designed to save lives

This is one of our favourite case studies and a truly noble pursuit. We were approached by Empatica to help turn a research product that was already showing promise in detecting epileptic seizures, into a mass produced device children and adults want to wear. This critical mission wasn't just about creating a pretty wearable, but about solving a complex user compliance issue that hindered how effectively we help people living with epilepsy. We immediately understood that perception and wearability were so important that we had to bend physics slightly to make Embrace possible.  Embrace is now the first smartwatch to have FDA clearance, and is helping children and adults live a better life with epilepsy.

  • Year:
  • 2014–2015

Smartwatch designed to alert to an upcoming epileptic seizure

Empower, not embarrass

In order to help people living with epilepsy, first we have to get them to wear the technology. This is not an easy task. When devices are associated with a serious condition, users tend to feel uneasy about their own association with the stigma. They tend to be embarrassed because they feel the device marks them. Instead of making an “epilepsy device” we thought we should make a device everyone can enjoy. We created a really cool smart watch, targeted at general audience. A gorgeous watch for you, a device designed to save lives of those living with epilepsy.

Simply a watch

There is nothing unnecessary on Embrace. Touch it to see the time, enjoy it on your wrist. Simple. When it needs to alert you, it will. For more health data, check your phone. No alerts that your phone has something to tell you.

Fits everyone

We really wanted the technology to disappear into a watch so slim and so subtle that it fits everyone. We created a unique proportion, using the band to visually split top and bottom elements and trick the eye into believing the device is only 4 millimetres thin. This, coupled with a tiny footprint makes for a watch adults can wear on their wrist, and children can wear on their ankle. Adults fasten the band with a quick tap on the wrist and infinitely adjust using a magnet. Children get a stretchy, soft band.

“an epilepsy tracker so beautiful, it could
be sold in an apple store”

world’s first FDA approved smartwatch

“the ultra thin embrace is the culmination
of several years of research”

Embrace comes with a child band for the little ones

“seizure-detecting smartwatch
could save lives”

Empatica logo refinement and brand identity

Empatica logo refinement and
brand identity

Embrace naming, logo & packaging

Embrace naming,
logo & packaging

“the embrace has the slickness of a jawbone up
and the brains of a PhD student”

“the embrace has the slickness
of a jawbone up and the brains
of a PhD student”


  • Strategy and Creative Direction:
  • ––– Mladen Barbaric
  • ––– Minkyu Choi
  • Industrial Design:
  • ––– Minkyu Choi
  • ––– Minsung Bae
  • ––– Kisae Kim
  • Mechanical Engineering:
  • ––– Sungmoon Kim
  • ––– Bonggeun Kim
  • ––– Showme Chen
  • Art Direction:
  • ––– Denis Olenik
  • Graphic Design:
  • ––– Denis Olenik
  • ––– Olga Pechanko
  • CGI And Photography:
  • ––– Den Brooks
  • Project Management:
  • ––– Boris Barbaric
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