In a world where millions of products and designs launch each year, the A' Design Award is meant to highlight the world's best designs and well-designed products.
To win the Golden A’ Design Award, a product must have demonstrated “an excellent design that helps people achieve more, by empowering people through added functionality, performance, reliability and interaction.”
The Wiivv Custom Sandal was a shoo-in (pun always intended). With 90% of customers reporting that Wiivvs decrease their foot pain, we have truly exceeded in creating a product that empowers people to move and live their best.
The A' Design Award and Competition is the worlds' largest design competition awarding the best designs, design concepts and products & services. The jury that picks the winners in each category is made up of internationally influential press members, established designers, leading academics and prominent entrepreneurs.
About the Wiivv Custom Sandal:
After launching our custom fit 3D printed insoles in 2016, many customers wrote to us saying how their insoles had changed their lives, and wished they could put the same support and comfort in their sandals, as many of them could never wear sandals due to the pain they caused.
We did just that, and put all of our biomechanics, software, manufacturing, and design expertise into creating a sandal which broke the dichotomy between comfort and style typically seen in the footwear market.
Wiivv's smartphone app, with award winning user experience, captures the customer’s unique foot data and then generates a biomechanically optimised design. It is then 3D printed, assembled, and shipped to the customer within 14 days.
What makes the Wiivv Custom Fit Sandal so special?
The Wiivv Custom Fit Sandal design is remarkable for the following reasons:
- Perfect Fit: the customer’s foot data is analysed using computer vision and machine learning to create 233 individual parameters which create the sandal unique to each person's foot. The sandal's arch support is printed unique to them to perfectly fit their underfoot, and provide biomechanically optimised dynamic support. This allows the foot to move naturally while protecting it from harmful ranges of motion. The toe thong is placed in the exact location of the space between their toes and the strap anchored based upon the shape of their foot.
- Comfort: the triple density foam footbed, deep heel cup, biomechanically data driven design, no rub toe thong construction, custom strap placement and custom arch support make it the most comfortable on the market. We have even proven this in the laboratory!
- Affordable price-point: this was achieved by combining 3D printing with conventional manufacturing techniques. Over 4 years, Wiivv has developed proprietary technology to reduce the cost of 3D printing dramatically. The price of $129 was achieved by combining this technological advancement in 3D printing with good product design that uses the right materials in just the right places.
- Modularity: The modular design allows aesthetic customisation, reduced costs, and end of life recycling reducing the sandals’ environmental impact.
- Biomechanical design: Wiivv has used over 12 million data points from our biometric data, clinical trials, and customer feedback to create the Wiivv Fit Algorithm – ensuring our sandals fit perfectly every time.
- Custom product fulfilment: we built our own manufacturing facility and in house management software to vertically integrate our technology stack and supply chain. Only by doing this has it been possible for us to achieve our goal of delivering mass customised footwear to our customers within 14 days or less.
The product was launched on Kickstarter in March 2017 and became the most funded 3D printed product ever. Fulfilment of Kickstarter was completed by August 2018.
In April 2018, the lead engineer Chris Bellamy ran the Boston Marathon, wearing the Wiivv Custom Fit Sandal, and completed the race in a time of 2 hours 59 minutes!
In September 2018 the product was then made available to the general public.
What problem does the Wiivv Custom Fit Sandal solve?
The footwear industry has some major challenges:
- Nearly 8 out of 10 Americans have experienced foot pain
- Online retail return rates often exceed 30%
- Studies show that up to 50% of people are wearing the wrong sized shoes
How are Wiivv are making mass customisation possible?
Through great design, Wiivv is combining breakthrough innovations from four separate industries to revolutionise footwear.
- Artificial intelligence, computer vision, and deep learning
- 3D printing
- Custom footwear biomechanics
- Distributed and closed loop manufacturing
Wiivv created the Wiivv Custom Fit Sandal to demonstrate that functional mass customisation in footwear is possible.
The five following guiding values were used during the development of thw Wiivv Custom Fit Sandal:
- Affordable - To be truly mass market, the sandal must be affordable costing less than $130.
- Accessible - To allow custom footwear to scale it needs to be ordered from anywhere. Wiivv products can be ordered from one of 2.4 billion smartphones, or from an in-store kiosk.
- Appealing - To sell in high volumes, the product needs to appeal to customers. The Wiivv sandal has best in class comfort AND design.
- Accommodating - Using our biometric database, we were able to design the sandal to accommodate 97.5% of foot types, allowing us to access a huge market.
- Automated - To scale properly, particularly with domestic manufacturing, high levels of automation are required. Wiivv's process to create the sandal is currently around 80% automated.
The end result of all of this is that Wiivv’s products have received outstanding customer feedback and results as can be seen from the numbers below:
90% of customers report that adding Wiivvs decreases their foot pain.
73% of Wiivv customers report that their Wiivvs improve how they function on a day-to-day basis
90% of customers rate the app experience as “easy” or “very easy”.