The concept for Moxie was first presented to a Kohler executive leadership group as part of a formal innovation exchange in 2011 that outlined key features and opportunities of the concept along with a fully functioning prototype that housed an off-the-shelf bluetooth speaker. The presentation garnered overwhelming support from the President & COO and was immediately fast tracked for development.
In strategizing the development, we concluded that among the most critical elements to focus on were the acoustical effects of the speaker within the showerhead and precisely where to locate the speaker to maximize the performance. We then assembled the necessary team and sound equipment to collect the proper data and began to understand the relevant correlating effects that directly informed the product design. Several key learning moments here were the audio spectrum impact of showerhead face geometries, placement of the speaker in relation to the water stream, and sound dynamics as it related to the speaker perforations.
The rapidly developing nature and compressed timeline of this project meant that the envelope of the design was constantly changing. Beyond the speaker location and forward facing geometry that was to be driven by the acoustics research, the design and isolation of the waterway around the center cavity was a feature that had no known precedence. In collaboration between Design and Engineering, our envelope began larger than ideal as we mitigated the risks of a new design, but in working together we discovered ways to minimize the size while optimizing the manufacturability and robustness of the design. Additional hurdles included angling the spray nozzles to avoid gaps in the spray pattern, as well as resolving the docking mechanism of the speaker which became a critical conversation in balancing the profitability of the product and securing the essence of the design experience.
With the design finalized and approved the Kohler Brand and Strategy team led a collaborative naming and Marketing campaign featuring Moxie prominently in trade show exhibits, worldwide promotional campaigns and online, social media, traditional print and TV advertising. All these efforts contributed to Moxie being awarded several major design awards including an iF Product design in 2014 and IDEA Design excellence in 2013.
Images courtesy of Kohler Company.
All rights reserved.