Smart gadgets need a facelift. Many of them are way too ugly

Technology has done amazing things. Carry your computer in your pocket, fly a small aircraft from your phone, and control your home systems from anywhere in the world. While the usefulness that technology has brought to our lives is undisputed, there is something missing. that’s beauty.

For too long, too many gadgets have prioritized technology and utility over seamless integration into our lives. Black plastic is the primary material for many home gadgets and devices. That was fine because we were learning to make technology more cost effective and accessible to the masses, but now why so many products lack inspired design Is it?

There are tons of books out there on design, and it’s easy to get sidetracked about defining beauty and what good design is. Let’s say today you want a gadget or device that discreetly blends into your life.

Smart gadgets that integrate seamlessly

Think gadgets like the Samsung Frame TV. In my house, it’s a work of art that blends into the room so well that many guests sit next to it many times before checking to see if it’s actually a TV. . The option to add a wooden frame only enhances his ability to turn his 65-inch 4K TV out of sight.

Google also made big strides with its new Nest Audio speakers. With soft cloud-like shapes and eco-friendly pastel fabric wraps, these digital butlers don’t scream “I’m a smart speaker!” Anyways. Even those indicator lights only appear when needed and then blend into the background.

There’s also the gorgeous simplicity of a device like the purification technology is hidden beneath a pile of living moss encased in a terrarium-like glass dome. If you’ve seen other air purifiers, you know that they’re often giant plastic boxes that weigh on the surface and take up valuable visual space. It’s a breath of fresh air.

But where is the design beauty of the rest of our technology and gadgets?

These gadgets need thoughtful refinement

Roborock S7 MaxV is charging.

Take a robot vacuum cleaner. They are almost identical in size, color, shape and material and are black plastic. Some companies like Ecovacs and iRobot are taking small steps towards beautification (softer colors, brushed metals, leather pull tabs), but they’re still a long way from blending into our homes. For example, why don’t robot vacuums have natural exoskeletons such as bamboo or leather? The ECOVACS X1 vacuum robot currently has a removable brushed silver plastic cover on top of the robot. , this could also be a more natural looking sustainable material. While we’re at it, can we make the new wave of gigantic auto-pump vacuum base stations look like little side tables instead of little people’s garages at Fisher-Price?

Smart door locks are another prominent example of unobtrusive technology. Perhaps the smart locks of the future could be seamlessly integrated into the metal knobs and handles we already use, or exist as tinted glass panels or LED screens on our doors. , some companies like Masonite are starting to figure out how to integrate power, Wi-Fi, Ring Video Doorbell and Yale smart door locks into the overall design and construction of Masonite M-Pwr doors. There is still a long way to go until you get used to it.

Fitbit’s Aria 2 smart scale is an unobtrusive glass pane, but what if you could take a picture of your bathroom floor and apply it to the surface of the smart bathroom scale, blending it into your own space?

Samsung has also begun to take this into account in the design of its larger kitchen appliances with bespoke lines. , or boldly call attention to the rest of the room.

I hope companies will adopt more smart speakers and digital assistants, put TVs in every room, robot vacuums on every floor, smart alarm clocks, smart scales, etc. If you are, you can have a more seamless relationship with all these amazing things. New gadgets, and thoughtful designs, should keep up with smart technology.

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