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the challenge

Now Computing asked Speck to develop a gaming accessory designed to enhance the Minecraft experience. Minecraft allows users to build worlds using virtual 3D building blocks, either solo or in multiplayer mode. 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 divergent perspectives in a streamlined and multipurpose product.

our approach

We immediately considered the popularity of wristbands in general, specifically fitness bands. The appeal of these tools is partly the ability to amass a great deal of data without much physical interaction with the device. Similarly, the Gameband permits users to be entertained and immerse themselves into the Minecraft world on the go.

The Gameband 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.

 

The Gameband permits users to be entertained, track their performance, and immerse themselves into the Minecraft ‘world’ on the go.

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what made the difference

We knew that Gameband needed to serve more than the single purpose of offering “Minecraft on the fly.” 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 components including a USB3 connector, flash drive, LiPo battery, and LED display, while still creating a discreet, 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 conveys both kinship and validation for members of the Minecraft gaming community.