BMW Group DesignworksUSA, a subsidiary of BMW Group, and mobile company ADAIA today announced a creative collaboration and partnership. On behalf of ADAIA and with outdoor enthusiasts in mind seeking perfect mobile reception on their expeditions, DesignworksUSA is creating a design concept for a smartphone and its interface.

The ADAIA phone will be unique in the mobile industry in offering adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts not only extreme ruggedness but also seamless reception and satellite-based life-saving functions. Very soon a climber on Mount Everest will be able to send text messages via satellite.


The ADAIA Phone: Communicator and Lifeguard.

The design of the Android handset, the first product born of this collaboration, will pefectly reflect the multidimensional lifestyle of its users as they move between waves, whitewater and workplace. The package design will intelligently link the diverse user worlds, reflecting smartness and ruggedness in equal measure. The interface design will allow users to choose between “Adventure” or “Office” mode. The ADAIA smartphone will be a communication device and personal lifeguard rolled into one: it will have satellite functionality where no terrestrial network is available, including a GPS search and rescue service that can summon emergency assistance. An integrated SOS button will be easy to use even in extremely critical situations. The one-step battery replacement will maintain normal device operation while the battery is swapped in one fluid motion. And hackers don’t get a look in: various built-in security features will ensure military-grade security and privacy.

The smartphone will be able to cope with all kinds of outdoor challenges. The design team set out to create an extremely rugged package, researching premium materials used in aerospace and medical product design for attributes that include durability, lightness and precision. Side grip surface wrapping of the entire phone will ensure ergonomic protection while also taking into account the use of gloves. Chamfered corners, all-round O-ring layering, and a rubber structure assembly will further enhance the impression of solidity. Topographical maps inspired the design of the back of the phone, with alluring contour lines telling the story of adventure, adding premium coupled with precision, and acting as a functional grip. This design element will be a timeless and iconic component of the ADAIA design language.

Innovative Concept, Innovative Design.

ADAIA CEO and co-founder Heikki Sarajärvi comments: “When I destroyed my fourth smartphone last year while sailing, I knew there was a need for a durable smartphone capable of weathering the toughest environments. I also realized the durable function had to be coupled with a dynamic and iconic design for consumers to want to use it. That is exactly why we brought on DesignworkUSA to create a solution that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.”

“ADAIA was looking for a design studio with experience in the design of premium products and with know-how in designing for the mobile lifestyle,” says Laurenz Schaffer, President of BMW Group subsidiary DesignworksUSA. “We have developed a design language that speaks to ADAIA’s tough and stylish brand attributes and that translates them into a convincing product and interface design which will give ADAIA a recognizable face in the mobile industry,” he adds.

Expert Summit: Development with Adventurers and Outdoor Enthusiasts.

ADAIA is bringing a group of the world’s leading international explorers and adventure athletes on board to join forces with the company and contribute to research, development and testing of the handset on upcoming expeditions. Kevin Vallely, Guinness World Record holder and one of Canada’s leading adventurers, will take the phone on a 1,800-mile rowing trip through the Arctic’s Northwest Passage, departing July 1st, 2013. World-famous BASE jumper and wingsuit pilot Jeb Corliss will test the ADAIA smartphone on several projects in 2013, battling harsh conditions including high impact, extreme cold and heat, and water.