†sir †+Y

Platinum Award
Yves Béhar Designer’s Statement: “In an age when the industry seems to think that phones aren’t for speaking anymore, I wanted to focus on the idea of voice, clarity and simplicity. The central tenet behind the Æ+Y is to literally craft the visual details, craft the functional tactility, and craft the user interface.”rnrn1.3 billion mobile phones are produced every year, designed to last no more than 18 months. The Æ+Y is designed to be an enduring alternative. The Æ+Y is created and built by craftsmen, pared down to an elegant simplicity in both function and design. Built with longevity in mind, the materials are watch-grade, exceptional quality. Æsir offers a service check every two years for necessary replacement parts or upgrades.


Spark Finalist


The key to this entire project was building a phone from the outside in, which is a revolutionary concept for the market. The design, the designer’s ambition for the phone, and the user experience really drove the engineering and technology behind its development. The metal work, available in either solid 18K gold or stainless steel, is created by French and Swiss specialists who more commonly work on luxury watches. A custom-made Dutch ceramic casing delivers a highly durable, scratch-resistant, high-gloss finish. The screen is engineered using the highest quality sapphire crystal, and the keys are designed to have a unique edge-to-edge alignment unlike any other phone on the market. The phone’s design presented unique engineering challenges as it utilized materials not typically found in mobile phones, and also required a distinct level of visual and functional perfection. PDT successfully engineered the edge-to-edge key alignment and keypad assembly that requires 20 miniature screws in order to obtain the unique movement of the keys and feel of the key press. Learning to master miniature screws took a high level of skill and precision. The main challenge was to prevent scratching of visual components as the phone was assembled. The edge-to-edge keys are a visual and tactile feature of the phone, and a first in handset design. On the Æ+Y, edge-to-edge alignment is achieved by mounting the keys with a specially designed hinge mechanism and securing them with 20 miniature screws of the type customarily used in complicated watch movements. The keypad is assembled with a bespoke robotic assembly method, and completed by hand-setting each of the keys to make them align perfectly. Usually designers and engineers generally prefer to conceal key edges because the keys can fall out of alignment with wear and tear, or can even fall off when a phone is pulled from a pocket. We have made a phone with unparalleled quality and precision engineering that has made edge-to-edge possible. The seamless interface between the sapphire crystal screen and ceramic casing is an engineering feat, and the first of its kind for the industry. Due to sapphire crystal’s hardness and scratch resistance, it is extremely difficult to manufacture from raw form into a perfectly clear lens. However, using techniques from Swiss watchmakers, we were able to construct a lens that uniquely mates to the Æ+Y ceramic cover with virtually no visible split line. PDT led the product development and mechanical engineering for the Æ+Y phone with a team of industrial designers, mechanical engineers, prototypers, tooling experts and sourcing specialists. The team converged to bring Behar’s vision to fruition. The phone took more than two and a half years to develop and over 7,000 hours of engineering time. The Æ+Y has received 4 patents pending. The Æ+Y is the first of Æsir’s ongoing collaborations with individual designers to create mobile phone editions.


PDT was founded with a fresh vision for how product development should work. This unique approach has propelled our growth to a firm spanning the globe with nine offices and over 125 dedicated experts. Our design and engineering teams are frequently recognized by distinguished industry awards. Since 1995, PDT has been committed to providing truly comprehensive product development services via a proven, process-driven approach. Grounded in creativity, our work is balanced by a solid understanding of your business, the needs of your customers and demands of your markets. Even our own corporate structure - flexible and entrepreneurial in the best sense of the word - is designed in response to the fast paced nature of the industries in which our clients compete. Our mission? Deliver on the promise of truly seamless product development, innovation through execution. By all counts, we do it pretty well… Over 75% of PDT’s programs are repeat business from clients who’ve come to appreciate how our team becomes a natural extension of theirs. We build close, trusted relationships on solutions that rarely fail to exceed expectations.

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