Google Chromecast is a $35-dollar digital media player in the form of a dongle that connects to your TV’s HDMI port. Slightly bigger than a standard USB flash drive, it streams audio and video content directly to your TV via Wi-Fi from the internet or local network. Users select media to play from a mobile or web app, including Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, YouTube, and hundreds more. No cumbersome remote controls are necessary as content is navigated from your own smartphone or tablet. Considering the formidable capabilities of Chromecast, it is incredibly tiny. This is a significant design achievement because its diminutive size allows it to fit behind the TV instead of becoming another set top box. For the user, the small size makes it easy to manage and travel with. Its small size also means its material consumption and cost are low. When low cost meets high design, it’s a win-win for consumers and more people can own it. Chromecast's appearance fits the Google brand image to a tee. It is friendly, fun and approachable but conveys serious technology at the same time. The key-like shape is unique and memorable, which helps to build product and brand identity. The form looks even thinner than it is, due to its angled top surface and glossy perimeter band. The unique shape also has a functional purpose. Because it plugs into an HDMI port on the back of one's TV, there are often other connectors right next to it. It needed to clear these connectors, so it narrows at the front end. The shape also makes for a good finger pull. Finally, the shape houses the antenna in the left bulge and a switch in the right bulge. No space is wasted for the sake of design.
Whipsaw is an Industrial Design & Engineering consulting firm located in San Jose and San Francisco, California. Whipsaw focuses on innovative product design, UX, development and branding. Whipsaw creates products and experiences across many diverse categories including consumer electronics, housewares, medical, wearables, computing, scientific, industrial, and business products. Whipsawâ€™s clients range from large corporations like Avaya, Bosch, Cisco, Clorox, Ford, GE, Google, Haier, Intel, Leitz, Merck, Motorola, Nike, Olympus, Samsung, Sony, and TP-Link plus exciting startups like Apnicure, Avinger, Highfive, Livescribe, OM Signal and Sprimo. The Whipsaw team has created hundreds of successful products for its clients. Our market hits include the Google OnHub, the original Google Chromecast, Nike+ FuelBand, Dell Precision computers, Livescribe smartpens, Dropcam security cameras, Eton emergency radios, the Adiri baby bottle, Cisco/Linksys routers, Yubo lunch boxes, Intel healthcare tablets, the Kaleidescape Cinema One, Leapfrog LeapPads, Roku TV boxes, Topcon survey equipment, and TP-Link networking devices. Whipsaw has won over 240 Industrial Design awards including many IDEA, Red Dot, iF, MDEA, G-Marks, CES Innovations, and D&AD awards. Fast Company magazine ranked Whipsaw among the Top 5 design firms in the world and honored Whipsaw CEO Dan Harden as one of the 100 most creative people in business. Whipsawâ€™s creations are in the permanent collection at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, and the Pasadena Museum of California Art.