Lelo Hex (Reengineered Latex Condoms) by Steve Thomson
2016 - 2017, Golden A' Design Quality and Innovation
When we realized there had been no progress in condom technology for decades, a fact which was contributing to a record-breaking rise in STIs, we felt it was our responsibility to make a radical difference to the perception of condoms – by totally reengineering the condom itself. We have a heritage of luxury and design excellence, and we turned it to the condom to make sure people had access to great safe sex. Where others had failed, we knew we could succeed.
LELO HEX is the first condom that delivers strength, thinness and sensation through a reengineered structure. By designing an integrated network of hexagonal cells into a pre-existing and pre-approved material, we were able to keep the latex ultra-thin and truly offer the customer an experience that’s as pleasurable as it is safe. HEX took seven years to develop, and helps to fight slippage, increase sensation and enhance strength while keeping the material incredibly lightweight.
Design Challenges
The challenge from a historical standpoint was to urge the condom industry out of a state of inertia and into a state of animation. This came at the cost of hostility from big, existing brands, who very early on were accessing and monitoring our patent applications, and seeking to puncture our early momentum by challenging various trademarks and design innovations. The condom industry is highly competitive, monopolized by a handful of monolithic brands keen to suppress challengers before they can establish themselves. Overcoming those obstacles proved to be one of the biggest difficulties.
Production Technology
To create the unique system of individual hexagonal cells, LELO had to invent the production process from scratch, as well as develop the glass molds. But more complex was perfecting the design of the condom itself. Too many or too few hexagonal connectors resulted in instability. We went through hundreds of iterations before settling on the ideal number of individual cells: 350.
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