Google-inspired designs that every techie would love to get their hands on!

With Apple and Amazon continuing to surprise us with their inventions, we are waiting in anticipation of their September 30th event. While the company usually unveils the new Pixel sometime in mid-October, the virtual event is set to be where the company unveils the latest and greatest Pixel phones, along with a new Nest smart speaker and a new Chromecast. The rumors of these products have been floating around and while we wait, here is a list of designs that we surely hope to see come true, if not in this release, but in the next one at least!

The Pixel smartphone went onto redefine what a pure Android experience could look like, becoming the gold standard in the Android OS experience. James Tsai’s Google Pixel Smartwatch concept does the same for the Android Wear OS. Embodying Google’s playful-serious aesthetic, the Pixel Smartwatch concept comes in a traditional round format, and in a variety of quirkily named colors. The Android Wear OS logo displays clearly on the always-on display of the watch, transforming into a colorful set of watch hands every time you look at it to read the time. The watch comes with Google’s top-notch voice AI, all of Google’s native apps, and a heart-rate monitor on the back, which ties in well with Google’s plan of acquiring Fitbit and their entire fitness-tech ecosystem. I wouldn’t be surprised if this wearable concept were entirely waterproof too, just to fire shots at Apple!

The Chromecast 3 concept by Roel Heyninck isn’t a hockey-puck as much as it’s a hub. Designed with the stylings of the Apple TV box, Heyninck’s Chromecast 3 box looks pretty nifty, and in many ways follows Google’s product and CMF language. The box connects to a television via a single USB-C connection that has the ability to pull power as well as push media. Using the Chromecast 3 is as simple as pressing the ‘cast’ button on your phone or tablet and forgetting about it. If you want to interact with or navigate through media, the Chromecast 3 comes with a pretty slick remote control that features 4 buttons and a touchpad on the top, and a standby button on the bottom that you can use to switch the TV on or off.

Meet the Pixel Vector, a smartphone concept by Ferdinand Aichriedler that challenges the notion that phones need to have thick bezels, hole-punches, or notches to have front-facing cameras. The Pixel Vector cleverly uses the negative space between the phone and the screen’s corner to throw in not one, but two front-facing cameras. The phone’s sharp edges and display’s rounded corners provide the perfect triangular negative spacing for cameras, spacing them out too, so they can perform 3D scanning required for facial recognition.

ODD-ON’s cute silicone skin transforms your Google Nest Mini into an adorable tabletop cat that, for once, responds to commands instead of maintaining an air of feline attitude! Titled the Caat, the outer body for the Google Nest Mini props your speaker up so it’s pointing forwards, rather than upwards. This allows the Nest Mini to look rather adorable as it sits patiently on your mantelpiece, responding to all your questions and commands.

The partnership between Belkin and Devialet is interesting for a number of reasons. Belkin is famed for making some of the best charging cables, hubs, adapters, and extension boxes on the market, while Devialet still reigns as the most awarded audio company in the world. The companies announced their collaboration at CES this year, with the Soundform Elite, which happens to be Devialet’s second smart-speaker after its collab with Huawei. The Soundform Elite works just like any smart-speaker, albeit with a docking area for your phone. Equipped with a fast-charging 10W Qi charger, the Soundform Elite has the unique feature of being able to charge a wide variety of compatible Android phones as well as iPhones, making it a worthy pick for Apple enthusiasts too.

Google's Stadia Controller gets a radical redesign!

Google's Stadia Controller gets a radical redesign!

If Sundar Pichai walked up on stage and unveiled Daniel Cheung’s concept of the Stadia controller, I’d absolutely believe that it was completely meant to be. Stadia is a revolutionary concept that demands a revolutionary controller, and Daniel Cheung’s Playdream is that controller! Ergonomic, but non-organic, the Playdream comprises a tubular design that instantly stands apart as unique, and at the same time, comfortable. Designed for an absolutely robust grip, the Playdream has all the necessary controls, from the buttons to a redesigned D-Pad, to the triggers, Google button, and even two extra buttons on the inside of the grip.

The PixelBloc is comprised of multiple 2500mAh battery-units that connect together using a USB-C port system. The main bloc, which sits at its base, comes with a USB-C port and two USB-A ports, while subsequent blocs only house the USB-C ports. This means the modules need to be plugged into the main bloc to charge them, creating a foolproof system, and the charger is smart enough to recognize them when they’re plugged in together. The PixelBloc uses sequential charging and discharging, which means when the entire unit is assembled, the main bloc is always recharged first (so you always know which bloc to use when you’re low on power) after which subsequent bloc-units get recharged. When you’re using the entire power-bank to juice up your device, power is pulled from the last bloc first, discharging it from the back to the front and maintaining the system so you’re never left with arbitrarily charged individual bloc-units.

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Designer Michio Papers created a bridge between the two faces of the tech industry- smart homes tech and laptops, to revive the laptop and the tablet while giving them the makeover they needed. The Google Link is everything you, your workspace, and your home needs. Made of multiple separate gadgets that come together, the Google Link serves all purposes. When assembled together, it’s your dedicated smart-home device capable of connecting via the internet to all other IoT gadgets in your house. Separate it and things get really interesting. You have a speaker dock that makes the Google Link your very own AI Assistant while being a wireless speaker too.

Google started a digital wellbeing initiative in an attempt to reduce the time we spend on our smart devices and to be honest, they’re pretty cool ideas! One of them is the Envelope cover. London-based design studio Special Projects came up with the Envelope cover, hoping we would break away from the digital world, and enter the real world…even for a while. Though it only works for the Pixed 3A at the moment, the cover is easily accessible! You download the app called Envelope on your Play Store App, print out the template for the envelope, and assemble it right at home! All you need is some glue to patch it up together. Once you slide your phone into the case, it transforms your phone into a much simpler one.

Designed to enhance the user’s lifestyle, the G flask by Yoonjae Song is a pure white cylinder with a rounded cap, ensuring a perfect hand grip. Shaped like a capsule, the clean aesthetics of the G flask instantly soothe you down. Devoid of any digital screens or lighting, sipping from it should be a pretty calm experience. Crafted from durable stainless steel, the flask guarantees to keep your water fresh at all times, as it is incapable of retaining any odors or flavors. Accompanied by an app, utilizing the flask couldn’t get any easier! It not only tracks your daily water intake, and how much water you’ve consumed so far, but you can also use it to set goals and compete with your friends, to see who reaches their intake for the day first!

For the people who don’t know what this game is about (basically Safari users), the game starts as a webpage that tells you that your browser is offline. Press any key, and the game initiates, and you’re tasked with getting the dinosaur to jump over cacti, and under flying pterodactyls. Your high score gets recorded on the top corner. Bell’s toy set captures the key elements of the game. While there are no pterodactyls in the box set (also because they make their appearance later on in the game), the set actually stays incredibly true to its inspiration. You’ve got the dinosaur, four different cacti, and the box is designed to serve as the backdrop too! The box comes with a reversible design, with the starting message on the face, and the game-over message on the back… and the jumping Dino is reversible too!

Amazon Echo Show 10’s swiveling screen is a logical and worthy upgrade!

At the hardware release event, Amazon just dropped the successor to the Echo Show. Called Echo Show 10, it’s roughly 20 bucks costlier than the previous 10.1-inch brick, but is more life-like and productive. This smart assistant comes with a similar 10.1-inch full-HD screen (two tweeters and a woofer) that’s capable of rotating as you move around in front of it.

The movement is only kicked off when you interact with it – whether by saying “Alexa” – to trigger the voice assistant – or by touching the screen. You can be confident you’re not being followed around the room when you’ve not authorized the device to do so. Echo Show 10 employs audio beamforming technology and computer vision to know where you are in the room and then silently face the screen toward you. Taking Amazon by its word, the device does all the data processing locally without sending it out to the cloud. If you had a reservation of the Show trying to manipulate data – this may just be reassuring. The screen rotation, which is like having a person move with you when you’re in a conversation, can come convenient while multitasking. Whether you’re on a video call, preparing a meal or in the middle of your yoga session with a live coach – the display will ensure you’re always in the frame. The intelligent 13MP camera on the screen can pan and zoom spontaneously to keep you in focus and centered at all times. In addition to swiveling automatically, the screen can also be adjusted manually. But this is not something you’d be doing very often for it will defy the very purpose of taking home the Echo Show 10, whose biggest new change is the screen the auto rotates.

Reportedly, smart displays as the Echo Show 10 are majorly used in kitchens during the most chaotic times of the day – mornings and evenings. So, if you have a smart assistant you can voice command to show you the security cameras, control lights, adjust the thermostat, play your favorite show, or read you trending news, without having to reach out to its display – its constantly in your view – you are definitely sorted. For its uncompromising $250 price tag (particularly if you consider the $230 Echo Show) and the swiveling nature, the Echo Show is worth your money. For its design to appeal to the environmentally conscious, the Echo Show 10 is made from 30-percent post-consumer recycled plastic, 100-percent recycled die-cast aluminum, and is covered in 100 percent post-consumer recycled fabric.

If this is not enough to have you sold, the Echo Show 10 pairs with the Alexa app to keep track of what’s happening back home in your absence. Control the remotely rotatable screen to see what’s going on in your living space or with elders or kids at home. And, when you’re tired or don’t want the device to follow you anymore – just close the built-in camera shutter manually or have Alexa turn off motion to disconnect the microphones and camera until next time.

Designer: Amazon

The do not disturb doorbell twists to give keep visitors away!

Imagine this, you’re wrapping up an important business call, hitting your stride on a deadline-based project, or just catching up with some good friends when suddenly the doorbell rings and interrupts the moment. You have three options: one, you can tune the sound out until it goes away, two, you can greet whoever’s at the door at the risk of losing quality time, or, you can install a doorbell that decides for you. The designers at Ontario-based 1Byone Products Inc. recently won 2020 iF Design Award in Discipline: Professional Concept with their ‘Do Not Disturb’ Doorbell, which thankfully provides the third option. While the residential device is not yet on the market, the targeted development time could take up to a year.

The concept is simple: by displaying the green or red button on the DND doorbell’s exterior dial, users can either let visitors know that they’re around and available or encourage them to come back once they’re free to chat. When the doorbell’s button is set on ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode, visitors will feel discouraged from, well, disturbing. Better yet, if the visitor decides to ignore the message, then the doorbell still will not produce any sound despite the visitor pressing on. Of course, when the design is turned to its opposite setting, it works exactly as the common doorbell would.

Along with the waterproof, outdoor dial, the designers with 1Byone Products Inc. designed a wireless transmitter that can be plugged in any three-prong outlet throughout the house. The design is extremely user-friendly, which only enhances the product’s basic functions. The three-prong transmitter’s dual-horn speaker produces a clearer and more concentrated doorbell ring. The dial that adheres to your chosen door is purposefully and visually simplistic, appealing to the product design’s universality. Whichever color the dial’s holes reveal, 1Byone designed the product so that the ‘Do Not Disturb’ message can be seen from all angles and in any light, which only enhances the doorbell’s user-friendliness. So, whether you’re self-quarantining for personal reasons or rushing to meet your deadline, there’s no need to explain, just turn the dial.

Designers: 1Byone Products Inc.

Amazon’s new Eero mesh routers support WiFi 6

The company that helped pioneer and popularize mesh routers finally has a WiFi 6-compatible model in its lineup. At its fall hardware event, Amazon announced the Eero 6 and Eero Pro 6. Both models support WiFi 6, the latest and fastest WiFi standard....

From Amazon to Samsung, the products designed by these famous brands will define the 2020 technology trends!

Fiction writers dealing with futuristic and sci-fi novels explore multiple universes, but none of them feature a future where tech has no role in our life. The tech giants and reality are not quite far behind! The quarantine has sped up human seclusion and remote working took a leap like never before – going from Zoom calls to digital payments and even robotic delivery! Here are some of the latest innovations by the brands of our era that aim to revolutionize technology as we know it!

I’m not entirely sure whether the resemblance to the Harman Kardon Aura Studio is intentional or not, but it definitely gives the Amazon Humidifier a certain visual appeal. The humidifier is powered by ultrasonic tech that helps create a uniformly distributed mist of vapor in the air. An auto-sensing mechanism allows it to switch on when the air gets exceptionally dry, and turn off after a while.

The 0° Clean concept offers a new way to make sure your face-mask is fresh, dry, and sanitized between uses. Created by Jungkwang Hwang as a fan-made concept for Samsung, the 0° Clean is a nifty flat-bed UV-C sanitizer that uses a combination of ultraviolet light and dry air to cleanse and blow-dry your mask. It comes with a detachable cylindrical battery-unit (with a built-in display) that you can easily snap onto the sanitizing flat-bed to power it.

LG “leaked” a video of their upcoming smartphone in action. Codenamed the Wing (as opposed to Samsung’s Galaxy Fold), this smartphone reinvented the candybar mobile format with a swiveling screen layout. Designed to behave a lot like the LG VX9400 smartphone that Tony Stark used in the 2008 Iron Man, the Wing featured a front screen that rotated 90° and slid up to reveal a second screen underneath. While LG’s leaked video wasn’t much of an aesthetic reveal, it definitely did a lot to show what the company had in store for the future of phones – a future that promised multitasking without horrible hinges, delicate folding screens, and awkwardly thick phones.

The Snap Goggles come with tinted eyeglasses, but unlike in the original Snap Spectacles, these glasses don’t have the dual-camera lenses cutting into the eyepieces. Instead, the tinted circular eyepieces exist independently, with the two camera lenses resting on the end of the temple-stems. The result is a pair of spectacles that look funky yet contemporary, with the camera lenses being placed slightly further apart, but in a manner that makes much more sense visually.

Traditional laundry machine cycles can potentially damage clothes (how many of us even know the right settings for our loads?) and ever since the pandemic took over our lives we are doing laundry more often to stay safe – this is bound to wear them out 5x faster than usual. The Samsung AirDresser is here to save the day! Its sleek build is similar to a tall, thin fridge and can seamlessly blend in any room. The AirDresser uses a combination of steaming and heat-pump powered drying, and you won’t even have to plumb it in says Samsung. “That’s because, rather than a water connection like a traditional washer would require, the AirDresser relies on a refillable water tank at the bottom of the cabinet. It means it can be installed pretty much anywhere with a regular 120V outlet,” explains the team.

Here’s some bonus content! Meet the winner of a competition hosted by autonomous network transit (ANT) company Dromos, this self-driving pod designed by PriestmanGoode is capable of safely carrying humans as well as acting as a logistical truck to deliver consignments. Envisioned to cater to the demands of the 21st century, the pod needed to be safe, reliable, and affordable, focusing on modularity, sustainability, and flexibility of use. The pod boasts of a minimalist design with a skateboard-style electric platform on top of which rests the pod’s body. With a schematic that closely resembles MUJI x Sensible 4’s Gacha bus, the pod is built to comfortably seat two people spaced apart, or store cargo, based on its use.

Speaking of tech, these Apple-inspired gadget designs are a must-have to upgrade your desk setup!

Google PixelBloc Modular Power-bank lets you stack up external chargers for a bigger battery!

The idea behind the PixelBloc concept is pretty simple. Stack multiple power-banks together and make yourself a massive power-bank with a higher battery-capacity… or just separate them into smaller power-banks that you can use to charge multiple devices at the same time. The PixelBloc’s modular nature allows you to use it any way you see fit, and gives you a flexibility that wasn’t previously known in the external-charger industry.

The PixelBloc is comprised of multiple 2500mAh battery-units that connect together using a USB-C port system. The main bloc, which sits at its base, comes with a USB-C port and two USB-A ports, while subsequent blocs only house the USB-C ports. This means the modules need to be plugged into the main bloc to charge them, creating a foolproof system, and the charger is smart enough to recognize them when they’re plugged in together. The PixelBloc uses sequential charging and discharging, which means when the entire unit is assembled, the main bloc is always recharged first (so you always know which bloc to use when you’re low on power) after which subsequent bloc-units get recharged. When you’re using the entire power-bank to juice up your device, power is pulled from the last bloc first, discharging it from the back to the front and maintaining the system so you’re never left with arbitrarily charged individual bloc-units.

To ensure each bloc is plugged in correctly, the individual power-bricks come with a switch that helps lock the units in place, and an LED to let you know they’re all connected. Whether you’re charging a single device or multiple ones, the PixelBloc has you covered. You can share individual bloc-units with friends too, or carry just as many blocs as you need instead of carrying the entire brick with you. The power-bank has been a singular product in both form and function, with limited capabilities. By turning it modular, the Google PixelBloc gives it an innovative touch (a lot like Project Ara!) and frees it from its boring monolithic form!

Designer: Ratan Pande

Sorry Post-it notes, we are moving onto digital sticky notes!

Yes, we all have notes on our phones but has that phased out the use of paper and pen at our work desks? Nope, in fact, most people still prefer to write down their to-do lists because checking it off is gratifying. As a reflex, we always tend to frantically search for a notepad to jot down a number, address, meeting feedback, last-minute lists, or notes during a class. To integrate this existing behavior with the technology we already use, designer Jeong Woo Kim created Ouverture – a conceptual keyboard accessory that is a number pad + a digital notepad when you flip the cover. It has a typing mode which is the number pad and a memo mode which is the writing pad. “The leather cover acts as a number pad on a conventional keyboard. Current from the fingertips passes through the special conductive fiber to the touchpad inside the leather cover,” explains Kim.

A quick survey showed that 98% of people take notes when they are working on computers and 70% of them said it is uncomfortable and 34% complained that their desk tends to get messy or notes tend to get lost. With a device like Ouverture, your notes are saved as image files and your desk remains clutter-free. But it would be interesting if technology also lets you convert it into text for easier transfer of information. Another important point to consider if this goes into production is to make sure it is modular so that the left-handed demographic can also be included – we all deserve to have a chance at being more efficient! Ouverture comes with a magnetic pen on the side so that you don’t need to look for pen or paper anymore – it retains the tactile experience and incorporates it with our digital lifestyle without us having to learn any new behaviors. No more messy desks, paper waste, or lost memos!

Designer: Jeong Woo Kim

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A side table and a projector merge to keep you entertained and your smartphone charged!

What does your nighttime routine look like? My ideal routine is to sit down, recap my day while jotting down the learning’s on my journal, and planning the day to come in advance – indulging in some TLC. Now while that is ideal, the reality is we sleep off with our phone clutched in one hand, our latest binge-watching series playing as a disturbing lullaby that haunts our dreams! With the pandemic disturbing sleep cycles and routines, and the infinite scrolling syndrome gripping the world, designer Younghyun Kim designed a unique side table that stays by your bed, handles your smartphone for you, and lets you relax with your favorite show before you lean over and switch it off with ease. Meet the smart side table that is staying with modern times – the Projectable!

Projectable, derived by merging a projector+table is a one-stop solution for your relaxing needs, consider it a spa for your phone! The first thing this table does is wirelessly charge your phone through the small gap that slots and holds your phone comfortably. Now depending on your mood, you can let your phone rest or, unwind by watching everything from a kitten video to kinetic sand cutting ASMR videos using the projector – no more squinting at the tiny screen! The fabric mesh-covering visually separates the movable projector-head that provides almost 90 degrees rotation. The tactile buttons on the surface control the projector angle and volume levels while switching it off is as easy as leaning over and turning off your night light. The drawer of the table opens with a light, so you can adjust and organize the wires neatly. The accompanying smartphone app lets you match the audio and screen to fit the space. In addition, you can enjoy various functions such as setting the time and recommending content that suits you.

Available in neutral tones that match any given interior, this table is the perfect accompaniment to your comfy chair or bedside, allowing you to relax totally and providing hands-free entertainment while recharging your phone! I would love to get my hand on multiple Projectables and create cozy, hands-free spots for every member of my home!

Designer: Younghyun Kim of Designer Dot

 

Here’s everything Apple announced at its ‘Time Flies’ event

Apple didn’t announce any new iPhones at its latest keynote but it still had plenty of new devices to share, including two new Watch models, and an iPad Air that features a new design. The company also detailed its new Apple One subscription bundles...