Hear the name “Alexa” today and you likely don’t think about a human but instead a smart home device and ecosystem created by Amazon. It has made its way into the modern day vernacular in the way many other brands have done (Kleenex, Xerox, etc.) While this product was developed by and for Amazon, the company started out as a retailer, not a product development business. The success of Alexa should be a prime example for other vertical businesses — such as hospitality, Quick Serve Restaurants (QSRs), big box retailers, auto rental companies, OEM companies, and commercial and residential developers — looking for ways to be more innovative, grow the brand and create new revenue streams, to consider bringing smart electronic product design and development in-house.

by Nathan Donato-WeinsteinSJECONOMY.COM

 

Perched in a display case inside the downtown San José office of Surfaceink is a hit parade of consumer electronics: Palm devices, Apple iPhones, Amazon Kindles, and  enough routers, printers – even a few toys – to stock a Fry’s megastore.

 

Eric Bauswell

Founder and CEO

Eric began his career designing tractor mowers for Textron before landing in Silicon Valley where he was motivated by the challenge of fast-paced and industry leading design at Apple. As surfaceink grew, Eric expanded surfaceink to develop products for Palm, Flextronics, and Dell to name a few. He continues to be motivated by the creative challenges from Fortune 100 companies and emerging high-tech startups.

 

Chris Whittall

Director of Industrial Design

Chris works to ensure that client goals are realized through attractive and innovative design solutions. With over 20 years of experience as an industrial designer, Chris enjoys transforming complex technical challenges into beautiful and intuitive product solutions that deliver solid business results. Before joining surfaceink, Chris worked at Speck Design, Whipsaw, HP, Montgomery Pfeifer and GVO. Chris holds 45 U.S. design patents, and his work has been recognized by IDEA, Red Dot, Spark, IF, Chicago Athenaeum and Popular Mechanics.

 

Geoff Chatterton

Vice President of Software Engineering

Geoff is surfaceink’s VP of Software, and he loves seeing his award-winning products, including an Emmy and three times Best of CES, in the hands of millions of people around the world. With a focus on creating cutting-edge consumer experiences, his career has spanned 20 years across a mix of successful startups and top tier established companies including Apple, Dell, and PayPal. A recognized industry innovator, Geoff earned his undergraduate degree from MIT and has over 80 patents issued or pending.