"Technology Comes to Life in your Hands": RKS Reveals the Design Story of the Wikipad, the Tablet That Leads a Double Life

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Wikipad, the high-end tablet with a detachable gaming controller, launched on June 11th, 2013 and is available for sale at Walmart, Best Buy and Tiger Direct. RKS’ design team reveals its insights and approach for the design that received Good Design and Spark awards.

Wikipad Gaming Tablet, Designed by RKS

The Wikipad team came to RKS with an exciting agenda: create a high-end tablet with a removable gaming controller, so the touch screen no longer feels like a barrier between tablet users and the unive

The gaming tablet Wikipad, available in the US since June 11th, 2013, promises new ways to interact with mobile technology and immerse oneself in a virtual console gaming experience. The design team at RKS, the innovation consulting firm that led the design effort for the product, interface, branding and packaging, strived to create a device so comfortable that it creates the sensation of being one with the game.

"Wikipad posed some unique ergonomics challenges," explains Nour Malaeb, designer at RKS. "We knew that gamers spend hours playing on the tablet and will have high expectations for the hand-held experience." As a result, the thickness of the controller is optimized to offer enough grip for all sizes of hands without making the portable device bulky and heavy, which would cause muscle fatigue during use. The center of gravity is positioned in such a way that the arms are perfectly relaxed, inducing people to maintain a healthy posture while holding the device at eye level.

The buttons, bumpers and triggers are configured in a way that is already familiar to gamers, letting them focus more on playing, less on holding the device. "Holding a 7-inch screen in your hands creates its own virtual reality effect," describes Lance Hussey, creative director at RKS. "Everything but the screen fades into the background, making it like living inside the game. The technology comes to life in your hands."

Beyond gaming, the Wikipad functions like a high-end Android tablet once the controller is detached. This duality was captured in the design of the logomark, which can be read either as a directional pad or as the contours of a tablet. "The Wikipad tablet can be used at work during the day, then inserted into the controller to serve as a gaming console at night. The brand reflects this contrast," explains Ben Hickman, Designer at RKS. "I feel we created a unique experience with Wikipad. Now, the consumer will be judge."

The collaboration between RKS and Wikipad has been a cornerstone in the development of the start-up Wikipad, Inc. "We are very pleased about the work of RKS and the collaboration between both teams." concludes Matthew Joynes, Wikipad’s chairman.

About RKS Design, Inc.
RKS is an innovation consulting firm delivering human-focused solutions with global impact. Founded in 1980, RKS utilizes design as a strategic tool advancing clients’ ability to focus on people’s needs and aspirations while creating sustainable business results and benefits to society. Working domestically and globally and having won over 150 major design awards, RKS credits Maslow and Campbell’s work as the foundation for its systematic and pragmatic set of frameworks, setting the stage for the creation of experiences that motivate and reward audiences. Read more at http://www.rksdesign.com.

About Wikipad, Inc.
Wikipad is a US-based, award-winning design and engineering business creating touch screen tablets and game controllers. Wikipad has offices in Shenzhen China, London, and new offices opening in Hong Kong and Toronto. Its head office is based in Los Angeles.

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Julie Calderini
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