Tellus is a healthcare technology company focused on improving eldercare. Their beachhead product is a plug-in, non-contact device that uses radar and AI to give insight on important health metrics and events for older adults. I was brought on to do the industrial design for their product and establish their brand.
Tellus's product plugs into a wall outlet in an eldercare resident's room and uses radar to monitor and track changes in important health metrics. It's always running in the background, collecting and uploading data to the cloud, where its algorithms work to provide insights on the resident's health.
Co-Founders Tania Coke and Kevin Hsu had already been testing their prototypes in assisted living facilities and getting feedback from multiple stakeholders—the buyers (administration), the nurses and staff, and the actual older adults themselves. The residents liked how compact and out of the way the device was.
So the industrial design goal was to design a product that was discreet and subtle, but upon closer inspection revealed high design value and quality. The physical constraints came mainly from standard US outlet dimensions and from the components inside (e.g. PCB, antennas, power supply).
To quickly generate ideas for the forms beyond sketching, I turned to one of my favorite design methods: 2D form studies. Working in a screen design/vector tool like Figma affords speedy high-fidelity creation via duplication and rich fills, strokes, and effects. I ran form studies on the front face and the profile view, varying different parameters like shapes, radii, and general proportions.
The team reviewed the studies and gave feedback on what they liked/disliked before I fired up SolidWorks and began 3D exploration. I came back with a 20-page initial concept book with renders for 20 different concepts, full with descriptions and quirky names. Among the top concepts were "Marshmallow" and "Moon".
The next phase involved higher fidelity models with more details closer to the end product. The company didn't have a logo yet, and decals and branding have a big effect on aesthetics of the form. So I designed one in an afternoon sprint! The goal here was to design a logo that reflects a calm and friendly professionalism.
The mark is a medical cross doubling as a lowercase "t" with the inside corner rounded. That same radius is applied in the opposite corner and creates the look of two complimentary right-angle shapes overlapping each other. I tested the logo on sample ad applications and on 2D renders in Figma for speed. And the team loved it, so we moved ahead with it.
Now that we had our logo, the next step was to make perturbations around the top concepts to explore the potential of each. In this phase, the models were created with high fidelity features to help paint the vision of the concept in reality. Below are the top two results.
The team loved both designs equally so they suggested combining the two concepts. I tried it out and it was actually quite nice! The team loved it as well. Here's the final design.