etc.). A child is also able to hold this button down for 5-seconds to trigger the “quick call” function, contacting family members from a circle of trusted contacts. A built-in speaker and microphone enables communication with family members using VoIP for calls, and chats, both one-to-one and in a group.
Designed for kids in an age group with quickly fluctuating interests, Neo can be customized to suit and reflect their evolving form of self-expression. Neo comes in two cool colours – Mint and Ocean – and includes on-display UI featuring some of the most popular Disney characters of all time from the worlds of Disney, Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars.
The UI was designed with rigorous testing to ensure that the interface was intuitive and appropriate for this age group. A sizable 1.2-inch touch screen display provides a high-resolution UI that can easily navigate in combination with the corner ‘action’ button and integrated home button on the front.
The corner button is context-sensitive and serves multiple uses, including functioning as a shutter button in camera mode. The watch body incorporates an outward-facing high-resolution 5MP camera with a 1:1 aspect ratio enabling a fun way to capture the world around your child. The photos can be shared in real-time, providing enjoyable bonding moments between the parent and child.
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