Emie is a design-oriented electronics company headquartered in Shenzhen, China – just north of Hong Kong. Since they were founded in 2011, they have gained widespread recognition in China and started working to break into the global marketplace in 2014. One of their earliest missions was to fight the perception of Chinese manufacturing as cheap and unoriginal by offering innovative, original designs such as the ELFY Smart Lamp.
Emie has products across a range of categories, including power banks, audio players, smart wearable devices, and digital accessories. Their products are created to give customers a personal and technologically advanced user experience. They are dedicated to building an emotional connection between people and their products.
The name Emie comes from the statement “I am me” and the idea that they want to help people understand who they are. Their products are designed with personality to help customers express themselves. Their designs have won numerous awards, including the 2015 Golden Pin Design Award, which celebrates innovative designs created within the Chinese community.
The ELFY Smart Lamp is one of Emie’s star products. ELFY is a touch-based lamp made from food-grade silicone. It is soft and bouncy to touch, and rests comfortably in the palm of your hand. ELFY is full of personality and charm, and acts as a sort of companion that you can play with by squeezing or tapping it. It has a soft, squishy exterior which can help release stress or be used as a toy, and the light itself is soft and warm. With the name, they thought of fairies and elves. They decided to add a “Y” at the end for easier pronunciation and extra cuteness.
ELFY changes color when you tap on it or when it’s controlled via smartphone app. Originally, the design came about after a proposal from wearable manufacturer Bong for Emie to create a smart lamp that could be controlled via wearable band. The partnership ended up falling through, but Emie continued to work with the idea of creating a light that was a warm, life-like companion. The app was created to enhance the product without overriding the design with advanced technology.
ELFY’s design was inspired by the movie Big Hero 6 that was currently playing in theaters. Emie designer Jack Mai wanted to create a character that was warm-hearted, intelligent, and “adorkable” just like Baymax from the movie. From there, he was also inspired by the image of a ghost. Ghosts often come out at night, at the same time lamps are often used. Emie’s signature minimalist design was important to carry through into ELFY. The design is environmentally conscientious and does not use any batteries.
They chose to create an egg-shell case to carry on the life-like nature of ELFY. With all of their designs, they try to focus on recyclable materials and add practical functions. With the ball-like case, they added a slot to enable people to reuse it as a piggy bank.
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