Now Computing came to Speck Design to develop a gaming accessory designed to enhance the Minecraft experience. Minecraft allows users to build worlds using virtual 3D building blocks, in either a solo or multiplayer fashion. With Gameband, players can save and easily transport their Minecraft worlds. This project came about as wearable technologies rose in prominence and offered us a chance to combine two divergent perspectives in a streamlined and multipurpose product.
Right away, we considered the popularity of wristbands in general, specifically fitness bands. The appeal of these tools is partially the ability to amass a great deal of data without a lot of physical interaction with the device. The Gameband also permits users to be entertained and immerse themselves into the Minecraft world on the go.
The Gameband wristband product was designed to be easy to plug into any host computer via USB. Simply by clicking the Minecraft icon that appears on the screen, the user can launch and play the game. When he or she quits the application, all the Gameband data is automatically saved to the cloud.
We knew that Gameband needed to serve more than the single purpose of offering “Minecraft on the fly.” To that end, Gameband is also a watch and calendar, and is constructed of durable materials that still feel comfortable on the skin after long periods of wear, yet won't easily break during daily use. We seamlessly integrated several technical components, including a USB3 connector, flash drive, LiPo battery, and LED display, while still creating a discrete, fashionable. and waterproof wristband.
Keying off Minecraft’s DIY ethos, we designed a way for Gameband users to personalize their product by creating their own digital messages, images, and animations on the wristband’s LED array. This physical artifact from a virtual environment offers both kinship and validation for members of the Minecraft gaming community.