Gorgeous Tech: 25 Award-Winning Designs

The international red dot awards program recognizes outstanding product designs across numerous categories, including tech.

By Ann Bednarz, NetworkWorld

Eye Candy for Tech

IT and communications products won big in this year’s red dot design awards. The international awards program, which dates back to 1955, is among the world’s most prestigious design competitions. This year, judges pored through 4,515 entries to find the best product designs across 19 categories that span architecture, IT and communications, auto engineering, fashion and life sciences. Here are 25 of our favorite tech-related winners.

iFusion SmartStation

AltiGen Communications’ iFusion SmartStation is a docking station for the iPhone, which connects via Bluetooth. Users can opt for the ergonomic handset, which feels like a conventional landline, without sacrificing smartphone functions.

What the red dot jury said: “The iFusion SmartStation offers a perfect symbiosis between the iPhone and the ergonomics of a conventional telephone.”

C SEED 201 Outdoor TV

With the click of a button, the C SEED 201 outdoor LED TV rises up from an underground shaft and seven panels unfold to form an enormous screen. The manufacturer, C SEED Entertainment Systems of Austria, added a fingerprint sensor to the remote control to prevent unauthorized users from tampering with the screen.

What the red dot jury said: “The form and the functionality of the C SEED 201 Outdoor TV impress the beholder. It is a fascinating experience to see how this huge TV screen unfolds and retracts again. Both its details and the control elements of this device are perfectly implemented.”

Logitech Cube Computer Mouse

A combination mouse and presentation remote, the Logitech Cube fits comfortably in your hand or in your pocket. It works like a conventional computer mouse, scrolling when you swipe your finger along the main panel. In presentation mode, you lift the Cube into the air and click it to advance to the next slide.

What the red dot jury said: “The Cube interprets the design of a mouse in a whole new way. Detached from the classic form, control functionality via gestures and the touch surface is innovative and exceptionally user-friendly. The plain design promises simple handling.”

Mindport Office Furniture System

The Mindport furniture system by Lista Office LO takes some of the openness out of an open-plan office so employees can have privacy when they need it. Six different units can be combined to create a range of work environments.

What the red dot jury said: “The Mindport by Lista Office LO office furniture system brings a new lightness to work organization. The honeycomb-like elements allow people to work comfortably without disruption. In this instance, design conceives the future of the world of work with commitment.”

O!care Wireless Camera

The O!Care wireless IP camera lets you remotely monitor kids, pets and anything else you want to watch from afar. It’s controlled by an app on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

What the red dot jury said: “The O!Care convinced the jury with its plain and clear design, thanks to which it can be unobtrusively installed in nearly all interior spaces. Since no computer is required to operate it, the user attains new freedom in monitoring spaces while on the go.”

Cosmost II Tower

Two handles and a pair of racecar-inspired aluminum side panels distinguish Cooler Master’s Cosmos II chassis, which can hold up to 13 HDDs or SSDs and multiple watercooling radiators.

What the red dot jury said: “The Cosmos II convinced the jury with its functional architecture and angular design, which fosters a dynamic, powerful appearance.”

m-duo iPad Wall Mount

German manufacturer PE-Systems is behind the m-duo, a magnetic wall mount for the iPad. All you see on the wall portion of the system is a sleek aluminum plate; the attachment fixtures are hidden. When you want to hang the iPad, four flat buttons attached to the backside of the iPad make the connection.

What the red dot jury said: “The wall mount adapts the formal language of the iPad and thus creates a harmonious unit. With its reserved design, m-duo also seamlessly blends into modern living spaces when the iPad has been placed elsewhere.”

Slice Mobile Wi-Fi Device

Huawei’s E5331 device, dubbed Slice, is a multi-mode wireless hotspot for small/home offices. No bigger than a business card, it connects via USB interface or over Wi-Fi and supports up to 10 devices.

What the red dot jury said: “Slice convinced the jury with its rounded forms and comfortable haptics that are pleasant to the touch. The ceramic glaze, an essential feature, lends the unit strength and brilliance.”

Technology Flap

Now you see the controls, now you don’t. In the Technology Flap from PHILIP Möbelmanufaktur, electrical outlets and LAN, WAN, audio and VGA interfaces are hidden behind a hinged door that’s flush with the tabletop when it’s closed.

What the red dot jury said: “Here, technology becomes visible only when required. When the lid is opened, the connections appear in a clearly arranged and user-friendly way.”

Time & Wireless Charging Station

Help clear the clutter on your desktop or nightstand with the multifunction Time & Wireless Charging Station from Oregon Scientific of Hong Kong. It combines a wireless charger with a radio, alarm clock and indoor/outdoor temperature display.

What the red dot jury said: “The charger fulfills the demands of the modern communication age: featuring state-of-the-art technology, it provides a simply designed solution for the wireless charging of mobile devices.”

Vogel’s PFF 5100 Videoconferencing Furniture

The PFF 5100 videoconferencing system from Vogel’s Products offers flexible mounting options to make it easier to find a place for all your AVA equipment, including screens, cameras and speakers. Integrated wheels make it easy to move from room to room.

What the red dot jury said: “With its unobtrusive design, this video conferencing furniture blends seamlessly into any space. The materials selected distinguish it as a high-quality product for the business world.”

Inkling Digital Sketch Pen

When you sketch something with the Inkling ballpoint pen from Japanese manufacturer Wacom Company, it digitally records the sketch, regardless of what kind of paper you’re using. When the Inkling is connected to a computer via USB, the drawings are transmitted as bitmap or vector files.

What the red dot jury said: “The jury was impressed by this sketch pen’s high degree of mobility and flexibility. It can be operated by itself without additional devices — anytime and anywhere — in order to bring ideas to paper and digitalize them at a later point in time.”

Akoya X-PC Desktop

You can’t miss the X-shaped form of the Akoya X-PC from German manufacturer Medion. The compact aluminum housing accommodates a power supply unit, connectors and an adapter for Medion’s portable hard disk drives.

What the red dot jury said: “The X-PC interprets conventional forms of the computer chassis in a whole new way. A clever detail is the front cover, which can be rotated to access the required connections.”

Pod Chair

Open to the front yet shielding on the sides, the Pod chair from Netherlands design firm De Vorm offers privacy for working even when you’re in a busy place. The shell is made from recycled PET felt, which has sound-dampening properties.

What the red dot jury said: “Material and design turn the Pod into an eye-catcher. It shields users from their environment, allowing them to work in a relaxed and concentrated manner.

So-Fi M Azzurro Bag

An integrated solar cell and USB port lets you use the so-fi M azzurro messenger bag to directly charge smartphones, tablet PCs and other mobile devices. If there’s not enough sunlight, batteries take over the recharging function of the bag, which was designed by GOpro! Creative Marketing.

What the red dot jury said: “This lifestyle bag fascinated the jury with its direct recharging function, the first of its kind ever invented, which is tailored to our mobile world. In addition, it features high-quality materials and excellent workmanship.”

Xframe Open-Frame Chassis

A few of the features of the Xframe steel/aluminum open-frame chassis from In Win Development of Taiwan are: vertical or horizontal positioning; easy access screw rail; tool-less removable motherboard tray; slide-proof stands; and removable handlebars.

What the red dot jury said: “The high flexibility of this chassis and its functional, user-friendly design proved convincing to the jury.”

Testa Motari Wood Keyboards

Testa Motari keyboards are made from sustainably forested woods, including Vavona Maser, ebony and walnut. The creator is German manufacturer Cherry (now known as ZF Electronic Systems).

What the red dot jury said: “The jury was particularly pleased with the innovative and stylish choice of materials for these keyboards. The use of elegant wood results in a touch of uniqueness and naturalness in a technical environment.”

High Tech Multi-Tool Adaptor

The High Tech Multi-Tool Adaptor from Lifetrons of Switzerland can charge and sync your mobile devices with your computer simultaneously. It has a built-in SIM cardholder and a viewing stand for watching videos.

What the red dot jury said: “It is not without good reason that this design is reminiscent of the classic Swiss army knife — the product also embodies Swiss quality, combines many functions in the smallest possible space, and is easy to use.”

Svelte Collection iPad Case

Inspired by the art of paper folding, the Svelte Collection case from Hong Kong’s Kassa Trading Company lets you position the iPad at different angles by folding portions of the case.

What the red dot jury said: “The soft, stylish case doubles as a stand. It is so easy to convert that there are hardly any limits to the user’s creativity.”

Highway Pro Car Charger

Outfitted with double USB connections, the Highway Pro car charger from Just Mobile plugs into a cigarette-lighter socket and can charge two devices simultaneously. A built-in fuse provides protection from power surges.

What the red dot jury said: “This car charger impressed the jury with its smooth, functional design. The contrast between the structured aluminum head and the black housing creates an elegant appearance.”

MiWand 2 PRO Scanner

You don”t need a computer or software, but you do need two AA batteries to operate Avision’s MiWand 2 PRO scanner. If you glide the handheld scanner over the surface of a document, the image is saved on a micro-SD card. If the scanner is attached to the feeder dock, you can feed in documents for scanning.

What the red dot jury said: “The concept of being able to scan documents anytime and anywhere impressed the jury. The device is handy, offers a high degree of mobility and is characterized by ease of use.”

Q Knot Multipurpose Tie

Designed to bundle cables and cords, the reusable Q Knot has a self-locking mechanism so you can tighten it as much as you need and clean up the cord clutter. It’s designed by UT Wire and manufactured by Rubbo International.

What the red dot jury said: “Q Knot presents a simple solution for bundling and closing objects. This extremely easy-to-use rubber band is available in a range of vibrant colors.”

Zeta Book Scanner

The Zeta book scanner is compact and easy to use with its integrated touch panel. The sculptural quality of the scanner, made by German manufacturer Zeutschel, impressed the red dot judges.

What the red dot jury said: “This scanner convinced the jury with a sculptural design that lends it an unmistakable appearance.”

Mushroom GreenZERO Travel Charger

Made for iPod and iPhone devices, the eco-friendly Mushroom GreenZERO travel charger from OSUNGO automatically switches off when a connected device is fully charged. The mushroom-shaped head works as the “on” switch — give it a tap with your foot and it will resume charging.

What the red dot jury said: “The jury found the fresh design and smart details of this charger persuasive, as well as its mushroom-shaped, multifunctional head.”

HomePad Home Automation Device

Four keys operate the HomePad, which controls room temperature and turns lighting on and off. Created by Italian manufacturer Eelectron SpA, HomePad adheres to the KNX standard for home and building controls.

What the red dot jury said: “The HomePad convinced the jury with its friendly, rounded design. It harmoniously adapts to interior furnishings and signifies ease of use.”

Republished from PC World. (View original version.)

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