ORTOVOX – PROBE & ZOOM
INNOVATIVE DESIGN AND DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY FOR A LIFE-SAVING SOLUTION

In the life-or-death situation, simple innovations can buy precious moments.

Innovative design for life-saving solutions

ALPINE LIFESTYLE AND EQUIPMENT BRAND ORTOVOX WAS LOOKING TO INNOVATE IN A HIGHLY COMPETITIVE INDUSTRY. AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVERS AND AVALANCHE PROBES ARE NICHE PRODUCTS, BUT CRUCIAL TO SEARCH AND RESCUE EFFORTS IN THE MINUTES FOLLOWING AN AVALANCHE. WE HELPED TO UPDATE AND SIMPLIFY THESE PRODUCTS, TO SAVE TIME – AND LIVES.

Ortovox partnered with us in the hopes of capturing a larger share of the market for specialised equipment. We were briefed on two key industry-specific requirements. Firstly, every source of error must be eliminated from the products –this could be the difference between life and death – and secondly, trust is paramount, meaning products must be high-quality and reliable. Ortovox were looking for a partner who understood the industry, its business, and the specific requirements of its products. We could make the product development process as swift as possible to get the items to market quickly.

Innovative design and disruptive technology for a life-saving solution

DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY THAT ELIMINATES ERRORS

We began by researching the probe, which is used in mountain rescues. Traditional models were clumsy and fiddly to assemble, especially in cold environments where users would be wearing gloves. This could cost valuable search and rescue time. Leveraging our experience in an unrelated sector, we saw a unique opportunity. A patented, specialised locking technology was being used in the lighting industry only, so we designed a new application for the system: an innovative closure that latches on its own. Extending the probe to full length simply requires pulling on one end, and the system automatically locks into place. This method was failsafe – impossible to open the wrong way – meaning the probe was both highly intuitive and extremely reliable in unpredictable environments. We helped Ortovox patent the locking system for the outdoor sports industry to stay ahead of competition and secure a key differentiator.

“Noto developed a patentable unique selling Proposition for us in the saturated avalanche probe market. After the comprehensive implementation of the solution in our avalanche probes, we were able to raise our market share from 18% to 24%. The Noto approach of generating value for our users as well as our company is enough of a reason to further develop this cooperation.”

Dieter Kotlaba – Head of Hardware / Ortovox Sportartikel GmbH

Innovative design for life-saving solutions

ANALYSING THE MARKET IN ORDER TO DISTINGUISH ORTOVOX FROM COMPETITORS

Due to the successful cooperation and product development of the probe we continued our work by redesigning the Ortovox Zoom avalanche transceiver. We developed a design strategy and provided creative direction. The focus was on distinguishing the product from its competitors through several key elements, including a simple and easy-to-read circle display with directional lights and arrows, for better orientation. We improved the product semantics by clearly differentiating the actions of ‘searching’ and ‘sending’. Besides that we assessed the best perceived product thickness to make look sleek and easy to handle in harsh conditions at the same time.

Innovative design for life-saving solutions

OPTIMIZING THE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PROCESS

Ortovox had previously faced challenges with the product development process in terms of controlling suppliers, getting the electronic developed in time and sticking to the budget. We assumed a project management role to ensure that time and money was utilised responsibly and effectively. We also worked to make the product development process as cost-effective as possible so that the transceiver could enter the market in a lower price segment.

Today, Ortovox enjoys continued success, ahead of their competition. The design strategy we developed throughout the process helped to shape the creative direction of the brand and positively impacted the way the business operates.

Innovative design and disruptive technology for a life-saving solution

FURTHER READINGS:

Read more about our strategic partnership with Ortovox.

Have a look at Ortovox work or visit their Safety Academy.