We’re excited to highlight Rex Specs™ in the first installment of Voodoo’s Customer Spotlight series. This new series will explore the inspiring stories and product development processes behind some of our most innovative customers.
Launched in December 2014, Rex Specs has been creating the most durable, reliable, and functional protective dog eyewear available. Simply put, it’s eye protection for the active dog.
From basking in the sun to extreme sports in the snow, harmful UV rays and debris take a heavy toll on our eyes. It’s not only human eyes that are affected, though – our canine companions also struggle in harsh outdoor conditions, often with long-lasting effects.
When extended UV exposure started affecting Yaz and Tuckerman’s eyes, limiting the amount of time they could spend outside, their humans Aiden and Jesse Emilo went in search of a solution. The duo tested out multiple brands of dog goggles, but none were able to keep up with their canines’ active lifestyle. Refusing to limit their family’s outdoor activities, the Emilos set off on a product development journey to create the first protective goggles designed specifically for working and active dogs.
Time = Money a.k.a. Speeding Up Product Development
Given that the Emilos reside in a ski town, it was only natural that the first version of the soon-to-become Rex Specs goggles were made primarily from deconstructed human ski goggles. While out field testing their initial homemade prototypes, the goggles attracted a variety of supportive comments, compliments, and even the couple’s first customers. Having identified an underserved market, this outside encouragement led the Emilos to bring on a product designer and create the first official Rex Specs prototypes.
As the company’s momentum continued to pick up, the Rex Specs team found itself facing a bottleneck that’s all too common during product development: slow iteration cycles. The prototyping services that the team originally used took far too long – over 2 weeks – to deliver a single pair of goggles, and cost upward of $300 per pair. Never the type to be complacent, the team sought out a prototyping service that could keep up with its fast-moving product development cycle.
With speed, quality, and affordability in mind, the Rex Specs team settled on Voodoo’s Direct Print service to meet its rapid prototyping needs. In fact, by using Direct Print to 3D print its prototypes, the Rex Specs team has been able to double its product development cycle speed at a fraction of the previous cost to produce its prototypes.
From Prototype to Finished Product (“Paw-duct”?)
Of course, creating a 3D printed prototype is just one step along the path to making a finished product. After iterating through a number of versions, the Rex Specs team completes a final round of testing using a batch of production samples. Once the samples are deemed acceptable, the goggles then move on to a full production run and are mass manufactured using injection molding.
Meanwhile, the Rex Specs marketing engine shifts into full gear: photoshoots are arranged, the company’s website is updated, and a range of marketing campaigns are prepped in anticipation of the launch.
The Dog Days are Here to Stay
Hands (or paws) down, Rex Specs is spearheading its way to becoming the highest quality protective animal goggles on the market. Thanks to Rex Specs, active dog-owning families can rest easy knowing their pets’ eyes are safe while out hunting, boating, fishing, hiking, or enjoying a range of other outdoor activities. The Rex Specs footprint extends beyond outdoor family fun, too. Currently, the company’s goggles are being used by the U.S. Military, Coast Guard, and police to protect working dogs’ eyes from UV rays and flying debris while on duty.
So, what’s next for Rex Specs? This year, the company plans to expand the Rex Specs line to include a wider range of goggles that can comfortably accommodate dogs of all shapes and sizes. These new goggles are expected to be available either later this year or early next year, and they’ll make the perfect holiday gift for any important pup in your life.
For more information on Rex Specs™, you can visit the company’s website here.