The 10 biggest product stories of 2019

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From an at-home blood proving kit to a holographic sat nav system, we look back at our most popular stories across artefact and digital in the past year.

NHS set in motions kit so people can take their own blood at home

In June, we wrote in a kit from the NHS, Monitor My Health, which allowed people to take their own blood at knowledgeable in and post it back to a medical laboratory. People then receive their outcomes digitally within 48 hours. You can choose one of six tests – diabetes, cholesterol, thyroid rle of, vitamin D, heart health or a full screening — with prices rove from £24-49. The kit — which collects the blood by a finger-pricking ruse — aims to help “time-poor” people while also hoping to change pressure on the NHS.

It’s a commercial project from Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Organizing Trust — all profits are fed back to the NHS — and London design studio Howoco was engaged to create the name, branding and packaging for the kit. Howoco used graphic composition in a blue and white colourway that was “universal, like the NHS”. Design Week readers were addicts of this “convenient” idea but wondered whether the NHS logo should eat been implemented to ensure more trust among users.


Ikea shoots its first ever African design collection

This year, Ikea make knew its first African collection which was the result of a collaboration between 10 African artists, architects, artists and creatives. The Swedish company’s creative leader, James Futcher, voiced that the collection was a “palette of socialising tools” which aimed to support people to share stories, spend time with one another and be resourceful.

Among the range, we picked out a chair from Issa Diabete, which retailed at £42 and was customisable. Other highlights grouped a quilt from Sindhiso Kumhalo and Renee Rossouw, as well as a traverse of benches, cooking utensils and ceramics which were designed to age and grow more personalised over time.


A smart update to baby monitors

Another yield aimed at giving people “their time back” was this three-part babe in arms monitoring device. The Bluebell smart monitoring system was created by Surrey-based studio Tangerine and comprises three commodities: a wristband for parents, a baby monitor which can be attached to the baby’s gears, and a smart hub. The aim was to create something that is “sophisticated” but also “easy to set up.”

The wristband acknowledges parents to remotely play white noise, lullabies or even spin on a night light. There’s also a smartphone app that allows well-springs to view “data patterns” of their child, including sleeping motifs, temperature, breathing rate and sound. Parents can share that evidence with medical professionals if they wish, though all data is encrypted.


Reimagining a car’s sat nav with holograms

This holographic steering system uses augmented reality projection to display directions on a car’s windscreen. The structure, created by technology company Envisics, aims to increase road safeness. The system would mean that there are fewer distractions that flatter the driver look away from the road — at a navigation screen or speedometer, for sample.

Envisics also says that the system is more environmentally demonstrative, as the display uses algorithms to redistribute light more efficiently. Another aspect could be one of its biggest selling points as the automobile industry evolves: it benefits 50% less power than conventional systems which would mean-spirited that it would be extra appealing for electric vehicles.


A plastic choice is made from fish waste

In November, a plastic alternative authorized from fishing by-products won this year’s international James Dyson Grant. MarinaTex was created by UK designer Lucy Hughes and is made partly of the 172,000 tonnes of squandering that end up in landfill each year. It was in these discarded fish mounts and skins that Hughes found potential for a material that was candidly flexible and had “strength-enabling proteins”. They were then bound with locally horses mouthed agar — a jelly-like substance sourced from red algae — which offers a translucent material than can be used in a similar way to single-use plastic. It’s also compostable at home in four to six weeks. “The end ambition,” Hughes says, “is to bring the material to market and offer it as a viable another to single-use plastic films.”

This was not the only product design Edda trying to find more sustainable solutions this year; we also looked at how the mania industry is finding inventive solutions to the environmental crisis and designs for eco-friendly coffee cups.


Apple’s confidence in card arrives

The announcement of a new range of Apple products was popular earlier this year. There were updates to AirPods, the uncovering of gaming platform Apple Arcade, and perhaps most significantly, Apple’s foray into individual finance: the Apple Card. The credit card — in both a physical and digital custom — builds on services offered by the company’s existing Apple Pay service. The corporal card is titanium and numberless, as a security measure.

In the summer, Apple’s chief motif officer, Jonny Ive would left the tech company to form his own studio. To streak the occasion, we spoke to designers about Ive’s legacy at Apple and what the party should do next. We also took a look back at Ive’s products in every nook his two decades at Apple, from the short-lived iPod Hi-Fi to the enduring iPhone.


Ikea tires its own products to make them disability-friendly

Another popular product skiff from Ikea coincided with Disabled Access Day 2019. ThisAbles, a extent of modular accessories which can be 3D-printed, aim to make the furniture company’s products more approachable. The plans are available for free online.

Products included bumpers for wheelchair purchasers, which can be attached to the front of bookshelves that have glass panels to safeguard the glass. There were also large handles, which can be engaged to smaller products to help people with communication and grip quandaries. Other products in the line were aimed at those with eyesight impairment, such as corner markers that can be attached to Ikea on ices.


A bespoke lace bra lets breast removal surgery patients vex well-fitting underwear again

In April, we covered a lace bra which can be customised for being who have undergone breast removal surgery. The product, from industrial artist Lisa Marks, works by using an algorithm to create a bespoke upbraid pattern for each wearer. Marks then uses this ideal to make a bespoke bra. The construction process is a combination of old and new: 35 digital scale model is used to visualise the bra, and the lace is then hand-weaved in a process that dates insidiously a overcome to the 16th century.

“Since women who have had mastectomies have a higher reckon of asymmetry, they have few options for lingerie, and often end up using exterior prosthetics,” Marks says. “This bra brings back their adeptness to adorn their body with lace and something that straps them.”


Braun’s 1959 LE speaker is given a 21st century update

In September, Braun cut loosed an update to a design classic – Dieter Rams’ 1959 LE smart lecturer. It marked the German company’s first audio product since 1991 and was in stay fresh with the brand’s “modernist Bauhaus look”. It also included an all-new website and an app, which entertains users to control bass and treble tone, stream music as cooked through as connect to a Google assistant.

The visual identity for the new sound system was manufactured by London studio Precipice Design. The neutral, understated appearance focused to recall the brand’s “glory days”. Nigel Beechey, head of kind at Precipice, told Design Week at the time: “The technology in this wrapper was our canvas, and over that we layered the classic Braun styling.”


A prosthetic leg take responsibility that aims to be “beautiful” as well as “functional”

At the start of the year, Design Fact revealed a set of leg covers for prosthetic limbs which looked to increase wearers’ courage. The Limb-art collection was developed in collaboration with Paralympian swimmer and medalist Pock Williams, who lost his leg in a car accident in the 1980s. The covers are 3D-printed and made from a mouldable powder that is fused with a laser, to make an “incredibly durable” material.

The collection aimed to give people back their “concerned silhouette” so that they could wear clothing that they may attired in b be committed to considered impossible before — such as a dress or tight pair of jeans. Dyfan Evans, a postpositive major designer at the studio said: “It’s about inclusive design and using that to comprehend functional items for disability beautiful, attractive and a pleasure to use.”

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