Our product landscape is cluttered with millions of existing objects whose forms we take for granted. A subset of designers and inventors have the ability to see how they can be upgraded, improved or outright replaced. Here are some examples we spotted this year.
Lots of folks carry water bottles. The designers of the Ringo figured out how to wring some extra utility from it.
The Twixit Seal & Pour is a bag clip with a built-in pouring spout. (It's designed for paper bags, which is how sundries are often sold in its native market of Scadinavia.)
Not as extreme as a chair lift: The AssiStep is an easier-to-install staircase climbing aid that uses no power—it's mechanical.
Repurposed Materials is a company whose entire thing is re-thinking. They buy up surplus materials, then finds creative ways to re-use them.
Fireworks shows, with their attendant smoke and occasional accidents, are becoming a thing of the past. Drone light shows, some of them powered by solar, are replacing them.
A startup called Airloom has re-thought the form factor of the wind turbine, developing a design that's 1/10th the cost.
The NexMonitor makes space for your phone at eye level, and charges it wirelessly.
The smartphone is the incumbent form for ubiquitous personal technology; can anything replace it? Perhaps Humane's Ai Pin, a wearable, talking AI personal assistant that projects info onto your hand, will have something to say about it.
Motorola feels the smartphone still has plenty of life in it. Their Razr Plus has a new folding, dual-screen form factor that they reckon will change the way we use one.
Solar panels are static things that live on roofs or stands. Portable power company Jackery's Solar Mars Bot concept, in contrast, would roll around on its own to find sunny spots.
Air purifiers, too, are static objects. But industrial designer Albert Rakhimzhanov's Ultra concept envisions a flying drone doing the purifying, covering more ground.
The Spacetop is a laptop with no screen. Instead, AR goggles provide the visuals.
Bicycle pedals are designed for grip; they're not designed to be comfortable when they accidentally slam into your shins. After 30 years of commuting by bike, inventor Bill Lee created these foam-surrounded Bumper Pedals.
Pouring canned beer into a glass or plastic cups is inherently wasteful. The Draft Top Pro is an invention for bars and restaurants, that allows bartenders to quickly turn the cans themselves into wide-mouthed drinking vessels.
Join over 240,000 designers who stay up-to-date with the Core77 newsletter.
Test it out; it only takes a single click to unsubscribe