It is said that IoT market has a US$19 trillion opportunity and  mobile apps will be generating revenue of more than US$77 billion by 2017, according to Gartner, Inc. In this era of IoT devices, unique interactions of an app often work as an ‘invisible hand’ to serve as a strong identity for apps. However, one of the challenging team work inside startups is when designers have to explain interaction design to developers in order to visualize it in reality. According to a survey conducted in Carnegie Mellon University, 86% of designers feel it is more difficult to prototype interaction than the interface. It was also cumbersome daily task that struck Google interaction designer Tony Kim, that he decided to leave the company and make a prototyping tool to empower designers.

Sensor-aided code-free prototyping tool, ProtoPie allows designers to build complicated interactive mobile prototypes that fully utilize sensors in smart devices and prototypes across multiple devices like smart phones, smart watch and IoT devices.

In the designer’s prototyping tool market, Framer, Pixate and Origami offer sophisticated interactions for designers, however, Kim claims that those available in the market still require programming skill or scheme to fully learn and use it. “ProtoPie works with the simple concept model, like a jigsaw puzzle. There’s no need for programming knowledge, and those who play with it for a while can easily give body to their design.” Kim said.

The maker of ProtoPie, Studio XID received seed funding from FuturePlay, followed by TIPS program- a Korean government grant summing a total of US$800,000. Kim mentioned potential partnership opportunities with companies in China and Taiwan. According to Kim, some companies offered to collaborate with StudioXID to improve the design process and quality of their offerings.

StudioXID’s three team members’ background reveal the team’s capacity on developing a designer tool across multiple IoT devices. They met working four years in biggest Korean portal Naver. On top of  CEO Kim’s designer experience in Google China, CTO Scotty Kim developed a cloud service for Samsung’s Smart TV and engineering director John Song developed first cloud service in Korea for one of the country’s biggest telecom company KT.


Currently serving as only sensor-aided tool market, Studio XID aims to expand to offer education program in Universities in China, Korea then to the U.S.”Designer tool business should go with community  and education program. We will teach the students how to design with our tool and fundamentals of design concept to visualize on interaction. We’ll also provide a community for designers to share their designs with others.” Kim said.

As a part of D.CAMP chosen top nine ‘Geeks from Gangnam’, the team will be participating in TechCrunch Shanghai 2015 as well as visiting Shenzhen’s hardware companies.

Image Credit: StudioXID

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at

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