Frugal Innovation for emerging markets
Frugal Innovation: Connecting the next billion
Vodafone asked us to develop a business design format to deliver a constant stream of innovation within their 'Terminals' division. We helped devise & install DIL - the design & innovation lab.
The first challenge provided to DIL was called 'Connecting the next billion', with the goal to bring internet to the poorest households in emerging markets. It led to the development of the WebBox, an all-in-one solution to help consumers from developing countries to connect to the internet utilising their television as a screen - commonly the most expensive component of a device.
After months of extensive, on-site user research and observation in developing countries where Vodafone provides service (India and South Africa),
their market research team entered some key-insights and observations into the design and innovation lab. One insight was that - even among the poorest of the poor - people manage to own and operate a television as one of their first home appliances.
It was this key-insight that led a multidisciplinary team to the key-idea: connecting an inexpensive GSM-platform reconfigured as a keyboard to existing TV sets: WebBox was born!
The webbox was awarded with universal design award and Plus x awards.