Electric dreams: we’re in a trance over these tip-top technological toys
This year has been a busy year for futuristic technology. We celebrated the rise of the robot; the idea of autonomous driving has rolled off the drawing board and onto the highway; and, after a slow start, electric bikes have finally started to get us in a spin. We’ve even come around to the idea of smart vaping.
Alongside this high concept stuff, there’s still room in our lives for simple, clever tech solutions – and we’re filling our interiors with them. Here’s a few of our favourites...
Beoplay P2, by Bang & Olufsen
The ultra-portable P2 – a pocket-sized powerhouse – is aesthetically and sonically simple. The smooth, pebble-shaped device is completely button-free, controlled remotely by an app. To change, skip or pause a track, simply give the hand-held speaker a shake.
On first impression this might seem a little gimmicky – just another digital language to learn, struggle with and swiftly forget – but the unique control design is surprisingly intuitive. It’s a novel design that appeals to Beoplay’s ‘youthful and energetic’ audience base, says design and concept manager Jakob Kristoffersen.
DOCK, by Native Union
When John Brunner and Igor Duc teamed up to create Native Union in 2009, they set out to offer an alternative to mass-produced charges, cables and technology storage solutions. In doing so, they powered up the aesthetic potential of tech accessories, realising their ability to double as beautiful statement objects.
For the marble watch stand DOCK, which doubles as an Apple watch charger, the pair were inspired by the tech titan’s minimal approach and understated look. Brushed aluminium is paired with fine-grade marble and magnetically holds the watch band in place, buckled or unbuckled.
X-A3 camera, by Fujifilm
Retro design notes meet contemporary usability in Fujifilm’s X-A3. Touchscreen operation pairs with wireless communication and a 180° tilting, ‘portrait enhancing’ LCD screen (developed specifically for taking the perfect selfie), all encased in a faux-leather, 1950s-esque shell.
Aimed at ‘phoneographers’ after an upgrade, the X-A3 also comes with Instagram-style filters and a ‘smile’ shutter. Like the P2, this entry-level mirrorless camera also relies on an app – the Fujifilm Camera Remote app – which allows you to upload your images directly from the camera onto your social channels, and takes much of the unnecessary clutter away from the streamlined in-camera menu system.
Bild X Concept TV, by Loewe
Loewe has impressed this year, by taking its innovative, visually interesting TV concepts and making them into real, functional products – and nabbing a Wallpaper* Design Awards nomination in the along the way. In doing so, they've taken TV design in a new direction: out of the hands of technologists and into the hands of interior experts.
Its latest release, the Bild X Concept, is still in the developmental stage. Debuted at IFA Berlin in September and designed by London-based designer Bodo Sperlein, its paper-thin gold frame is inspired by the way sails hang from a mast. Its ‘sail’, so to speak, is the unbelievably slim OLED screen, which can be detached from the frame with a simple click-in mechanism. A novel approach, where all the electronics are entirely distinct from the screen itself, makes for what Sperlein describes as a ‘truly smart TV’. A simple shift in thinking, this move towards the modular ‘releases the TV from its usual webbed anchor of cables’ and allows it to be moved, adapted and adjusted, by even the most novice technology owner with ease.
A version of this article appeared in the December 2017 issue of Wallpaper* (W*225)