inPulse started about a year ago. A group of engineers from the heart of BlackBerry country (Waterloo, Ontario) decided to invent the coolest BlackBerry accessory possible. Tired with constantly missing calls on their BlackBerry while bicycling or running, they envisioned a device that would give instant alerts to new incoming messages and calls.
This is a short summary of our development process…
Dec 2008 - First ‘real’ working prototype is created. Earlier prototypes exist…but let’s just say they’re not as ‘camera-ready.’ While inPulse v0.1 still has its fair share of electrical tape, it was the first version to actually work! It connected via Bluetooth to a custom-built BlackBerry daemon running in the background which sniffed for incoming emails, SMS and calls. This was the last prototype that we were able to hand solder. Micro BGA components are not hacker-friendly.
Jan 2009 - As you can plainly judge by our previous prototype, we were in dire need of a great industrial designer. We found our guy in January, a graduate of Carleton University’s School of Industrial Design. Instead of thinking like engineers (build, build, build…test) we started thinking about which type of people will use inPulse and how could we make that experience spectacular. We iterated through several levels of design. It all started from this type of sketching, though!
April 2009 - Our designs were heavily influenced by current BlackBerry trends. We wanted to create an accessory that complemented new BlackBerry devices, like the Bold and the then-rumoured Javelin. We decided to create a sleek metal and glass watch, featuring a custom band that could be easily replaced with any standard 22mm watch strap. In order to get a feel for the device, we made 3D prototypes of several sub-designs and tried them on!
To be continued!