Project team: Hunter Garnier, Stephanie Mah, Akhilesh Mishra, Beshoy Wabha, Alexander Wing, Albert Zhou
Course: Introduction to New Product Development, spring 2017
While providing WiFi to untouched areas of the world is not a new idea, bringing WiFi to the open ocean is a relatively untouched concept. With this idea in mind, the Principle Power team took on the challenge of prototyping a WiFi buoy for the open ocean. Over the course of the semester, the team created a medium-fidelity prototype for the buoy. They also sought to gain insights into target customers, market segments, and business models as part of this process, drawing from user interviews and other research methods.
Their research led them to focus on surfers as a possible target user group and to identify a set of core user needs, such as accurate surf report conditions, safety, and a fast, reliable connection. From there, they generated an idea for a buoy that would be anchored to the seafloor, with solar panels atop it. Starting with basic found materials, they prototyped the structure for this buoy, considering its applications and possible partnerships as they iterated on their design.
Want to learn more about the buoy and its designers? Check out: