Following weeks of intense exhibition preparation, teams Göbie and SLEEPWISE officially crossed the threshold from prototype in development to product in development, inviting hundreds of SXSW visitors to have hands-on experiences with their products, ask questions and give feedback.
Both teams received eye-opening questions and comments that have already led to consideration of new implementations for the respective products. Let's take a closer look at the SXSW experience from both the Parsons and Panasonic points of view.
Great Partners from Start to Finish
Looking back at the collaboration, everyone involved had positive takeaways to share. In an interview at SXSW, Parsons Project Co-Director Anu Malhorta commended Panasonic for "creating an environment for the students to be able to explore and be creative while giving structure and insight into (Panasonic) technologies and the ways in which the brand is growing."
From the Panasonic perspective, the outcome was as desired in both form and function. Project Leader Nobuhiro Akimoto (Aki) praised the teams for bringing their products to a state of readiness for exposure to real audiences at SXSW and spoke at length about the design process learning for Panasonic.
"Reaching out, outside of our company to bring in speed and talent and knowledge is how we define open collaboration on our team," says Aki. "We were more siloed in the way we've worked before, but here we've been learning how teams can bring together different talents."
Panasonic House at SXSW is the first place where Göbie and SLEEPWISE debuted all of their components in coherent exhibits. Team Göbie loved the "anything goes" vibe, embracing visitors' interest by encouraging high fives, waving and even dancing as means of stimulating social interaction. Many visitors expressed excitement about the "screenless" nature of Göbie interaction.
Team SLEEPWISE likewise found an enthusiastic reception of its mission to improve sleep among many different groups, and not just those who struggle with sleep. Tech savvy visitors were eager to know when they could expect to see SLEEPWISE on the market and many suggested that the team to find ways to connect to existing IoT devices as well as new products.
Both teams feel confident about continuing their journey with Panasonic, citing the brand's history and strengths in product development as integral to the continued refinement and positioning of their respective products. From a product standpoint for SLEEPWISE, this could include compatibility exploration for new and existing home smart devices. The team is also considering seeking opportunities to collaborate with travel and hospitality companies that might feature the technology to key target audiences.
For Göbie, the team sees the possibility of introducing the product and its interactions in select social environments - such as corporate wellness programs, schools, professional conferences, or festivals - to increase awareness while continuing to test user experience. Awareness will be a key factor for a public launch as Göbie will require a critical mass of users to make its social interaction goodness viable.
Interview to Team Göbie and Panasonic members
When asked about their continuing work with Panasonic, the teams noted that continued collaboration is the best way forward. Courtney, from Team Göbie says, "At Parsons, we do a lot of conceptualizing, so Panasonic played a key role in bringing our concept to life as a product." To which Kristen, from Team SLEEPWISE, adds, "Panasonic is such a strong product company, so really our goal is to take our tech and design backgrounds and say, 'How do we take what makes you such a good company and move it forward?'"
And that's really the question that will continue to motivate this and future Game Changer Catapult projects: How do we keep moving forward?