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LACOSTE INFINI-T BACKPACK

Lacoste is a French company, founded in 1933 by tennis player René Lacoste and André Gillier. It sells clothing, footwear, sportswear, eyewear, leather goods, perfume, watches, homewear & underwear.
In November 2012 Lacoste was bought outright by Swiss family-held group Maus Frères.

CONTEXT

We have co-developed the INFINI-T collection, an innovative collection of backpack and bum bag integrating a system which combines two complementary technologies : wireless charging, which is made possible thanks to electromagnetic induction, and photovoltaics, in order to make the device autonomous.
The whole set was thought in a modular approach, to keep it smart if any technical support was needed, to facilitate recycling but also to let the user choose whether he wants to use/carry the device or not, according to his needs.

PROCESS

01 PROOF OF CONCEPT

A first functional prototype of the module was assembled in order to test the system at the lowest price possible. Technical options were settled, such as battery capacity, dimensions and types of photovoltaic cells, charging port, etc. Then, a testing phase was undergone in real-life conditions to validate the dierent functionalities as well as the relevance of the selected technologies

02 FINAL PROTOTYPE

Designing the module in order to make each part work together was a technical and challenging part. First, a particular casing was developed using CNC prototyping. We needed it to integrate both technologies (the solar panel, which must appear on the outside of the bag) and the electromagnetic induction charging system (which shall release the energy inwards). Then, a section of flexible plastic (TPU) was designed to protect the electronics and facilitate the assembly on production lines. The choice of this material was made because of its ability to be easily perforated by leather stitching needles and thermoformed on the ABS+PC casing for waterproofing requests. Finally, a front pocket was added so that a phone could be stowed against the induction system, as well as some rubber points, in order to help positioning the phone and avoid slipping.

03 TOOLING

A specific metal mold (faithful to the prerogatives of the final prototype) was developed in order to launch the industrialization phase of the project.

04 PRE-PRODUCTION & MASS PRODUCTION

A first batch of samples was developed to present the final products to a panel of buyers from dierent countries, and to the corresponding sale forces as salesmen samples to confirm quantities per country of distribution..

05 CERTIFICATIONS & GO TO MARKET

Any product including electronics is subject to certifications. The certifications to be compliant with depend on the selected selling countries : CE for European Union, FCC for the USA, KC for Korea, PSE in Japan or MSDS, UN38.3 and Air/Sea transport identification for global transportation. We challenged the different certification organizations to obtain the most competitive prices and managed the process such that our client could sell it worldwide in its different stores.

« It was a real pleasure to work with a dynamic and flexible team.
They built us a tailor-made solution that fit perfectly our DNA. The follow-up during the different steps of the project was well executed :
Their commitment made it very easy for us to integrate innovative materials to our products and it felt really reassuring to count on an expert and reliable team. »
Laura Fontaine-Vive