Colenso BBDO approached us on behalf of Samsung with a novel idea that immediately sparked our interest. They wanted to create a beanie with a twist that could be worn by New Zealand athletes at Sochi 2014. What made this beanie different would be the small, discreet camera hidden inside it, filming every key moment of the games first hand and allowing our athletes to share their experience with the world.

We were given two weeks to design and build working cameras and integrate them into the beanies – a fast turnaround for something that would be worn by skiers Jossi Wells and Anna Wilcox. Because athletes would wear it at Sochi, it needed to wrap safely and comfortably around their heads, withstand the freezing conditions, and work reliably.


Samsung Smart Beanie


Colenso BBDO

What We Did

Mechanical Design, Technology Integration, Working Prototype

Due to the tight timeframe, we were restricted to using existing technologies, so we had to be creative with what we already had available. We worked alongside our regular partner, Teknique, who was responsible for the technical elements of the camera, namely the firmware and electronics.

The last thing any athlete should have to deal with is a complicated piece of technology when they need to be focusing on their sport – so we had to keep it simple. We worked on creating a design with only one button, to ensure that even the busiest athlete could use it.

The Finished Product – Pulling off the beanie

The amount of footage shared across news channels and social media during Sochi 2014 shows the massive success of our beanie. The final camera was durable, comfortable and easy to use – exactly what was asked for.

For Blender it was a fantastic reward to see everything come together, especially knowing that it put the world’s spotlight on our Kiwi athletes. The video footage taken by the smart beanie camera brought to life Jossi and Anna’s experiences at Sochi 2014, which was cool to see.


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