Serendipitous Surprises

CompassGo is the result of an intense internal competition among all the global studios at frog focusing on wearable products.

It started with an in-house competition at every studio where individual designers detailed their concepts. After a global voting session, the best concept from each studio was executed in detail and presented to the world.

CompassGo is frog Milan‘s contribution.

With Big Data come Big Predictions

In today’s connected world we don’t discover, we pre-Google.
 Where is the adventure? Not knowing where you end up, finding the unknown.

For those of you looking for unexpected occurrences, new experiences, the unpredictable, yet pleasantly surprising, there is CompassGo. With all the big data we own, come serendipitous predictions.

CompassGo is a special compass that makes predictions based on where you should go next. A hidden restaurant? Uncharted nature? A super-secret winery? Some unexplored clothing shop? More relaxation? CompassGo takes you for an adventure to a place and experience unknown.

Serendipity has never looked this good.

The Product

Just Five Steps

An overview of the five forms of interaction involved with getting CompassGo to guide you to your tailored experience.

Get a Grip

Pick up and hold the CompassGo to switch it on. It connects to your smartphone for your personal semantic data, history of experiences, and specifically the GPS for your current location. And, with a good grasp, it will take a measurement of your relax/stress levels, using galvanic skin response sensors.

Tailored Category

Within seconds it will present you with a category based on your current mood, location and time of day. Culture? Food? Relaxation? Whatever it thinks suits your present needs. Don’t like the category? Just shake to change. Feel comfortable with the category, in this case Culture? Just squeeze to advance.

Follow that Bearing

Ready to go? Follow the compass bearing, using your preferred method of transportation. CompassGo will guide you to your new location and experience, always no more than a kilometre away.

Getting Closer

When you get closer the CompassGo will start sending of subtle vibrations, growing in intensity. And when you finally arrive at your location it presents the flag pointing towards the end of one journey, and the beginning of another.

Enjoy your Experience

Time to experience whatever is being presented to you. In this case a well-hidden yet aesthetically-pleasing Milanese church.
The CompassGo will update your preferences depending on your time of stay intended for that location. With the back-end taking care of all the possible locations and you taking care of your preferences, the CompassGo is constantly improving itself to better tailor the next new thing for you.

The Design

The CompassGo is designed as a small treasurable object just for you. It uses a glossy plastic back shell with a soft touch patch in the middle for grip. One small bolt connects it to the main part of the product. With the curvature it fits comfortable in your hand, just like a pebble. Its accentuated edge provides the feeling of reassurance when held.

The back shell has four protrusions for the galvanic skin response sensors. These 2×2 conductive cylinders (two for redundancy) touch your palm and measure skin conductivity. Relative to your baseline measurements, it will calculate an estimated relax/stress level that will among other variables define the proposed category.

A steel ring separates the main body from the curved Gorilla Glass front that houses the colour E-ink display. And other than the sensors, there is nothing that provides the sense of a preferred direction: CompassGo is 360° compatible.

360° Lanyard

Prefer to safely carry it around? Enter a magnetically-attachable lanyard. It connects 360° around the CompassGo, snapping into place using a strong Neodymium magnet.


CompassGo can become more tailored and personal, adapting to your style. The back shell can be replaced with a large myriad of versions. Not only do they vary on colour, material and finish, they deploy a set of textures each with a different sensation of touch.

More importantly, the front display will adapt its colour depending on whatever shell you attach in the back, by reading a small marker on the inside. Blue cover? Blue bearing needle.

In order to showcase some examples of what this customisation could result in, three examples were constructed in combination with a “knolling” shot of products belonging to that category of people.

The Flashy Teen

The Neat Businessman

The Rugged Traveler

CompassGo Team

CompassGo is a collaborative effort created conceptually and lead by Jan van der Asdonk, involving the following people from the frog Milan studio, in alphabetical order, with various influences and effort: Andrea Besana, Andreas Markdalen, James Luther, Jasper Dekker, Marco LaMantia, Mariano Gucchi, Matteo Penzo, Nicolas Lenotte, Oskar Göransson, Roberta Tassi, and Thomas Sutton.


completed in: January, 2013
time spent on project: any hours left over in between client projects
stakeholders: frog
links: documented in frog’s Mobile Ecosystems Evolving booklet (p53), presented in frog’s Wearable Technology and the Connected City deck, blogged at FastCoDesign, the PSFK Conference blog, at CNET news, in Credit Suisse’s Equity Research report of May 2013 (p43), in the AI Innovation Lab’s Emerging Tech Scrapbook, at The Wall Street Journal, at HotDigitalNews, at Numrush, at Phablet-Info, and at the Looks Feels Works blog.

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