Cool New Designs for 2013
2013 is here and with it comes a slew of new designs meant to make our lives easier, sleeker, and more user-friendly (and also more fun!) We looked around for the neatest stuff
slated for release in 2013. Here's the best of what we've heard about and seen so far.
First of all, we have to give props to Sir Richard Branson for taking a great step forward in making Virgin Galactic–his planned "spaceline", a commercial flight company that will take tourists into outer space—a reality. With interiors by Phillipe Starck, this promises to be one chic spaceship. A test flight, with Sir Richard himself onboard, is planned for later this year and the first tourist flight are slated to begin in 2014.
We love this iPhone case from SmallWorks. The unique design allows you to totally customize your case using regular old LEGOS (joining the LEGO digital camera as one of our favorite whimsical designs) while the durable material protects your phone against bumps and scratches. It comes in several different colors and is now available for iPhone 5.
The Lytro Camera debuted in 2012, but it's so cool we thought it deserved another look. Developed by a researcher at Stanford, the camera works by capturing all available light in view. Once the "photo" has been taken, the viewer can then refocus the image however they desire. You can also change the perspective, zoom level, and add color filters, all in-camera. Not to mention the cool rectangular design is super chic and easy to transport.
3D is the way of the future, whether it be at the movies or in your home office. One of the biggest design trends for 2013 will definitely be the 3D printer, which has the capability to create three-dimensional solid objects using a digital model designed on a computer. Several 3D printers were on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. MakerBot's Replicator 2X was a hit for its forward-thinking plastic printing and clever design touches like a heat capturing hood stops the plastic material from cracking during processing.
Here's something really fun: Murata Boy, a bluetooth-controlled robot that can ride alongside you over all kinds of terrain. He's equipped with ultrasonic sensors to detect both obstacles and the presence of humans.
The same designers also came up with Murata girl, a unicycle riding female robot, because even robots need companionship.
Eco-friendly design is still a big trend. Coca-Cola is going green for 2013 with a re-designed bottle. The square shape is meant to maximize the amount of soda that can be shipped at one time. The "plastic" material is actually recycled sugar cane byproducts; a perfect fit for the liquid inside!
Here's something cool for all you bedroom DJs: A streamlined all-in-one digital DJ setup that includes a mixer and touchscreen turntables. Though some people might complain these super-modern digital versions of old-school equipment make the art of mixing records entirely too easy, I'm sure most DJs aren't going to miss lugging around boxes of heavy LPs.
Paging James Bond! This watch may look classic, but it's actually a super high-tech wrist-watch that interprets voice commands and connects wirelessly to your phone and alert you of incoming calls, messages, voicemails, and more! 007 would definitely sport one of these.
If you want something a little more casual but still high-tech, the Pebble Watch (which was funded entirely using Kickstarter) connects wirelessly to your Android or iPhone. The low price-point ($150) and early shipping date (January 23rd) make this watch a must have for people who want to experience the future of communication now.
Another cool, futuristic gadget making its debut is Samsung's phone with an unbreakable, bendable screen. (We wrote a little bit about it in our article on folding design.) The ultimate aim is to make it possible to actually fold up tablets and phones like old school road maps. They're produced by using plastic instead of glass to protect the screen. No word on when these phones will be actually be commercially produced, but it's certainly a step forward for handy gadgets.
Here's another product from Samsung that combines great design and functionality in one beautiful package. It may look like a piece of modern art, but it's really a high-definition television that incorporates a floating screen to turn a regular TV into a piece of high-end decor. We can see this fitting into a chic living room.
Let's end with an enigma. This is another novel television design from Samsung that appears to be hung like a portrait. The screen also seems to be translucent, like a window. The company has not released any details on what exactly sets this television apart from other designs, so we look forward to learning more about it as the year rolls on.