Research has proven that personalised breathing exercises can improve the wellbeing of people with stress, anxiety, panic attacks or sleeping problems. Moonbird asked us to develop a handheld device that will guide the user through their breathing exercises by providing tactile feedback.
In close co-operation with moonbird, Achilles took care of the complete product design process. From product ideation, styling, mechanical design, prototyping and engineering to industrialisation and sourcing of the first batch of products. Achilles also helped to create the moonbird brand and its visual identity.
When you hold your moonbird in your hand and place your thumb on the PPG, it will detect your heart rate. Moonbird’s algorithm is able to analyse your breathing rhythm from this data. The device will then first simulate your breathing rhythm by contracting and expanding, making it easy to adjust your own breathing to the recommended pace and then gradually slow down. This way, it will guide you through the selected breathing exercise even with your eyes closed and in complete silence.
Finding the perfect shape needs a lot of testing. Although every hand is different in size and shape, moonbird had to be a one-size-fits-all solution. Numerous iterations of clay models and functional prototypes brought us to the final shape of moonbird. The smooth surfaces ensure that moonbird sits comfortably in every hand and provide the right tactile feedback.
Although moonbird is al about user experience, it contains an ingenious mechanism, which transfers a rotational movement of the motor into the expansion and contraction of the outer surface. The internal mechanism was specifically designed to make moonbird a very reliable and durable device
The challenge was to keep the energy consumption as low as possible while fitting the mechanism, electronics and battery in a small, handheld device and still guarantee a decent operation time.
Moonbird is charged through magnetic contacts (and not e.g. classic USB-C), because it has some specific advantages: Not only does it look more integrated and sophisticated; it’s also more hygienic as the flat interface won’t collect any dirt. An accidental bump or drop of the device while it’s charging, will not cause any mechanical stress on the connector, which makes this a more durable solution.
With their pre-sales campaign completely sold out, moonbird is now ready for mass production. The complete assembly and every individual component are ready for industrialization. One of the more challenging components of the device is the outer shell, that consists of a single silicone part. This makes the device pleasant to touch, hygienic and easy to clean, but requires very specific tooling and treatment.
Our brand design team was asked to develop moonbirds brand identity that fits the purpose of its solution and that supports the emotional goal of using the device. We created a brand identity where every individual touch point expresses the brand fundamentals – an identity that looks humanly intuitive and that blends well with its natural purpose.