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ACG Brands is on a mission to reinvent the sporting goods industry. It’s a sector that’s seen very little digital innovation, with more emphasis placed on fabric innovation than bringing new devices to market.

THAW. An IoT-powered app that delivers truly personalized temperature control for people who love the great outdoors and don’t want cold hands or toes to curtail their time in nature.

The IoT opportunity.

When ACG came to Cheesecake Labs, they already had a blueprint for a “personal warmth” product range. In-soles & hand warmers — these had all been made possible by ACG’s R&D, but they wanted to take the idea one step further.

Using IoT technology, ACG had an opportunity to stake a claim in the “smart” space: to give customers app control over the specific heat of their devices, send in-app battery life updates, and sync upcoming weather reports with reminders to get the device charged up.

Two hands, two feet, one app.

ACG brought in the Cheesecake Labs team to fill a capabilities gap and bring THAW to life. ACG had worked previously with another digital design agency — the basis of the app was there. Still, the user flow, user interface, and, most importantly, the IoT elements hadn’t been thoroughly thought through.

How do you ensure a seamless connection between one app and two devices simultaneously?

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This was a crucial challenge because hand warmers and smart in-soles make up most of THAW’s product range. Users have two feet to keep warm when snowboarding, two hands, and ten fingers to heat on an all-day fishing trip. What if you want one foot to stay warmer than the other? How can you monitor the battery life of each glove separately?

Cheesecake Labs used Flutter to apply a best practice approach to the design and development challenges, creating synchronous and asynchronous communication between the app and its devices as and when it’s needed.

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Personalized settings.

We knew that a personal warmth experience needed to be just that: personal.

The Cheesecake Labs development team worked hard to ensure users could set their ideal temperature for each device right down to the degree (in Fahrenheit and Celcius). We also built in a choice of weather update and battery life notifications.

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Localized forecasts.

IoT allows us to link up any number of internet-connected devices to deliver the most delightful (and useful) digital experiences possible. What else do users need to get the most out of their THAW app?

We synced local weather forecasts into the app. This way, users could not just check the weather for the days they plan to be outside, but the app could push through notifications to warn users of changing conditions and remind them to charge up their in-soles, hand warmers, or seat pad.

We're so excited to see this IoT application break new ground.

Between now and then, Cheesecake Labs will continue optimizing the experience by enhancing the weather integration, adding facial id and so on.

THAW will officially launch at retail in late summer 2022, just in time for the winter season.

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