How do ideas become realities?
It’s one of the questions we ask ourselves when we come across a truly inventive product that changes the game. Spark Innovations is a key player when it comes to the development and execution of products that affect how we work and play.
Located in King City, Ont., Spark Innovations is an award-winning product design company that specializes in developing a host of innovative products. “Since our founding in 1989, Spark Innovation’s team of industrial and mechanical designers has taken thousands of products from the early stages of an idea to the mass market,” says co-owner Gary Vilinsky, the company’s CFO and director of business development. (His co-owner is Chris Pearen, the president and design director.) “Our designers work closely with our clients on product development, strategy, product management, manufacturing, patents and logistics. We help companies and individual investors identify, visualize and communicate product design opportunities to create revenue. In short, we generate innovation that matters for our clients, and the world.” The company’s team has worked on a variety of cool projects, from kitchenware to industrial equipment. “Our strategic design development process has resulted in more than 200 US patents issued.”
Taking a product from concept to market is quite the process. Designing a product is more than coming up with a great idea. The Spark Innovations team works hard to improve the quality of an existing or new product, enhancing it so the consumer has the best possible experience. The process starts with research — gathering information about the idea and the problem it solves. At this stage there’s plenty of brainstorming, market research and focus groups. Once the team has a good idea in terms of design, they study how the consumer will interact with the design, ensuring the product ultimately works the way it’s supposed to. Aesthetics and styling comes next, which means there’s sketching, 3D modelling and prototyping. Eventually, some ideas are patented and mock-ups are made so the team can interact with the product. The team even works on the packaging. When it comes to what Spark Innovations is working on now, they’re excited about a project that focuses on a number of environmental considerations. “It’s a mini-vending machine to dispense laundry detergent sheets. It’s in field testing at a couple of universities. The refill station is designed to eliminate packaging for laundry detergent in high-density living environments,” says Vilinsky. “The detergent is dispensed as dry concentrated sheets, so this also eliminates transportation of water that typically makes up the majority of liquid detergents.”