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PC Hardware Designs of the Future

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International MA Industrial Design Students Challenged to Create an Input Technology Device Inspired by Microsoft Technology

London, 26th April 2012: Microsoft Ltd today unveiled the twelve shortlisted designs and final winner of its inaugural PC Hardware Design Project with Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design. Twenty four MA Industrial Design students were briefed to create and design a range of innovative hardware and user-experience devices which consumers could be using in the future.

Microsoft tasked participating Industrial Design students to conceptualise ideas which demonstrated new thinking in computer interaction – challenging each to devise possible alternatives to the mouse and keyboard or, alternatively, visualise technologies that could be used in the future, based on emerging tech trends of today.

The shortlisted designs were showcased in an exhibition at the College last night. One student, 24 year old Victor Johansson, from Sweden, was selected as the overall winner and awarded first prize.
Scott Smith, Principal User Experience Designer with the Microsoft Hardware User Experience Team and judge of the PC Hardware Design Project, commented: “It has been a fascinating experience to see students who hail from a diverse mix of backgrounds and nationalities developing fresh insights into the world of man/machine interaction. I was particularly impressed with Victor Johansson’s design as he successfully met the overall goal of the programme and really showcased a possible future trend which addressed a clear consumer need – a quality that is at the forefront of all Microsoft design thinking.”

1. Keyflex – Victor Johansson

Keyflex is an evolution of the humble keyboard. Rather than just pressing keys, the user bends, squeezes, twists and flexes the device to control it. It can also be bent upwards and downwards to control the volume. By pressing the ‘modifier key’ at the same time, the action of bending gets assigned to a different function (e.g. fast forwarding a movie). The device can also be twisted to pause or escape. When using social media, the user can squeeze either the right or left side to ‘share’ or ‘like’.

2. Designer Gloves – Duo Zhang

This product is targeted at a variety of designers offering different modes of use. Street artists can choose ‘outdoor mode’ to record and transfer content to a digital format. ‘Modeling mode’ enables product designers to create physical and virtual models and digitize their motion. Lastly, ‘on-desk mode’ allows virtual image designers to use gesture controlled recognition to create their designs.

3. Museo – Tom Maisey

Museo is an electric audio-visual interface, which makes recording and performing music a more enjoyable experience. It can be used with a range of instruments, but is primarily designed for use with a guitar and enables an experience similar to that of a professional using in-ear monitors and volume control. It utilises the freedom of feet to adjust input settings allowing users to continue playing and making it simpler to achieve the desired sound.

4. Bendy-Cam – Martyna Bielecka

Bendy-Cam is a concept challenging the archetype of a camera in a playful and intuitive way. The design explores the potential of gesture in relation to a camera input device. Squeeze to take a photo, slide apart to adjust length of the screen, bend to zoom in and out, twist to browse photos…Bendy-Cam doesn’t need a single button!

5. The Semaphone - Masami Lavault

Designed to overcome the barriers to creating intimacy between two people in a virtual space, the Semaphone comes as a pair of shell–like devices linked via the internet. The Semaphone is designed to be carried around the home and continuously record a person’s movements. The shell also delicately shines according to the movements of the other, with different light rhythms signifying diverse statuses.

6. Digipost - Yuhan Wan

Lots of people stick notes on or around their monitor. Some products can’t be replaced by a digital one because they exist for different uses, for example the paper ‘to-do’ lists. This device offers a real writing pad set on the surface of a pressure sensitive touch pad. When writing on the paper, the sensor underneath will capture the information and save a digital copy.

7. Double - Liliana Carvalho

Double is a wireless dual navigation mouse device, designed to teach older generations to use computers. Each user uses one hand, working together to learn and practice the skills needed to operate within the digital world.

8. Drag Fun – Easy Reader - Caijun Yang

Drag Fun is an intelligent reader for visually impaired people which turns any printed book into a physical Braille and sound book. The product automatically analyses the layout of a book and includes an elastic scanning belt which allows it to scan books of all sizes.

9. Switch – Lucie Barouillet

A central hub connected wirelessly to all devices in the home that can be controlled by parents to limit the time children spend using technological devices.

10. Syringe USB - Chun-Ling Wu

This concept is designed to display the digital capacity of a USB stick by using a simple movement which visualizes the upload process in a physical and intuitive way. The design is inspired by the motion of a syringe which follows an input and output action.

11. Ambient Games Capsule – Alexandra Sidorenko

This concept is based on creating an immersive environment during game-play whilst reflecting the game in the real world. The glass ball will create an emotional sphere which transforms the users environment by projecting images into the real world.

12. Social Media Dice – Rahul Boggaram

This concept is designed to keep you digitally connected. The Social Media Dice enables you to share content digitally by using physical gestures that allow you to simplify and socialize your

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