Netflix Necon Pro gaming controller with its multi-directional control input could be a part of our reality soon!

A cool gaming controller for the most popular video streaming service will bring an unprecedented level of control to the in-game action for hours of fun on the go.

Netflix has redefined streaming content in more ways than one for more than a decade now. The platform has a whopping 207.64 million paid subscribers worldwide as of the first quarter of 2021 as reported by Statista. But according to internal reports, Netflix’s growth graph is on a flattening trajectory in the last couple of years, and the next big avenue to look forward to is gaming. The gaming service will be a part of the current Netflix portfolio and will be offered at no extra cost to the subscribers. This will give Netflix an edge over current competitors like Disney+, Amazon Prime Videos and Apple TV+.

The cloud gaming service is set to debut early next year and we could expect an announcement by the end of this year too. This gives the perfect opportunity to concept designers for coming up with Netflix branded gaming accessories that will ultimately brace the platform just like Google Stadia, Xbox Gaming pass, Nividia GeForce Now, and Amazon Luna. The gaming controller has a very distinct form factor – something akin to the Nintendo Joy-Con controllers but still very unique in its own rights.

Designers Seong Bin Yoon and Cheolhee Lee have envisioned the video streaming service to get a gaming controller that is good for casual gaming as well as AR and VR-assisted gaming fun. The vertical grip positioning with bumper buttons on the sides coincides with that vision for the freedom of movement in all directions. The front has the customary joystick, directional pad and buttons for in-game input. Interestingly the left and right sections of the controller can move independently for a more immersive game input and better control in the game for tactical advantage.

On both sides, there are volume dial buttons, so I’m assuming the controller can beam stereo audio through the speaker-like vents on the bottom front on both sides. This cool Netflix cloud gaming controller design gets a thumbs up from my side. For sure it is a refreshing take on the gaming controller accessories which have not evolved much in terms of design over these years. Moreover, it aptly matches the distinct image of Netflix as a video streaming platform!

Designer: Seong Bin Yoon and Cheolhee Lee

The post Netflix Necon Pro gaming controller with its multi-directional control input could be a part of our reality soon! first appeared on Yanko Design.

Apple Arcade is getting an exclusive Lego Star Wars game

Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga won't arrive until next spring, but another game from the franchise is coming soon — and it's an Apple Arcade exclusive. Lego Star Wars Battles is a real-time strategy game that pits players against each other in one-on-one showdowns.

You'll amass a collection of upgradable characters, troops and vehicles from all eras of the Star Wars universe. You'll be able to pit porgs against Boba Fett, for instance. Don't expect to stick to one side of the Force — you'll have a deck of light side and dark side armies, with different play styles for each. You'll have a number of abilities at your disposal too, such as Darth Vader’s Force Slam and Luke Skywalker’s Force Push.

Lego Star Wars Battles
TT Games Brighton/Warner Bros. Games/Lucasfilm Games

Battlefields will feature Lego towers that you'll build, defend, attack and use to claim territory. The locations include some familiar environments, including Hoth, Naboo and Endor.

TT Games Brighton is developing Lego Star Wars Battles, while Warner Bros. Games is the publisher. It won't be the first Lego game to hit Apple Arcade, though. Lego Brawls and Lego Builder's Journey both landed on the service in 2019. The latter was ported to PC and Nintendo Switch in June.

BMW Rival Rig gaming chair comes with Adaptive Seating, Micro Climate Control and even massage functions!

Designworks, the design innovation studio for the BMW Group has unveiled their concept for an advanced gaming chair designed to bring an immersive physical experience for the gamers, at the first-ever BMW Esports Boost event. Called the Rival Rig gaming chair, it is the perfect bridge between the physical world and the virtual world – giving the users a functional sensory input while being utterly comfortable. A perfect proposition for streamers and Esports professionals indeed. The idea is to analyze the movements of the player, and with time adapt to their sitting position for a weightless feeling sans any physical stress during long hours of casual or professional gaming. This leads to sustained performance of the player not limited by physical or mental stress.

Rival Rig is embedded with sensors that detect the rise in body temperature and then beam cool air to the particular area. They call it the Microclimate Control System. Likewise, if there is too much pressure on the arms, the armrests lower automatically to eliminate any pressure points – a feature dubbed as the Adaptive Seating made possible with the embedded pneumatic air pads and electro-mechanical actuators. Designworks worked with gamers and athletes to understand body posture and the different actions and moods they are going through during gaming. This resulted in different modes like ease mode for relaxed posture or the boost mode which brings the chair forward and the table lowered and angled for immersive gameplay. The chair also has the massage function to release any stress build-up in the muscles with extended gaming stints. All this in conjunction with the AI-enabled algorithm brings automated control to the chair allowing players to concentrate on their gameplay.

According to Holger Hampf, President of Designworks, the team’s goal was to “create the most comfortable seating, hand posture, and head movement situation, that allow the gamer to fully immerse.” Inspiration for the project came from fields where split-second decisions have to be made – like in spacecraft and Formula 1. Holger Hampf added that they adapted learning from these fields to the microscopic level and it was all about millimeters rather than centimeters,” in design perfection. The led lighting of the chair adapts to the environment of the in-game action for the perfect immersive environment. How the rig is articulating also allows the audience (online and live) to be part of the action – for good bonding between the gaming athletes and spectators.

The gaming chair will be open source for adding new features and also allowing game studios to tailor the in-game experience. It will also aid in collaboration with the right partners to access the health and sports data to design ergonomic chairs of the future. Rival Rig is truly the onset of immersion via the power of design!

Designer: Designworks

The Razer Iskur X is a $399 ergonomic throne designed for worthy (and wealthy) gamers

Razer Iskur X Ergonomic Gaming Chair Min-Liang Tan

If it sort of looks like an angry cobra with its hood flared, ready to strike, know that it’s completely intentional. The Razer Iskur X is yet another addition to the company’s reptile-inspired gaming gear. The ergonomic throne is calibrated for the most comfortable gaming experience, with a durable multi-layered synthetic leather-clad, high-density cushioning, 2D armrests, and fully adjustable recline, tilt, and height. It’s also $399, putting it slightly on the expensive side… although not as expensive as Logitech x Herman Miller’s $1,595 gaming chair.

Razer Iskur X Ergonomic Gaming Chair Min-Liang Tan

The chair’s contoured design is pretty reminiscent of a hooded snake in its striking position. To reinforce the reptilian references, the chair even comes with a snake-inspired weave on the seat, along with Razer’s signature black + acid green colorway. Given that gaming can be a day-long endeavor and that ardent gamers can spend hours in their seats without so much as shifting, the Iskur X comes with padded high-density foam cushions that contour to the shape of your body, for maximum comfort. The synthetic leather used on the Iskur X comes with a coating of resin too, making it much more durable in the long run. The chair sports a steel-reinforced body for strength and can take up to 299 lbs (136 kilograms) of weight without breaking a sweat… and a neat 3-year warranty on the chair should serve well, considering how much time you’ll be spending in it.

Designer: Razer

Razer Iskur X Ergonomic Gaming Chair Min-Liang Tan

Razer Iskur X Ergonomic Gaming Chair Min-Liang Tan

Razer Iskur X Ergonomic Gaming Chair Min-Liang Tan

Razer Iskur X Ergonomic Gaming Chair Min-Liang Tan

The world’s tiniest functioning Game Boy Advance SP is the size of a stack of Post-Its, and it’s transparent too!

In its closed format, the FunKey S is about as small as a Tile tracker, or better still a Game Boy cartridge. Designed to emulate the Game Boy experience, the FunKey S comes pre-loaded with a whole bunch of favorite titles for endless hours of retro-entertainment. It’s tiny enough to fit on your keychain, lightweight enough to be carried everywhere, and satisfyingly just like the real deal, except smaller. Oh, and it comes in a transparent color-way too, taking you back to those good-old-days!

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Built right into the FunKey S are emulators of dozens of your favorite retro consoles, including the NES, SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis (Megadrive), Sega Game Gear, Playstation 1, Atari Lynx, WonderSwan, and the Neo Geo Pocket. It’s just a testament to how far we’ve come, considering everything fits within a device that’s no larger than a Graham Cracker. The mini-console comes with an ARM chip, has an SD card slot that doesn’t just run but saves games too, and a MicroUSB for side-loading your own games to play.

The tiny device looks and functions just like a Game Boy Advance SP would. Flip to open it and you’ve got a miniaturized console that’s true to the GBA experience. It comes outfitted with all the buttons (including L1 and R1 shoulder buttons), a 1.54-inch 240×240 IPS LCD screen (with a 50Hz refresh rate too), and even built-in 0.5W speakers! The console boots up as soon as you flip open the lid, and will even save your progress before powering down when you close the lid!

The FunKey S is entirely open-source, which means it even invites developers to tinker with it, modding games, building games, and maximizing the FunKey’s experience. Especially for its size, the FunKey S is a highly entertaining little gadget. I’ll refrain from calling it a toy although it almost certainly is one (especially with those candy colors), because I see it as a marvel of technology too. The gadget supports up to 128Gb of storage, which means you could potentially put tens of thousands of games into your console and carry it around with you. It comes with a lanyard hole and can easily be strung to your keychain, and at €65 ($77.5), it’s honestly an absolute bargain! Although would it be too much if I asked for an HDMI output so I could connect this to a larger screen?!

Designer: Funkey Project

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These sleek gaming headphones go stalk-less to deliver crystal clear audio!

Gaming is a full sensory experience. Your seat has to pass the Goldilocks test, an HD screen brings everything into focus, and the audio needs to be crystal clear. That means that the right pair of headphones can change the whole game. Reconceptualizing gaming headphones to meet their personal requirements, design team Vasudevansr visualized a pair that moves past bulky hardware and poppy audio to instead deliver headphones that mean business.

Vasudevansr Design initially felt inspired to design its own pair of headphones to elevate the gaming experience. Frustrated by the jumps and general scratchiness that microphone stalks fail to equalize, Vasudevansr designed a pair of stalk-less headphones so that gamers don’t have to speak directly into the microphone to be heard. Confessing to this, Vasudevansr describes his initial inspiration, “I have a general dislike for stalks poking out of the units and for people who breathe into it,” they told Student Design Showcase on Instagram, “A slight protrusion from the main body, housing two microphones on each side is my idea of tackling the [microphone] stalk issue aesthetically.” Ditching the microphone stalk for an internal input and output system, Vasudevansr’s gaming headphones look sleeker and should deliver crisper, less shrill, and muffled audio.

Communicating with other gamers across servers is half the fun of playing video games, but not when all you’re listening to is someone’s breathing. To remedy this, Vasudevansr integrated an internal audio system that would be able to capture a full spectrum of frequencies without the bulkiness that accompanies protruding microphone stalks.

Designer: Vasudevansr Design

An internal audio system is contained in each earbud, equipped with dual microphones to pick up a full spectrum of frequencies.

A tough, metallic outer ear borders the headphones’ inner cushioning, which wraps the user’s ears.

Ditching the stalk microphone for an internal, slightly protruding microphone gives Vasudevansr’s headphones a cleaner look.

The pair of headphones have a slightly exposed look to them, offering view of its internal structure.

The swappable directional pads of this gaming controller are designed to give you tactical gameplay advantage!

A gaming controller for your PC, consoles, or smartphones is one accessory every gamer should have handy. A versatile gaming controller is a quintessential piece of equipment in any setup these days. Sure options like the Xbox Controller or the PlayStation DualSense bring precise in-game controls to gain a tactical advantage. But how about a more flexible control input that is tailormade for a better user experience?

Industrial designer Dingyu Xiao of Suosi Design decided to do away with conventions and came up with the MOZER Gamepad. The controller resonated instantly with me since it solves a fundamental issue – having a single joystick layout for a varied set of games. For example, you’d need precise and fast input sticks for an FPS game, a D-Pad for sports titles such as FIFA, or a spring-loaded sling joystick for a tactile feel of shooting a stack of balls in Pool. The MOZER Gamepad makes all of this and more possible. And to top it all off, it’s wireless.

The concept is quite interesting as the user can swap the control modules instantly and it’s all plug and play. The directional pad of the controller is the one that has this modular function which Dingyu quite smartly does, I have to say. Even better, the grip of the controller hides two of the three directional pad control inputs when not in use. I’m sure gamers will be dying to get such a well-designed wireless gamepad in their hands to have a strategic advantage over their mates or online hotshots.

Designer: Dingyu Xiao of Suosi Design



LEGO is experimenting with sustainable bricks made from recycled plastic bottles

Since 2018, LEGO has been making strides towards sustainability initiatives including removing single-use plastic from their boxes and producing specialty elements from bio-polyethylene, a natural polymer sourced from sugarcane. Today, the iconic toy company reveals its latest sustainability effort, a prototype brick produced from recycled PET plastic. Derived from discarded plastic bottles, LEGO’s new sustainable prototype marks the culmination of three years worth of testing over 250 variations of PET plastics. The result, a LEGO brick constructed entirely from recycled materials that meet an array of different requirements, including safety, quality, play, and perhaps most exciting, clutch power.

Following a year of testing and reassessing of different PET formulations, LEGO will consider moving onto a pilot production phase, which would bring the recycled LEGO blocks into product boxes to hit the shelves for purchase. Sourced from a single one-liter PET plastic bottle, LEGO’s patent-pending PET formulation can produce ten 2×4 bricks, using a custom compounding method to ensure classic LEGO structure and secure linkage. Currently, the prototype is a blend of recycled PET plastics and additives that work to strengthen the recycled plastic and in turn meet specialized LEGO requirements. Vetted by the USA’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as well as the European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA), LEGO’s new recycled composition guarantees the same quality building blocks we’ve come to expect from the mega toy company.

Speaking on the brand’s latest step towards producing sustainable and recycled building blocks and the prototype’s proximity to pre-existing bricks, LEGO’s Vice President of Environmental Responsibility notes, “We are super excited about this breakthrough. The biggest challenge on our sustainability journey is rethinking and innovating new materials that are as durable, strong, and high quality as our existing bricks — and fit with LEGO elements made over the past 60 years. With this prototype, we’re able to showcase the progress we’re making.”

Designer: LEGO

LEGO Bricks made from Recycled Plastic Bottles

From a single 10-liter PET plastic bottle, ten 2×4 LEGO bricks can be produced.

LEGO Bricks made from Recycled Plastic Bottles

Complete with the same quality as pre-existing LEGO bricks, the new recycled bricks meet every safety, play, and clutch power requirement.

LEGO Bricks made from Recycled Plastic Bottles

Following three years worth of testing, LEGO finally found an ideal PET formulation for its new recycled brick prototype.

LEGO Bricks made from Recycled Plastic Bottles

By incorporating strengthening additives, LEGO’s recycled prototype maintains the same quality and strength as pre-existing LEGO bricks.

LEGO Bricks made from Recycled Plastic Bottles

LEGO Bricks made from Recycled Plastic Bottles

This chess board uses visual projectors to help you learn the game and learn creating strategies!

Like many, chess was one of the hobbies I took up mid-pandemic. Half the battle of chess is learning and remembering the directions and formations each piece is allowed to move, once that’s squared away, strategy can be weaved into your game. I never got that far, but the new chess set Illuminis designed by Bülent Ünal might do the trick. It’s a chess set that enacts visual pointers on the actual board for kids new to the game who want to learn the rules, but it’s tailored for anyone who’s taking up the new hobby.

Familiarly decorated almost like miniature orange and black minions, the chess pieces look inviting for kids, with a gleaming outer coat and round bodies and heads. Setting his chessboard apart from the rest, Ünal’s chess pieces’ faces have been replaced with protruding circular projectors that look similar to antique scuba diving helmets. The minuscule projectors work by illuminating the squares on the chessboard where each piece is allowed to move, allowing kids and learners of chess alike to understand the rules of chess accurately and quickly. The visual indicators that come equipped with Ünal’s pieces merge technology with the antique chess board to give the game a modern edge, fit for today’s younger, more technologically perceptive generations. The bottom of each chess piece also comes outfitted with battery slots for fast and accessible charging and longer game time.

Chess is a game of skill, memory, and discipline. While it takes determination and patience to develop your own strategy, Ünal’s Illuminis chessboard might help streamline the beginner’s learning process and harness the memory and skill it takes to become tactical at the game of chess.

Designer: Bülent Ünal

Dressed in gleaming orange and black outer coats, the chess pieces have an undeniable personality that will speak to kids and beginners alike.

The pieces’ projectors indicate the different squares on the board each piece is allowed to move.

Underneath each chess piece, batteries can be inserted into slots for quick and easy charging.

Each chess piece has its own distinct personality to hone in on the character’s elements (i.e.; knight, queen, king, rook, and bishop).

Genius plastic covers let you play a game of poker on your iPad while concealing your cards

WonderCover Card Cover for playing Poker on iPad

I hope there’s a Battleship version in the works too!

The most obvious convenience with gaming on an iPad is that you can practically play anything on it. You don’t need to go out and physically buy a board game or order cards online. Everything is just an app-install away… although that comes with an obvious caveat – it isn’t easy playing group games on one iPad. The Wonder Cover comes up with a clever little hack to facilitate better group-gaming on the iPad. The covers are just plastic parts that slide onto the tablet, creating a shielded enclosure to allow players to “protect their hand”.

Perfect for card games like Poker and Uno, or even for Scrabble, the Wonder Cover is a nifty way to bring a physical/personal element to a digital gaming experience. Poker-face not included!

Designers: Nuno Pires, André Gouveia and INNGAGE Design

WonderCover Card Cover for playing Poker on iPad

WonderCover Card Cover for playing Poker on iPad

The plastic ‘dugouts’ act as physical barriers, preventing other people from seeing your cards. The fact that they can be clipped on anywhere to the side of a tablet makes them accommodate different games and numbers of players. They can also be used on any tablet, working as well on an iPad as they would on a Galaxy tab or a Microsoft Surface Tab.

WonderCover Card Cover for playing Poker on iPad

WonderCover Card Cover for playing Poker on iPad

WonderCover Card Cover for playing Poker on iPad

WonderCover Card Cover for playing Poker on iPad