One of the biggest concerns of people when traveling to countries where they do not speak their language is to be able to communicate. Maybe you remember that t-shirt that got crazy famous a few months ago, the one that showed you a series of useful symbols when traveling, precisely to end or minimise this fear.
Now there is a new product based on the famous shirt but, in my opinion, far surpasses it. I’m talking about HELP, a silicone bracelet that has 14 universal symbols that we commonly use when traveling, designed by a Chilean travel blogger called Francesca Norero, whom I contacted to tell us details of her innovative product.
How did you come up with this idea?
I was inspired by the t-shirt invented by 3 Swiss boys, called Iconspeak, which has 40 icons on the front for you to communicate indicating what you are looking for. I thought it was a great idea, but I thought is hard to use the same t-shirt every day when you are travelling because it takes up more space, you have to wash it constantly. Also, I found that 40 icons were too much.
What problem does it solve?
I think it’s a simple way to break the language barrier and give the traveler a sense of security. If you require something in particular, you will be able to request it, no matter where in the world you are. Just indicate on your bracelet what you need.
In addition, unlike the T-shirt, it is an accessory that you don’t need to take away during your trip.
The product created by Francesca Norero is a resistant, comfortable and durable silicone bracelet that has 14 universal symbols of things and services that we usually need when traveling, such as accommodation, food, hospital, bathroom, police, currency exchange, transportation, ATM, wifi, plug / socket, etc. It was made in 7 bright colours, for every taste.
How was the creation process?
Once the need was defined, I surveyed travelers from different countries to define which things they need the most when traveling. From there I defined the 14 final icons, and then showed them to a large number of people to check the universality of the symbology used.
Finally I selected the colours in which the bracelets were going to be made and together with a designer we made the packaging that emphasised the friendliness of the product. I’m very satisfied with the final result.