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Swivl by Satarii

CompanyStudio Backs
Lead Designers
Prize(s)Silver in Media And Home Electronics / Cameras, Video Cameras and Equipment
Entry Description

The Swivl mobile accessory allows users to simply and easily make videos of themselves. Swivl automatically follows the user with a sensor enabled motorized base for a mobile video device, paired with a wearable marker for the user.

We were given a technology of a sensor enabled and motorized base for a mobile video device with a paired marker. The marker would be held like a remote control or worn by the person. The sensor connection allows the base to "follow you" and keeps you in the camera field of view. This technology combination is ideal for capturing video of yourself for vlogging, sports, education and more.

The challenge was to create a design with the smallest package and to create a new archetype for this new technology and use.
Second, to design an easy and intuitive way of docking/undocking or clamping a Smartphone or digital camera onto the mobile video device, which would allow any Apple iPhone 4s, 4, iPod Touch (4th generation), Flip, GoPro or other digital camera to connect.
Third, to find a way to express its pan&tilt motion.
Fourth, the device had to be easily and quickly folded-up for transport, including the marker.
Lastly, to create a product name and branded image to communicate product-use and -benefit to potential new users.

The final Swivl product is a vloggers dream of mobile accessory, because it removes the challenge of capturing yourself on video and lets you focus on sharing your ideas and life with the world. It's compatible with both Apple iOS devices and the still beloved FLIP camera.

Swivl comes with horizontal and vertical following capability. This Multi-Axis Motion lets you freely move around your mobile camera and be confident that you’ll be well framed, regardless of where you stand.


Jochen Backs is founder and Principal of STUDIO BACKS, a downtown San Francisco based design studio that delivers great product design and experiences in the consumer, computer, packaging, medical and houseware industries. We work on projects ranging from monitors to cameras to packaging for clients such as Samsung, Logitech, St. Jude Medical to Vaska. With a creative process that integrates industrial design and strategic thinking we create fresh, lifestyle-centered, long lasting solutions for our clients. STUDIO BACKS provides successful and proven services to achieve competitive advantage through product innovation.

Before founding STUDIO BACKS in June 2001, Jochen Backs was the Principal Industrial Designer for Design Continuum, San Francisco, where he designed and directed projects for various companies including Logitech, Vestel, BioMerieux and Sunbeam. His role at Design Continuum included building and mentoring the industrial design team, project management and business development. Prior to Design Continuum, Jochen was a Senior Industrial Designer with IDEO Product Development for 10 years, where he designed a diverse range of products for clients including DELL, NEC, Medtronic, Cisco Systems, Steelcase and Samsung Electronics. Before IDEO, Jochen worked for DESIGN TEAMS in Germany designing hand held tools for BOSCH, high pressure cleaners for KAERCHER, cook ware and household goods for SILIT and Leifheit.

Jochen has earned numerous awards during his 20 year career, including iF Hanover, the 'Red Dot' for the Highest Design Quality at Design Innovations, the Braun Prize, Design Champion at the Design Center Stuttgart, Best Design Of Europe at the International Biennial in Kortrijk Belgium, Design-Team of the Year 1990, Appliance Manufacturer's Excellence in Design and several I.D. Magazine Annual Design Review awards and Business Week's IDEA gold, silver and bronze awards. Communication Arts Interactive Annual 8 for our website design. Editor's Choice "Best of Show" and "Best New Technology Product" award in 2010. Shaggy Award 2011, Honorable Mention for Samsung Series 9 Full HD 3D LED HDTV.

Jochen is particularly proud of its successful and ongoing partnership with Samsung Electronics going back as far as 1993. Jochen has helped Samsung’s display division to transfer itself from an OEM manufacturer to an international leading brand in design and technology it has become today. All CRT monitors manufactured by SAMSUNG during the 90’s were either designed or directed by STUDIO BACKS. The new generation of LCD and LED 3D monitors continue to be designed or directed through the “Master Program”, a collaboration between SAMSUNG and STUDIO BACKS.
Other projects with SAMSUNG include laptops, mobile devices, digital compact cameras, white goods including refrigeration, range tops, microwave, venting hoods, washer and dryer.

Our Process is multidisciplinary, hands-on and heavily supported with 3D computer design tools to ensure excellent surface modeling and photo realistic renderings for our clients. We have experts on the team specializing in Alias, Rhino, ProE, SolidWorks and for rendering tools Patchwork 3D and Hypershot/Keyshot.
Jochen’s vision embodies sensitivity to international consumers and international markets and is a passionate thinkers about consumer behavior.