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With Christmas around the corner and people cozying up, home entertainment is more important than ever. Be that for the perfect movie experience when the family is gathering together to watch a Christmas movie, or as the perfect present under the tree. But what wireless headphones give the perfect sound? What speaker or soundbar designs make you feel even more like home and match your interior? What are the best innovations on the market?
For our iF design special on Consumer Electronics we present you with all the designs of now and tomorrow - with a turn on "female tech designs", a look into our awarded products and a turn on the perfect soundbar. There is even a nostalgic look into the past and into the strongest brands in consumer electronics.
See for yourself, what the iF WORLD DESIGN GUIDE has to offer on Consumer Electronics, from computer, gaming and telecoms to building technology und audio.
From hi-fi audio to HD video and everything in between, it presents design technology that inspires. Consumer Electronics represents all that entertainment and information devices have to offer. Scroll through all awarded designs of 2019 in the categories computer, gaming, telecoms, building technology und audio.
Damian Mackiewicz is vice president of design at Harman. In 2011, he was co-founder of the first in-house design organization and established design as one of the most important strategic columns of the company, among them brands like JBL, Harman Kardon and AKG. Under his direction, the design department was honored with more than 300 design awards. In 2019, he was himself a judge for the iF DESIGN AWARD 2019! We asked him about his principles of good audio design. See in the video, what he has to say!
Streaming Services are collapsing, not only around Christmas. Current statistics show that the video streaming market size will grow at an estimated CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 19.6%, from 2019 to reach an estimated $124.57 billion in value by 2025 (Marked Watch 2018). More and more people enjoy watching movies and especially (bingewatching) series at home. One of the biggest services - Netflix - has over 91.46 million international subscribers (Netflix, Statista 2019).
While more and more people like their home cinema experience, their needs for perfect sound gadgets grew immensely. Manufacturers and designers reacted to this trend years ago and there is an increasing amount of companies selling high-end soundbars - like Sonos, Samsung or LG Electronics - which is also reflected in the growing number of soundbars submitted for the iF DESIGN AWARD.
The Stereo-Radio-Cassette-Recorder by Philips was one of the hottest products in 1987, when it was honored with an iF DESIGN AWARD. Its distinctive and bold black and white design was appealing to children and adults the same. Nowadays, when there is endless music-radioshow- or podcast-streaming with your phone or laptop and when there are speakers, even the newest version among similar iF awarded designs seems obsolete. It needs no mention, how the design of receivers and players changed over the years to a more subtle, intuitive and almost invisible design, integrating into your home. Product below: The Rayer DE11 by Guangzhou Rayer Acoustic Technology, awarded in 2018.
The perfect sound is always a top priority when it comes to headphones - even in 1974, when Sennheiser was awarded for their chin-bow headphones HD 44. Striking is the similarity to wireless headphones today. However, a perfect ergonomy and fit, a clean and easy to access design is also paramount! The company's Momentum In-Ear Wireless headphones of 2018 have a similar turn on design language, still carrying the strong modern wireless look.
How many devices for music does the modern human being need? Especially when there is a mobile phone, that offers all entertainment you need at any time you want. There was a time portable casette players or Sony's Walkman were in every cool music fans pocket - like with the 1987-awarded Stereo-Cassette-Recorder D 6608 by Philips. In the early 2000s it was the decade of the mp3-players like Apple's popular iPod. Today, it is more like: all you need is your phone and - at best - wireless bluetooth headphones or speakers. Like the design of portable devices became less loud and the products much smaller, will the designs vanish slowly from the market?
Long ago are the walks to work in a business suit and a heavy suitcase full of electronics. The personal computer PS/2 Modell P70 386 in "briefcase size" by IBM was groundberaking at the time - and was honored in 1990 - but weighed like five modern laptops. Apart from all the technical developments, the design (and weight) of laptops changed drastically. The modern "thin and light" design of newer products fits in an actual briefcase or backpack and leaves room for groceries in your bag, too. Since laptops are not only used for work, but entertainment also, their designs show a more familiar, less technic-driven, but home-driven design, like the leather-coated HP Spectre Folio, that was honored with an iF gold award in 2019.
Since its founding
14 years ago, design-people has focused on user-centric interface design for
technology products. One of their main, one would say "tricky" goals, is to design electronical products specifically for women and their needs. How to do this? We asked Klaus Schröder, Business
Innovation Director and co-founding partner of design-people. The nordic innovation and design company has been honored 12 times with an iF award, some of them for their stylish Vifa speakers. Vifa is a danish company with a long-established heritage and technical
expertise in audio systems. Read below, what Klaus Schröder has to say.
Klaus Schröder: Our user studies, in which we met with women who were not interested in existing technological products, piqued our interest. We wondered: what is the actual relationship between tech products and female users?
Klaus Schröder: We discovered that none of the three tech companies involved in our “Female Interaction” research project (lasting from 2019 to 2012) had specific insights about how female target groups perceive their brand and their products. We also discovered that it takes clear and motivating benefit stories about how new tech-products can improve everyday (social) life to get women interested in buying technology. Women are more demanding in terms of ease of use, because they usually don't want to focus on the devices themselves and are busy with their social lifes – whereas at least some men tend to be more interested in the gadget itself.
The tough task for designers is to create tech-products that make a woman and her home look and feel right – or at the very least, which are not invasive. She wants no additional displays in the living room.
Klaus Schröder: We started our collaboration with the Vifa management and development, when the company and brand was reinvented into an audio luxury brand with the help of Chinese capital. With our expertise in female responsive innovation, design and branding, we were able to uniquely position the Vifa band and to give the products their special Nordic design language. The extensive use of interior fabrics from the Danish manufacturer Kvadrat contributes substantially to the Vifa look & feel.
Klaus Schröder: Traditionally and historically, Nordic Design derives from interior design, while German design mainly comes from product and engineering. As a result, Nordic Design is more focused on the entire spatial context (living spaces or public spaces), and therefore tends to have a holistic perspective. Its formal language is based on craftsmanship, functionality, simple lines with a human touch and ‚authenticity‘ in the choice of materials.
In ten years, it will still be possible to improve people’s every day life with surprisingly well thought through and simple designs. Digitalization and a strong focus on sustainability will drive innovative design solutions in the years to come – and the female influence on design will become more pronounced. Also when it comes to “smart homes.
No other medium has such a creative and passionate community as games. Whether cosplayers, modders, e-sportsmen or streamers: What do they really want and need? Where do the designers of gaming hardware set in? For a gamer, pro or not, the perfect gaming experience is paramount. We believe, a great looking, innovative and easy to handle hardware is irreplaceable to reach this experience. That is why we asked designers and manufacturers in our iF design special on Gaming what they believe the next trends are.
What is new in Consumer Electronics in 2020? Companies, manufacturers and designers will gather in Las Vegas, at the renowned CES Show, from 7 to 10 Januar 2020. CES has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for 50 years — the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace. Among the key topics in 2020 are virtual reality, streaming and home entertainment technologies. The CES is owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®.