In the early 2000s, the Staples Easy Button advertising campaign gained popularity by illustrating the convenience of finding simple solutions to real-life business frustrations. Known as the ultimate brick-and-mortar office supplies retailer, Staples saw an opportunity to leverage this popular concept and amplify their presence by building a connected voice assistant in the style of the Easy Button. To do so, the innovation team at Staples sought to iterate on their iconic concept by turning it into a business-grade voice assistant with on-demand ordering and tracking.
In order to bring the Easy Button to life, the team approached Mindtribe to complete the soup-to-nuts product engineering, device software development, and management of pilot production.
Mindtribe led all aspects of the Easy Button hardware development effort, tapping into the team’s electrical, mechanical, and software expertise. The mechanical design required custom injection molded parts, thermal management, heat sink design, and protection of intricate electronics. The electrical system incorporated a slew of connectivity features including WiFi, LTE, and Bluetooth. Software development was completed in parallel to the hardware effort, including wake word detection, voice recognition, and integration with IBM’s Watson platform and Staples’ ordering and customer service systems. To lead the pilot production build of the Easy Button and ensure its manufacturability, Mindtribe’s role extended beyond engineering.
The Staples Easy Button received widespread media attention and was championed at the opening of the 2016 IBM World of Watson conference. Early prototypes were beta tested with over one hundred businesses across the U.S.
Advanced Technology to Product, Rapid Experiential Prototyping, Focused Engineering Support.
Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Embedded Software Development, Agile Project Management, Manufacturing Support.