Product Feature: Soft-Launching the Ohm Core to an Enthusiastic Audience
As advocates for localized manufacturing, it made perfect sense for Alchemy Industrial to partner with Urban Electric Power (UEP) on their first residential product: the Ohm Core.
A first in its category, the Ohm Core connects to the existing power grid, utilizing rechargeable alkaline cells to provide reliable backup energy storage to homes. With utility scale on the horizon, UEP was eager to soft-launch the Ohm Core at May’s Clean Power 2022 trade show—and Alchemy Industrial was on board to make it possible.
Innovating with Urban Electric Power
Made with common, non-toxic minerals, UEP’s alkaline battery technology was embraced by Con Edison in New York, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and a prominent San Diego data center, all before receiving the 2019 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award from the Environmental Protection Agency and attaining the UL testing standard for fire safety in 2021.
UEP’s game-changing technology will soon hit the residential market as Ohm Core, a “safer, less expensive, and longer-lasting battery storage” solution that’s scalable, modular, and solar-friendly.
Creating the Ohm Core Conceptual Model
With our product development services contracted to build alpha and beta prototypes of the Ohm Core, Alchemy Industrial led UEP through the Discovery process and recently completed the product’s technical requirements. But a physical model did not yet exist.
Clean Power 2022 was only three weeks away when we learned of UEP’s desire to introduce the Ohm Core to the expo’s 6,000+ attendees. Armed with the freshly completed technical requirements, we got to work creating a conceptual display, which involved machining, fabricating, powder coating, and assembling.
As big as a large adult, the Ohm Core is a sizable-yet-sleek battery pack contained within a shiny white shell. The status indicator, a glowing ring, adorns the enclosure’s front.
Though the conceptual model would not be operational, we still wanted the status indicator to glow, so we modified the LED ring to bring some fun to the show floor. With a remote control, the UEP team could set the lights to pulse, strobe, or flash as attendees walked by—a feature that proved a hit for drawing the attention of attendees!
We positioned additional LEDs to highlight the periphery of the device for bonus visual appeal, mounting them to a display board we built to sit behind the model that showcased the product’s specifications.
Finally, we hand-delivered the display from our Houston headquarters to the show floor in San Antonio.
In fewer than 21 days, we had turned a marketing illustration into a high-impact physical representation of the final Ohm Core.
Successfully Soft-Launching the Ohm Core
Amidst the numerous product announcements that UEP made from their trade show space, a steady stream of people approached the Ohm Core display with intense curiosity. The towering model drew nonstop attention and enabled near-constant engagement with trade show guests, whose interest was further piqued when they learned what the Ohm Core was designed to do.
The outside shell of a nonworking conceptual model empowered UEP to soft-launch their product and obtain valuable feedback from prospective buyers before pre-sales had even started.
In Praise of the Soft Launch
The value of a conceptual model extends far beyond the “oohs” and “aahs” of an audience. Without investing a single dollar into the Ohm Core’s inner components, UEP gained priceless insight into the product’s market appeal and brought the results of that unofficial market research back to our team at Alchemy Industrial.
As a result of UEP’s expo interactions, our product development services crew was able to engage in new, design-level discussions that will undoubtedly lead to an even more impressive final product.
While the audience response was outstanding, another gratifying response occurred during setup. Before the show had even started, UEP’s co-founder remarked, somewhat emotionally, that it was the first time any of their team had seen the residential concept brought to life.
There’s nothing quite like seeing your idea, tangible and (in this case) glowing in front of you. It’s better than a CAD model, better than an animation, and leaps and bounds better than any original notepad sketches.
For now, the model remains on display in UEP’s conference room until the next trade show rolls around. It’s a conversation piece in the office, and it’s bound to get people talking at the next expo. After all, who doesn’t love an enormous, earth-saving battery-in-a-box with party lights?
Request a quote for your own product development services! We can’t promise flashing lights, but they’re not off the table, either.