popSLATE 2 hardware and app


Prototype of IOS App & e-ink accessory


popSLATE made waves with its v1 hardware product, a Bluetooth case for the iPhone that featured an e-ink screen on its back to display animations and artwork. With its v2 revamp, the product was to be a lightning-powered hardware case that doubled as a battery extender and an e-ink reader on the back. Building on the v1 technology, the iOS app was to introduce the option of a customizable dashboard, several widgets, feeds, and more. The project doubled as an app on the iOS side and on the display side of the hardware, which presented solving the problem from both the customization experience as well as how it rendered as a polished design in e-ink.

Product Objectives

  • Design workflow for account creation
  • Design iOS interface allowing for customization of up to 5 screens to be transmitted to attached hardware product
  • Design workflow for each of 8 mini-apps to customize content
  • Present layouts of user-specified content on PS2 hardware accessory using 16 levels of gray via e-ink display
  • Manage processor demand against rich, skeumorphic visual experiences
  • Sound design, sourcing, and audio library generation for device presets
  • Integrate third-party SDKs to synchronize third-party iPad apps to broaden product appeal
  • Incorporate expanded capabilities such as Apple’s Inter-App Audio (IAA) technology as part of Retronyms’ future product roadmap

(Due to manufacturing and engineering issues, despite a successful crowdfunding campaign, the PS2 product was canceled. These comps represent the design of the experience that would have otherwise shipped with the product.)

iPhone App


The final deliverable document for the popSLATE 2 app included numerous use cases and workflows for various conditions. It covered the user experience for the app itself as well as 8 applets within and a series of dashboard widgets.

popSLATE 2 Wireframe excerpt, create account
popSLATE 2 Wireframe excerpt, onboarding
popSLATE 2 Wireframe excerpt, reorder views
popSLATE 2 Wireframe excerpt, select dashboard
popSLATE 2 Wireframe excerpt, stocks widget
popSLATE 2 Wireframe excerpt, weather widget
popSLATE 2 Wireframe excerpt, photos workflow
popSLATE 2 Wireframe excerpt, feeds workflow

VX Design

For the look and feel, the app was to have a more minimalist approach, primarily a utility for the purposes of customizing the experience on the back screen of the popSLATE hardware.

popSLATE iOS app, empty home view
popSLATE iOS app, reorder views
popSLATE iOS app, select dashboard template
popSLATE iOS app, new dashboard template
popSLATE iOS app, weather widget
popSLATE iOS app, select feed source

PopSlate 2 Display

The popSLATE 2 screen was to display content using 16 shades of gray e-ink. The display defaulted to dark on light but allowed for inverting to a dark mode. Users would toggle through screens using the touch controls on the bottom of the display. Content options for display on the popSLATE 2 included a modular dashboard, feeds for weather, stocks, news, sports scores, e-books, photos, lists, and more.

popSlate 2 devices side by side popSlate 2 displaying NY Times feed popSlate 2 with populated dashboard popSlate 2 with full-screen photo