Nielsen Innovation, the engineering and design firm founded by Henrik Nielsen, launched a spin-off company to produce a first-of-its-kind portable espresso maker. Handpresso sarl (Seine, France) unveiled the portable Handpresso Wild in late-2007. The elegant design earned it a nomination in the Observeur du Design 08 contest and the appliance was exhibited at the Cité des Sciences in Paris.
While most espresso technology becomes increasingly sophisticated and expensive, Nielsen took a much simpler approach when conceptualizing the new device. The unit is small, lightweight at 460g, and easy to use. The user pumps the unit until pressure reaches 16 bar, adds hot water, inserts an Easy Serving Espresso (E.S.E.) pod, and a frothy espresso is produced without electricity. (E.S.E. is an open standard for coffee pods that is sold by over a hundred coffee merchants).
The new venture is described as a company "dedicated to the nomadic espresso."
"I set up a team of the best engineers, designers and marketing managers," Nielsen said. While manufacturing of the appliance required external funding, most of the capital is in the hands of Handpresso management. New models are already in the pipeline. The company is setting up a worldwide distribution, with an initially focus on France, Germany, Italy, Benelux, and the United States.
Nielsen Innovation has been active in the appliance industry in the past. Last year, Appliance magazine reported on a cooperative appliance design venture between Nielsen and Taiwan's Tsann Kuen Group to develop highly energy efficient vacuum cleaner technology, as well develop styling that would make the vacuums attractive to European consumers.