Consumer Innovation Shout Out: The BMWxTNF Collab Camper

Innovation thrives in the presence of divergent perspectives, creative capability and engineering mastery. For many leading organizations the search for this elusive formula has fueled strategic investments in cross-industry collaboration models. These “multiparty innovation programs,” as HBR refers to them, often result in novel and unlikely partnerships that expand new product development beyond adjacencies and current capabilities into wholly new markets previously inaccessible to either organization. Enter the FutureLight camper concept.

Debuted this month at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the FutureLight camper is the brainchild of an unexpected collaboration between the innovation teams at The North Face and BMW’s Designworks Group. The ultra-lightweight performance concept was created to showcase the flexibility of a groundbreaking new nano-fabric called FutureLight which NorthFace claims will offer unparalleled breathability and waterproofing qualities in the most extreme outdoor conditions.

The project was inspired by BMW’s revolutionary 2008 GINA concept roadster, which featured a similar a textile over wireframe design, but takes the innovation to a whole new dimension, literally.

The concept design, development and demonstration were all conducted in an virtual 3D environment that allowed the team, and a few lucky CES attendees, to experience the camper in an immersive simulated environment without the hassle of braving the elements for themselves!

While this camper is a mere concept for now, consumers will be able to get their hands on this state-of-the-art new material when FutureLight rolls out across The North Face’s pinnacle performance collection later this year.

Until then, I’d like to shout out to the teams at The North Face and BMW for pushing the boundaries of cross-industry collaboration, advanced nano-manufacturing, high-performance material innovation and 3D digital product creation. Keep up the good work and stay warm out there!


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