The Cord Roll

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  • 2016

  • Product Design
    Housewares and Objects

Designed By:

  • Shane Thompson

Commissioned By:

Afternoons with Albert

Designed In:

Australia

Whether you’re navigating the concrete pathways of the urban landscape or getting lost off the beaten track, live life untangled with The Cord Roll – a simple, intuitive way to keep earphones, charging cables and all of life’s necessities safe and organised in one easy to find spot.


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  • The overriding theme that guided the genesis of The Cord Roll is intuitive design in both form & function. Its form communicates its function so clearly that the how-to manual doesn't need to exist. In today's hyper-connected world, we all have a smartphone & we are all constantly on the move. This drives a key consumer need; to have a phone that is charged. The Cord Roll's design ensures that the cables & earphones you need are always carried, always secured, & always free from entanglement with one another (and your keys, expensive sunglasses & personal items). The tactile, easily identifiable shape of The Cord Roll means it's easily and quickly found in the darkness of a backpack, handbag or gym bag.

  • Simplicity was the critical design rule and The Cord Roll's highest virtue during development. The relationship between the form of the Roll and the leather it is crafted from puts to use that physical principle that as a pilot I am usually happy to do away with - friction. This seamless interplay complements both aspects, culminating in a design that does its job in an effortless, selfless manner. The logical, intuitive nature of its form also cuts through language barriers - a nod to the trueness of a design that combats a global problem head on, replete with style.

  • The Cord Roll is designed to include as few points of failure as possible. It has a very natural flow of use and, owing to the upholstery-grade thread & points of hand-stitching, a generational lifetime can be expected. Leather was chosen as it ages beautifully and tells a story. For a travel accessory this was ideal. It also addressed the requirement to be minimal in nature, removing the need for hemming as leather does not fray. Finally, it is extremely durable, which addressed the important requirements of integrity and longevity.

  • The carrying capacity of The Cord Roll can be changed by moving the metal locking post to any one of 15 different locations, allowing the diameter of the rolled-up Roll to vary as the users' carrying requirements change. Thought was also given to the future, and Cord Rollers will be pleased know that they are future-proofed against Apple's much touted (cord free) Bluetooth earbuds - one end of the Cord Roll has a zipper pocket lined with soft cotton for keeping small, more precious items safe and secure.

    An artistic user recently sent us a picture of his Cord Roll being used to store his coloured pencils. A doctor has his Cord Roll set up to carry everything he needs to administer a Cortisone injection. Many female users are satisfying their organisational desires by using their Cord Rolls to store much needed, on the go items such as hand creams, hair ties and jewellery. A soon to be released removable pocket will add to this experience for all users, allowing them to keep watches, lip balms, pain killers and any number of everyday “I need that now” type items consistently on hand and ready to use.

    Proving that tech doesn't have to be nerdy, The Cord Roll has already featured in a host of Men's and Women's style blogs, as well as magazines as diverse as Australian Traveller, The QANTAS Magazine, Delicious Magazine, Money Magazine, and Broadsheet - to name a few. It is an elegant solution to a global frustration - solving a daily issue for men and women alike. It looks good and customers are proud to be adding it to their daily carry.

    Presenting their findings in the paper “Spontaneous Knotting of an Agitated String”*, two scientists from the University of California at San Diego discovered that the tangle phenomenon is closely related to Tangle Theory, a subcategory of Knot Theory, which most likely has something to do with Chaos Theory. No wonder it frustrated us - and why someone needed to solve the problem. *http://www.pnas.org/content/104/42/16432.full