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Creating the Perfect Design Brief

We know what you’re thinking, designers love nothing more than indulging their creative whims. So it’s probably best to just leave them to it, right? Well, as much as we would love to show off everything we can do – that’s not really the point is it? When you come to us, it’s because you have a good idea of what you want – and that’s the idea we want to work to realise. Continue Reading →

Pressto: One Button, Millions of Possible Applications

Last week, we spoke at Develop3D Live 2017 on the subject of: Designing A More Independent Internet Of Things.

In September 2016, we were approached by Swiss software company, Myriad Group, with an interesting engineering challenge. We were tasked with designing and manufacturing a connected push-button which could be used for “millions of different applications” – needless to say… this piqued our interest straight away. Now, we know what you’re thinking, the ‘Amazon Dash’ button is already out there doing the same thing isn’t it? Well not quite – the Pressto button has a very special trump card. This ‘Internet of Things’ device doesn’t require an internet connection to work. 


Unlike many IoT applications, Pressto does not rely on WiFi, 4G or even 3G. There is no set-up required, it is rechargeable, and easy to disassemble. By virtue of Myriad’s long-standing relationships with cellular providers, the device uses USSD gateway servers to transmit data. Consider what you could do with a device that can be used in remote areas where Wi-fi is simply unavailable. Wi-fi availability is still most prevalent in highly urbanised areas; whereas GSM networks exist across the globe. The device could just as easily be used by smallholder farmers in East Africa, as it could factory technicians in the UK.


Aside from the inclusivity that the device offers — the customisation opportunities are truly endless.  Each press of the button transfers a small payload of information to your chosen application — whatever it may be — including GPS coordinates, and time and date information. The re-ordering of products is an obvious use; but it could just as easily be used as a panic button or global locator. With no requirements for phone contract (and offering free, instant updates) it would be perfect for anyone from backpackers, to search and rescue teams. Given the open-ended nature of the device, we can’t wait to see what users will decide to do with it.


We strive to create sustainable products where possible — and this was an important element of the design brief that we agreed with Myriad Group. The ability to change the function of the device at any given moment, replace the battery, and disassemble all the parts means that this device is much less likely to end up on a landfill site in the near future — a fate many current IoT devices are sadly resigned to.

Find out more about the project by clicking here.

Attend our talk at DEVELOP3D LIVE 2017

We know what you’re thinking… it’s been a while since you saw anything new on our blog. Well, there is a good reason for that – we’ve been preparing for something rather special.

There’s less than a month to go before DEVELOP3D LIVE 2017 – the UK’s leading conference and exhibition celebrating the worlds of design, engineering and manufacturing technology. Amongst the many exhibitors and speakers, you’ll also find a familiar face from Think Refine… I will join a sizzling roster of speakers including Jaguar, JCB, Microsoft and more – and will be discussing the design of more sustainable IoT products for remote locations.

Click here to find out more about our talk

Join us at DEVELOP3D LIVE – taking place on Tuesday 28th March, 2017 at: Warwick Arts Centre, Warwick University, Coventry, CV4 7AL

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