ADAIA & BMW Group Designworks USA Embark on a New Adventure

Designing the perfect smartphone for adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts – rugged, light and with satellite-based emergency rescue

Los Angeles, California – May 15 2013 – Mobile company ADAIA is announcing a creative collaboration and partnership today with BMW Group DesignworksUSA, a subsidiary of BMW Group and international design consultancy. ADAIA and DesignworksUSA are a strong match, sharing an affinity for powering the dynamic lifestyle. ADAIA’s brand and product portfolio is designed for adventurers, outdoors and sports enthusiasts, capable of working in almost any environment and over an expansive reach across the globe. DesignworkUSA creates design solutions for their parent company, BMW Group brands including BMW, MINI, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, as well as external clients with products catering to a modern, premium interpretation of adventure and ruggedness such as biking, skiing, scuba diving and sailing.

The Android handset, the first product to come from this collaboration, is designed for outdoors sports activities including trekking, sailing, climbing, skiing, biking, snowboarding, paragliding, adventure motorcycling and kayaking. The smartphone will have satellite functionality where no terrestrial network is available, including a satellite-based search and rescue service that can call for emergency assistance. Security features are built in to the handset to provide military-grade security and privacy.

The design team explored three distinct design directions, ultimately selecting one design theme focused on “Duality and Sophisticated Ruggedness”. Dualism is the key characteristic of the design, as the smartphone’s customers lead a multi-dimensional lifestyle, active in the outdoors as well as in their professional lives. This is emphasized with a front and rear contrast of design and material as well as a user interface geared for either adventure or business mode.

To communicate sophisticated ruggedness, design elements were selected to express toughness in a modern way. Side grip surface wrapping of the whole volume shows the attitude of protecting the phone in an ergonomic way, while also considering the use with gloves. Chamfered corners, all round O-ring layering, and a revealing rubber structure assembly also add to the impression of solidity.

Topographic maps inspired the design solution. The maps tell the story of adventure, add premium with preciseness, and work as a functional grip. This design element will be a timeless and iconic component of the ADAIA design language.

Lastly, lifesaving innovations were incorporated into the design solution such as the SOS button and the one step battery replacement that maintains normal device operation when you swap batteries in one fluid motion. The team has researched premium materials used in aerospace and medical product design for qualities including durability, lightness and precision.

“ADAIA was looking for a design studio with experience in the design of premium products and with know how in designing for the mobile lifestyle“, says Laurenz Schaffer, president of BMW Group subsidiary DesignworksUSA. “We have developed a design language that speaks to ADAIA’s tough and stylish brand attributes and that translates them into a convincing product and interface design which will give ADAIA a strong and recognizable face in the mobile industry“, Schaffer continues.

ADAIA CEO and co-founder Heikki Sarajärvi commented, “When I destroyed my fourth smartphone last year while sailing, I knew there was a need for a durable smartphone capable of weathering the toughest environments. I also realized the durable function had to be coupled with a dynamic and iconic design for consumers to want to use it. That is exactly why we brought on DesignworkUSA to create a solution that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.”

ADAIA is bringing a group of the world’s leading international explorers and adventure athletes on board to join forces with the company and contribute to research, development and testing of the handset on upcoming expeditions. Kevin Vallely, Guinness World Record holder and one of Canada’s leading adventurers, will take the phone on a 1,800 mile rowing trip through the Arctic’s Northwest Passage departing July 1st, 2013. World-famous BASE jumper and wingsuit pilot Jeb Corliss will test the ADAIA smartphone on several projects in 2013, battling harsh conditions including high impact, extreme cold and heat, and water.


ADAIA aims to become the leading brand in premium communications equipment for high-end niche markets with a focus on security, reliability, and design. ADAIA was born when a group of former Nokia colleagues and mobile industry pioneers came together to realize a vision for a new form of mobile communication. Athletes of all types – hikers, trekkers, skiers, sailors, divers, paragliders, bikers, skateboarders, enduro motorcyclers and extreme sports enthusiasts – who need a durable phone tough enough to withstand water, high impact, and the harshest weather conditions will soon have a secure Android smartphone that is stylish and virtually indestructible. Funded by private equity investors, ADAIA is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland with offices in Los Angeles, Vancouver, London and Dubai.


About BMW Group DesignworksUSA
BMW Group DesignworksUSA is a creative consultancy that’s been driving innovation for forty years. Acquired by BMW Group in 1995, DesignworksUSA enables its parent company as well as internationally-renowned clients outside the automotive industry to grow their businesses through a portfolio of creative consulting services. With clients including Coca Cola, Dassault Aviation, Embraer, John Deere, HEAD, HP, Microsoft, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Siemens, Intermarine, and Varian Medical Systems, DesignworksUSA is deeply immersed in a broad cross-section of industries. Combining cross-fertilized knowledge with strategic long-term perspectives and global context provided by studios in Los Angeles, Munich, and Shanghai, DesignworksUSA draws upon its unique and vibrant resources to create the future.


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