Microsoft and Central Saint Martins Partner to Reveal PC Hardware Designs of the Future and Announce the Winner of the First Microsoft UK Design Award.
Microsoft 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!