【Bone Design】The Design Evolution: Bone & Bubble

How did the concept of "Bone" and "Bubble" evolve and become the signature design of Bone Collection?

The Design Evolution: Bone & Bubble

Bone Bubble Case in the video of the Verge

Videos about technology are quite common nowadays, but what attracts us is the bubble case they used in the one and a half minutes long clip. The idea of the bubble case was generated in 2004 (Bone Collection was not yet founded). We had the idea of designing cases and accessories for Apple iPod mini (It is another story to tell). During that time, we had designed and made several models, but we were not confident nor connect with the products. Until one day, we noticed the interesting organic form of the actual bone, and that was how we start the whole designing process.

On 11 January 2005, Apple launched the first generation of iPod Shuffle, which inspired us to put the form of the bone into the design for iPod Shuffle. It was exciting to see on the 3D layout how the entire idea came to be!

Shuffle Doggy for iPod Shuffle 2005
Loss-free Design Note: iPod Shuffle is the MP3 player that Apple launched on 11 January 2005.

The usage of iPod required earphones, charging cable and other cables, thus how to manage those cables became an important issue for the iPod users. Because we were so fascinated by the organic form of bone, we decided to continue this idea on the earphone winder -- “Bone Wrap” was born. The Bone Wrap has a hole and a notch to keep the cables in place, and the body of the Bone Wrap serves as the perfect winder. Every feature of the bone was put into a specific use.

Bone Wrap 2005

When those bone products were ready to launch, we got in contact with some retailers. A proper product that sells in stores must have other things such as, packing and brand logo. Since all our products at that time were inspired by the shape of a bone, we applied the same concept to the brand name and logo as well. In 2005, we established the brand, “Bone Collection” in Taiwan.

The Shuffle Doggy case for iPod Shuffle was a hit, therefore we moved on to combine the USB drivers with the shape of a bone. The design was made of inner and outer sleeves to prevent the loss of the USB cover; the design had obtained patents in 16 different countries.

Doggy Driver 2006

When we tried to apply the same idea on phone cases for the iPhone, but the screen size became an issue, and this exact issue had led us to the “Bubble” design. It is called “Bubble” because of its distinct semi-closed pockets to prevent the external force to the smartphones. The semi-closed air pockets not only fit the phone tightly, but they also protect the smartphone from external impact as the semi-closed air pockets serve as a buffer to decrease the shock. We once tested the phone with a bubble case by dropping it while biking, and the smartphone was perfectly fine! This is how the origin of the Bone Bubble Case.

Phone Bubble for iPhone 2007

We also extended the concept of bubble on Apple iPod Nano in 2008. Nano Bubble 4 had the dalmatian pattern to add some cute elements to the design.

Nano 4 Bubble for iPod Nano 4 2008

In 2012, iPhone 5 was launched. We added “Bone Charm” to our bubble cases for iPhone to make good use of the original Bone characters we developed over the years. The adorable Bone characters became the new home button for the iPhone. The illustration below is Phone Bubble 5 with the signature character of Bone Collection, “Maru Penguin”.

Phone Bubble for iPhone 5 2012

Apple added a new feature, Touch ID on iPhone 5S, we couldn’t use the Bone Charm on the home button anymore. But a new idea hit us, why not put the Bone Charm to the back of the phone? When iPhone 6 was introduced in 2014, we moved the Bone Charm design to the back. Users now could show their favorite characters to the public. This version of the bubble case became quite popular among the customers, as well as some celebrities.

Phone Bubble for iPhone 6 2014

Later on, we wanted to create a more convenient experience by giving the customers a hands-free experience. We connected the iPhone case with a neck lanyard; users could use the neck lanyard instead of holding the phone all the time.

Phone Bubble for iPhone 6s 2014

We continue to create and innovate with the trends and from the experience. For iPhone 7, we attached a frosted PC shell on the original bubble case to enhance cohesion. Phone Bubble 7 has a strap hole to install neck lanyard or wrist strap, as well as Bone Charm design.

Phone Bubble for iPhone 7 2016

Ten years after iPhone’s debut, Apple introduced iPhone X, an all-screen iPhone. We kept the concept of frosted PC shell. Besides, the iPhone X case has spaces to hold a phone ring holder and a Bone Charm; letting the customers create their unique phone cases.

iPhone Bubble for iPhone X 2017

In 2018, Apple introduced iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR successively. However, we decided to go back and use only silicone, to be more eco-friendly. Meanwhile, we developed various silicone phone accessories for users of different needs.

Bubble Design since 2005(illustration below)

Since 2005
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