Huge obstacles in a tiny package; Microsoft’s wearable tech
When Microsoft kicked off their project to get into the booming “wearables” marketplace, they had some big challenges and little
time to conquer them. After assessing their hurdles, they asked Simplexity to step in and help. The device would need to cram
more features, more advanced tech, and better user-interface into a small enough package size to fit comfortably onto users'
wrists and into a market that demanded “cool”.
What We Did
Simplexity joined the team of Microsoft engineers and designers and hit the ground running. With such a small package size, successful
design required collaboration and cooperation with dozens of other engineers and their subsystems as well as pushing the boundaries
of part creation into alternative manufacturing methods and outside-the-box ideas. Battles for fractions of millimeters were
common in order for the compounding parts to fit inside the tight requirements. Simplexity engineers adapted to the software
packages and design review processes to help in creating over a dozen key components and subassemblies in every part of the
On-site support and contract manufacturing.
Such intricate and proprietary designs require a lot of help to translate into other subsystems and eventually manufacturing. Simplexity
engineers frequently travelled to Microsoft’s campus in order to work, in person, with industrial design, electrical engineering,
and user experience departments in order to most efficiently fit the design to work from all directions. When larger scale
prototyping and production ramp up took place, Simplexity engineers travelled to the contract manufacturer and part vendors
in order to personally see that things got done right
Finite Element Analysis (FEA).
With small, delicate electronics being packaged in a compact product that is built to withstand abuse from daily use and exercise,
it is crucial that care is taken when evaluating the strength and bending properties of the design. Our team used two different
FEA software packages to assist in studying and characterizing the physical properties of the design as it developed as well
as ensure that the more drastic and unusual parts would meet the use requirements without failure. With tight schedules, this
powerful tool is a necessity and an integral part of designing components that need to work right
Microsoft Band is an ambitious first crack at a smart health wearable that throws in a ton of features and cross-platform support…
How Do Consumers Benefit From This Product?
The Microsoft Band is designed to help consumers excel in their fitness goals and increase productivity through integration of their
other devices into an easy-to-use format. The Band can track sleep characteristics, heart rates, provide guided workouts, and provide
full exercise performance mapping. The Band can also display email previews, text messages, calendar reminders, phone calls, social
updates, weather, UV status, and take voice commands to automatically set reminder events. This powerful tool makes it easy for
people to simplify their complex network of gadgets and schedules and get on with being active and free.
Thanks for the good work… We couldn’t have done the project without you.