Close your eyes for a second and think of a projector. Chances are you’ve got the same image in your head as I do. A cuboid-shaped device that’s either black or white in color, suspended from the ceiling, and with a massive lens on one of its faces. It’s safe to say that almost all projectors are designed to look practically the same way. Their purpose isn’t to look good. It’s to sit in the background, while you focus your attention on the image it’s casting. Some would argue that projectors are fine as they are, while others would probably say it’s a category that needs a radical relook. Yash Gupte (better known as his internet moniker Wacko Designs) considers himself to be a part of the second set of people.
The Swivel is Gupte’s answer to the stagnated design language of projectors. It ditches the notion that projectors need to be rectangular, and comes with a unique inverted U-shaped frame, within which sits a circular device. The name Swivel comes from the swiveling action of the main projector unit. Designed to be pointed at any angle (so you could use it as a long-throw or a short-throw projector), the swiveling detail lets you easily adjust the projector to face forwards, downwards, or upwards, with rotational freedom of up to 160°. Circular vents on the back of the projector help with heat-dissipation, while a single knob on the front (in the bottom corner of the frame) lets you toggle through the projector’s functions and tweak its settings. To make this already exciting concept even more fun, the Swivel runs wirelessly (which means you don’t need to worry about HDMI cables and cross-compatibility) and is small/slim enough to fit int backpacks, so you could carry it around to a friend’s house for a movie or game night!
Designer: Yash Gupte (Wacko Designs)
The design creatively transforms a mundane projector into a character loved by people of all ages from all over the world. The projector’s lens is perfect for Stuart’s monocle and the geometric cylinder combines the characteristic elements of IP with the core functions of the product. The upper and lower ends are sprayed with plastic material and metal aluminum mesh. The black silicone headwear is matched with the plastic metal paint effect of the optical machine lens. Yellow brings the bright pop needed to projects in true minion fashion complete with a yellow dust-proof that is added between the hardware aluminum net and the shell. The smart projector is a compact and cute upgrade from the otherwise dull black box!
The projector’s single camera, TOF feature face recognition, and an automatic focusing motor keep the picture clear at all times. Relying on the current hardware solutions for autofocus, the smart eye protection function has been added. “The internal use of independent BOX design uses a four-point cantilever to make the sound effect more perfect. 5020 blower, heat conduction system, intelligent control of fan speed, effective control of wind noise and internal temperature,” elaborates the team. An Instagram follower also pointed out that the perforations make it seem like Stuart has a beard…I guess we are all growing up! The design and emotion are also very well translated from the product to the packaging, it is equally playful, bright, and compact as the projector itself.
Are you a minion fan or do you have another character in mind that can be turned into a cool projector? Either way, it is only fair to quote Agnes herself to describe the collective emotion we felt when we saw the minion projects – “It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!”
Designer: Jerry C, Season Jia, and Bowen Yang
Picture this. You’re in your home (where else would you be, really?), the popcorn’s in the microwave, the couch is ready, the curtains shut, and all that leaks through is a tiny beam of moonlight, giving the place a dreamy aesthetic. You switch your Netflix 4K projector on and begin watching the movie you’ve been WAITING to watch now that the weekend’s finally upon us. That scene right there, that visual setup is the inspirational mood board behind the aesthetic of the Netflix projector. Designed as a concept (although I really wish it were true), the Netflix projector and Bluetooth speaker don’t just create the perfect Netflix-and-chill setup after a long day of work, they also are designed to look a lot like the moon popping up behind two buildings to create the perfect atmosphere for your night-time binging session.
The projector and Bluetooth speaker give you the best experience Netflix has to offer (provided you’ve got a great internet connection). This veritable home-theater features a projector capable of 4K complete with on-board controls, enough ventilation for cooling (coincidentally the vents look like pillars/floors of a building), a focusing ring on the front for a crystal-clear image, and enough ports on the back to be able to plug your USB-drives or Chromecasts in to watch content across other platforms. The projector pairs with a standing Bluetooth speaker unit that houses playback controls and a mechanical volume slider.
Netflix has a long history of partnering with television-makers, set-top-box manufacturers, and streaming giants to provide a dedicated Netflix button on their devices or remote-controls, but with the Netflix Projector + Speaker, this is perhaps the company’s first foray into physical devices (ever since they were a DVD delivery service up until 2007). The projector and speaker exist only as fan-made concepts for now, although I wonder how incredible it would be to have your own dedicated Netflix-powered home-theater setup during this pandemic!
Designer: Big Frogs Studio
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
Why build a console when you could build so much more?
Meet Project Oris. It doesn’t just play games. It does everything else too. The Project Oris is a pretty delightful mishmash of features and services which honestly seem like a concept-gone-wild at first glance, but make a lot of sense when you look at it in the grand scheme of things. The Project Oris is a gaming console, a hi-fi speaker, a projector, and even a Voice AI, all wrapped into a literal black box of tech.
Designed to be at the very center of your life at home, the Project Oris lets you play games, listen to music, and even watch media. You could hook it to a screen, or you could just point it at a blank wall and let its in-built projector broadcast an 8K HDR display. For music and gaming, the display is complemented by the console’s in-built 5 audio drivers that deliver rich bass as well as crisp highs in all directions. The speakers even come with 4 omni-directional microphones that pick up voice commands, because the console has a voice assistant built right into it. Tied probably to Microsoft’s services, the Project Oris runs Cortana, allowing you to set up gaming match reminders, as well as other functions, like dimming the lights, or playing your favorite tracks.
The Project Oris is, however, more than just a feature-heavy console. It comes with its own controller that A. features a touchscreen surface on the top, similar to the PlayStation’s DualShock 4 controllers, but with a built-in display. The controller also packs a fingerprint reader, that lets you access multiple user profiles with a simple tap, and OTA wireless charging that lets you juice the controller without plugging it in. Pretty nifty, no?
Would Microsoft make this? I doubt it. Should they? I can think of a BUNCH of reasons. A. It would give the Xbox an incredible competitive advantage over the PS, B. it would mean not needing to buy an 8K TV, or a bunch of speakers, or even a smart-hub, and C. it would really get people to use Cortana, which honestly Microsoft really could use, am I right?
Designer: Joseph Dumary