Tempting new technology that makes a bold visual statement
Design-led technology and gadgets on our wish list include these visual triumphs, from a distinctive portable speaker to a compelling camera
From cutting-edge coffee machines to bold televisual statements, from audio eyewear to camera phones, here’s a seasonal round-up of the state of design in contemporary consumer technology and gadgets.
Design-led technology: gadgets for your wish list
Bang & Olufsen x Clot collaboration
This limited-edition version of Bang & Olufsen’s compact Beosound A1 portable speaker (above) has been developed in collaboration with Clot, the streetwear label founded by Edison Chen in Hong Kong in 2003. B&O describes the partnership as a celebration of ‘the vitality of life, music and Chinese culture’. The circular speaker is finished in bright metallic red, a deliberate attempt to evoke a blood cell. The aluminium grill bears the clot logo, and the black leather strap features a Clot-branded aluminium tag, transforming this compact speaker into a bright spot of portable audio design.
Bruvi Coffee Maker
American start-up Bruvi is another entrant into the single-serve coffee maker market, a world dominated by Nespresso. The company, co-founded by Mel Elias and Sung Oh, is placing an emphasis on sustainability from the outset, with recyclable pods that are also designed to break down in landfill if the right facilities aren’t available. The company calls this ‘Guilt Free Toss’, so full marks for confessing that the majority of single-serve capsules will inevitably end up in the trash. The device itself has a low-key functionality, with a crisply designed control panel and the promise of many, many different brews and blends sourced from well-known roasters. The machine will do filter coffee, espresso, Americanos, even tea and cold brew (a first from a single-serve capsule system). You can also go full ‘internet of things’ and trigger the Bruvi from an app, as well as buy more pods.
Samsung Frame Bezel
Samsung’s Frame Bezel is probably the first television to really fulfil the futurist promise of transforming a screen into a discreet piece of art when it’s not being used. The Bezel system offers up 40 colours for the company’s current series of Frame televisions, ranging from 32in all the way up to 65in. Bezels can be swapped over, with a magnetic clip system, and there’s a bevelled edge design to really emphasise the television’s built-in Art Mode, a 4K QLED display that can serve up whatever images you like, as well as tap into a subscription Art Store for a curated choice.
Aether isn’t the only company in the audio eyewear category. Just as the rest of the world returns to wired headphones as a style statement, several other players are integrating speakers into elegant sunglasses and glasses frames. Fauna offers four designs – ‘Levia’ in black is shown here – with Carl Zeiss Vision lenses that can cater to any prescription, or just plain tinted lenses. The carry case doubles as a charger, and the glasses will pump out podcasts or …….