Culture

5 Beautifully Designed Gadgets That Marry Tech And Art

These gadgets seamlessly blend design with emerging technology to bridge the gap between creative ideas and technical execution.

Jun 25, 2018 | By Terence Poh

Trove by Layer

“We won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century – it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate).” – Ray Kurzweil in The Law of Accelerating Returns, 2010.

For the vast majority of modern human existence, it was safe to assume that the world in which you died would look very much similar to the one in which you were born. However, that is hardly the case today, and in fact, pretty soon, futurist Ray Kurzweil predicts human beings will not die at all. With technology advancing at an exponential rate today, it is no wonder that the human condition seeks new ways to innovate and progress – that is when Art steps in across disciplines to bring about a greater wealth of possibilities presented by emerging technology.

The Growth of Tech as Art: 5 Beautifully Designed Gadgets That Marry Tech And Art

To bridge the gap between creative ideas and technical execution, corporations constantly search for new ways to incorporate Art in everyday tech, seeding the growth of tech as an art form itself.

Plume WiFi System

Plume Design Inc. has unveiled a new type of adaptive Wi-Fi system that maximises Wi-Fi network coverage and eliminates dead zones. Forget the ubiquitous Linksys routers – does its job, but poor on design factor – and relish in the minimal and elegant design of the Plume. The gadget sports a metal hexagonal form factor available in 4 colours.

By adapting to the preceding space and lifestyle, Plume fills every inch of a home with the strongest possible signal, and discreetly at that, never looking out of place. The company charges a yearly fee to deliver this high-end hardware that is fully app-enabled.

LEO by Constellation Audio

Besides delivering extraordinary sound, Constellation’s first music system in the Dominion line of products is carefully designed to be compact yet stylish. The device packs a tri-amplified stereo sound system that delivers performance from traditional CD players to the latest smartphones – all from an anodized body that sits comfortably on a sturdy shelf or table. It resembles a slab of raw cut crystal that compliments its cutting-edge audio technology that is more statement home deco, an embodiment of tech-meets-art.

Available in Black and Grey, the device is available Q3/Q4 2018.

Naim for Bentley Mu-So

In collaboration with Bentley Motors, Naim introduced the special edition Naim to add to its Mu-so range of wireless music systems. The device includes a delicately-patterned aluminium skin and a knurled volume control reminiscent of classic Bentley styling to appeal to avid Bentley fans and home owners seeking a sleek addition to their home system. The collection also offers amplifiers featuring the same bespoke metalwork pattern of classic Bentley design that syncs with the Mu-so to deliver the ultimate multiroom experience.

The Naim for Bentley editions are now available online from the Bentley Collection, through authorised Bentley dealers and JohnLewis.com.

Bunaco by Nendo Bluetooth Speaker

The Bunaco speaker by Nendo is an omnidirectional expression of Japanese minimalism and craftsmanship. Artisan company Bunaco specialises in hand-coiling 1mm-thin and 1cm-wide ribbon strips of beech wood from the Japanese perfecture of Aomori to make bowls, lampshades, and other wood hardwares. In collaboration with Japanese studio Nendo, Bunaco took advantage of the acoustic properties that beech wood offers to “warm” up both sound quality and aesthetic form of the wireless omnidirectional speaker. The result is a visible cyclonic mass of coiled wood winding downward until it unravels into a loose coil of wood, encased in a clear acrylic cyclinder case. The device resembles an art installation more than a speaker.

The custom handcrafted speaker is available at about $1,092 upon request via the Bunaco website.

Trove by Layer Cryptocurrency Wallet

Trove by Layer Cryptocurrency Wallet

Layer, a design studio by Benjamin Hubert, has launched a digital wallet and app system that stores cryptocurrency and protects them against loss or theft. The 4-part device, Coin, Keep, Safe, and the Trove app, is a collaborative effort between Layer and fintech startup Trove that stores cyptocurrency such as bitcoin offline. It is coined as “unhackable and unloseable”, incorporating smart security systems that make it less susceptible to hackers and much harder to lose if you forget your password.

The Coin in particular is a looker which comes in two materials, black aerated aluminium and silver anodised aluminium. It can be magnetically attached to a wristband, necklace, or brooch. The wristband comes in a range of Kvadrat textiles, while the necklace in a variety of terrazzo, acrylic, or ceramic fascias. It is a small wearable device equipped with an electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor that can only be accessed biometrically – users need to press their skin against the contact zone on the front of the device for a few seconds to unlock it.

The Trove truly marries design and technology, as part of Benjamin Hubert’s 2015 rebranding and shift of his studio, Layer, towards more “human-focused projects”. The device is currently in the prototype stage, but we reckon it will be available sooner than never, in tandem with growing interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain.

 


 
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