Mesh01 is branching out.
The Portsmouth, N.H.-based company, which specializes in crowdsourcing shoe designs for companies such as Reebok, Under Armour and Hi-Tec, has debuted a new feature on its online platform: wear testing.
“We’ve seen the benefits of access to a large Web-based community of wear testers, and we’ve gained efficiencies in data collection and analysis,” said Chris Adam, Timberland’s senior manager of technology research and development, who noted that utilizing Mesh01 has helped lessen the workload in the design process.
Similar to its co-creation program, Mesh01’s community of wear testers is outsourced to brands looking to evaluate products before they hit the market. Wear testers’ findings are recorded through Mesh01’s online platform and then reported directly to the manufacturers. The service costs an average of $2,000 per project.
Mesh01 CEO Brian Bednarek said hopes acceptance of the newly launched feature will grow on pace with the company’s design platform, launched in 2010. Mesh01’s community of designers is made up of more than 5,600 people in industries such as footwear, apparel and automotive.
Currently, Mesh01 has a group of approximately 1,300 wear testers, and Bednarek noted the company is working with its partners to further develop the platform. “The number of testers will grow over time. As the program evolves, we’re gathering metrics on each of the testers to make sure they’re reliable and offering the most useful information.”
Timberland is one of the first footwear brands to wear test its products through the online platform, and the brand already is working with Mesh01 on future projects.
“We initially ran two trials to understand how the site worked and to gain an understanding of the benefits,” Adam said. “Based on the success of those trials, we have initiated a larger-scale wear test to look at the performance of several materials updates on one of Timberland’s core products.”