The next generation of athletic recovery.

CEO Hin Lai, an athlete with his own share of injuries, founded Sidekick to develop innovative muscle recovery tools for professional and high-performance athletes — tools that had helped him in his own athletic recovery by offering better relief than the foam rollers and lacrosse balls of the past. 

After securing a number of contract manufacturing relationships, Sidekick successfully launched a line of muscle scrapers, as well as the Fuse — a vibration therapy device that uses targeted muscle relief to relax muscle tissue, stimulate blood flow, decrease stiffness and restore range of motion. 

There was nothing else on the market like it. However, Sidekick faced significant issues managing their group of independent contract designers, firmware contractors, engineers and manufacturers.

To take this next step and bring all of the services they required into one integrated product design process, they chose Cortex Design to build the next generation Fuse. In the process, they developed a product to take their business into the future.

"We wanted to be able to build a lasting partnership that was based on transparency and communication, which we found Cortex valued as well, making us a good match for each other."

-Kaitlyn Feldvari, Product Manager at Sidekick Fuse

Define a new brand design language.  Building off the hexagonal Sidekick Tool logo, we developed a new brand design language that takes the hexagon and gives it a literal twist. Patterns are based on rotational arrays of 12 or 18 sided shapes. The twisted nature of the pattern always appears in motion, informing how Fuse 2.0 should be used.

Refine the product, redefine the company. Our design adds new functionality to the Fuse 2.0 Vibration Therapy device, including removable handles, heat, multiple new vibration settings, Bluetooth, an improved UX, and other features to give athletes more control over their recovery — all with original firmware and software design. 

In-house product development with an outsourced team. Cortex acted as Sidekick’s de facto internal design and engineering department, working closely with project managers to deliver every stage of product development — from initial competitor teardown, to concept and prototype development, to grant development, to custom electronics, to preparing the final product for production. 

Bringing power to production. In addition to developing Fuse 2.0, Cortex built a custom circuit board tester for contract manufacturers to validate these electronic components as they come off the line. We provide ongoing production know-how to help Sidekick navigate the contract manufacturing landscape equipped with their own original IP. 

Cortex Fundamental Deliverables 

  • Concept development 
  • Prototype development 
  • Custom circuit board design
  • Production design 
  • Custom circuit board tester design for contract manufacturing 
  • Ongoing support for contract manufacturing. 

The Result

  • Fuse 2.0 is now on the market, and Sidekick is exploring patents for the new design. 
  • Cortex has been engaged on further projects as Sidekick continues to develop new intellectual property.

"Cortex's experience with overseas manufacturing, especially with devices in the medical industry, helped us navigate the process of manufacturing our first fully custom product, from design through production."

-Kaitlyn Feldvari, Product Manager at Sidekick Tool

© 2022 Cortex Design Inc.

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