Technology today has made life ten times easier then what it used to be. Be it air conditioners, remote controls, automatic doors, highways. Mankind has almost completely transitioned to machines from manual labor. But many a times, these machines make our life much more chaotic than organised and lead to annoying everyday problems. We end up getting stuck between revolving doors, can’t figure out what more than half the buttons on the remote control mean and the list goes on. But who is really the one to blame for all this madness?
Engineers and scientists have done a commendable job, in creating products which aim to solve our needs. But what’s the point of all this technology, if we can’t understand how to make use of it?
Often, we struggle and give up. We make use of what we can understand in the machine. For example, if we don’t know what a particular button does in a remote control, we try using it no more than twice and give up. This is a waste good technology, effort and time.
This is where designers come in. They bridge the gap between the manufacturer and the consumer. Any machine, or product that can’t be used optimally by a consumer is a result of bad design. Design is omnipresent, in various forms and identities. The presence of good design can go unnoticed, but the absence of it certainly makes our life hell.
Take the Indian highways for example. Almost every toll-collecting booth has a person standing in between the driver and the collector, because the distance between the two is far too much. Same for parking tickets in malls and complexes.
So here’s a list of some innovative product designs, which aim to make our daily routine easier, and much simpler.
1. The ABC keyboard
by Iaroslav Neliubov
USP: The keyboard has a complete touch surface and can be configured to any language with customised keys.
What’s cooler is that the colour of the keyboard can be changed according to your own liking. The keyboard also works fairly well for the left-handed. It has built in memory for storage files.
Image Courtesy: Yanko Design
2.Tandem Storage Space
by Geoffrey Graven
USP: Storage, space and comfort, all in one.
The Tandem chair, allows you to sit comfortably, store everything you need in the shelves below. It’s compact, and occupies no more space than a normal chair.
The top of the chair is rotatable to 360 degrees, and transforms into a workstation quite effortlessly.
Image Courtesy: Geoffrey Graven
by Yu-Shu Hsieh
USP: Water and watch your garden at the same time.
The Yardian acts like a security camera for your lawn and also waters it simultaneously. It gives you footage in real time, to watch over it. The camera is completely waterproof and cannot be harmed by rain or bad weather. Yardian’s advanced cloud servers regulate the irrigation system to water your lawn, optimising water usage based on weather as well as your city/state’s water restriction permits. This helps in water conservation. Functionally and financially sound, you can’t go wrong with this one.
Image Courtesy: Yu-Shu Hsieh
4. Itut – iPod Shrine
by Thivend Stéphane
USP: A coffee table with an iPod dock and speakers
Inspired by the Egyptian triangles, this table is also known as the Horus. The table has an iPod dock and some amazing speakers. What else could we want?
Image Courtesy: Thivend Stéphane
5. Enchanting Doorlight
by Kun-hee Kim, Kei Shimizu & Nguyen-vu Dang
USP: Navigate your way through the darkness.
This door handle has an LED light in its handle, so you can open doors, and navigate your way out. The system uses the locking-motion of the handle to harness and charge the lithium batteries of the flashlight.
Image Courtesy: Kun-hee Kim, Kei Shimizu & Nguyen-vu Dang
6. Ikea Jyssen Wireless Charger
by Diana Africano Clark, Anders Arnqvist, Pernilla Danielsson, Laura Almenberg, Fernanda Barbato, Jingjing Yao, Fredric Ghatan
USP: a wireless charger that can be attached to any piece of furniture.
While wireless charging has been around for a while now, Ikea brought it into the mainstream market by creating a wireless charging pad which can be installed to any piece of furniture.
Image Courtesy: Ikea
7. Navdy HUD
USP: This device projects maps, messages and calls on the windshield, so that drivers can keep their eyes on the road.
Navdy attaches to the dashboard and projects information on the windshield. This device can also be put on retro cars.
Image Courtesy: Navdy
8. Public Office Landscape
by Yves , Noah Murphy-Reinhertz, Qin Li, Naoya Edahiro, Logan Ray, Andrea Small
USP: The landscape provides the ideal environment for face to face interaction within office spaces while maintaining individual space.
Designed for Herman Miller by the Fuse Project, this landscape is fairly flexible and can be altered according to the convenience of the consumers.
Image Courtesy: The Fuse Project
9. Swash System
by Procter & Gamble and Whirlpool
USP: This system steams your clothes in not more than ten minutes!
Finally something which reduces your trips to the dry cleaner’s and laundries. This system steams your clothes in less than ten minutes!
Image Courtesy: P&G, Whirlpool
Don’t you wish these were available in India?