4 Trends In Product Design For Tech-Savvy Consumers
We like apps that let us control our heating, air conditioning and appliances. These are connected devices and Internet-powered hardware devices.
By Ayesha Mathews-Wadhwa (Founder & Creative Director, PixInk)
It is tough to stay on top of trends nowadays, isn’t it? We live in a culture of evolving innovation where the “new thing” can quickly become “so yesterday” quicker than you may imagine.
Fortunately, we have a pulse on the latest trends that affect the marketing environment. Learn what products consumers are raving about and the latest technologies that promise convenience. Some of these trends may soon become a thing of the past while others could be here to stay.
Technology goes domestic
A variety of apps that serve consumers are gaining popularity. Trendwatching cited two alarm clock apps, Winter Wake Up and Uniqlo Wake Up but we also like apps that let us control our heating, air conditioning and appliances, such as this Samsung app that lets you manage your laundry remotely. Those are likely to be staples instead of temporary trends.
Want more technology to use around your home? Check out Tri Cascade, which developed “smart” power outlets that use embedded software to deliver real-time power consumption data and let users manage home energy from a single app.
Another similar creation is Twine, a device that can connect just about any function to the web via its sensors for temperature, vibration, moisture and position. Teeny-tiny enough to fit in your purse or pocket, the device can do everything from tell you when a load of laundry is done to inform you about flooding basement.
Charged for anything
Inventions that can keep your cell phone or mobile device powered seem to be pretty popular.
Sony Japan’s wind-up mechanical USB charger lets a user wind it up for three minutes to yield a minute of talk time, while winding for five minutes allows a minute of website browsing.
Power Felt can convert body heat into power, so when you put this thermoelectric fabric on your smartphone and toss it in your pocket, it will stay powered up.
Stay on me — 24/7
Consumers actually want to be nagged – well, sort of. Some services offer a constant reminder in order to reinforce good habits.
Exhibit A: GymPact. This app lets a user designate how many times a week they want to go to the gym, and offers cash incentives if they meet their goals. If they skip out on a sweat session, however, users must pay a penalty fine to the GymPact community.
The Nike + FuelBand is a similar app for those that want to keep their New Year’s resolution to become healthier. The wristband tracks movement, calorie intake and completion times for specific tasks. Users can pre-program goals into the band, watch the LED display change colors to show progress and manage it from their smartphones. (That seems to be another emerging trend in and of itself — managing the world from the convenience of your phone.)
Wearable computing products will make it so you see people checking a watch or necklace regularly to receive messages from their friends instead of pulling out smartphones.
Going well beyond green
It isn’t enough to do one eco-friendly thing. The latest concepts offer complete sustainability throughout production and transportation.
The Belgium-based clothing company Honest by offers sustainable, fully transparent garment collections including complete information on manufacturing conditions, material and supplier sources, and the like.
Forget New York City’s Highline Park as a hot green space — the Lowline Park will boast 13 acres of greenery in an old trolley terminal on the Lower East Side. Fiber optics and solar panels will light the space so vegetation can live underground. It’s not just one eco-friendly component; it has several. Because everyone is focused on being as eco-friendly as possible, this trend will continue as people find multiple ways to go green, and companies green numerous operations and offerings.
Women 2.0 readers: What trends do you see emerging with regard to new products and services? Let us know in the comments!
About the guest blogger: Ayesha Mathews-Wadhwa is Founder and Creative Director of PixInk, a San Francisco-based digital design microagency serving a macro niche: businesses marketing to women, who drive over 80% of purchase decisions. She nurtures emerging brands and strengthens iconic ones through powerful design, insight and a deep understanding of the female consumer. PixInk’s microagency structure works extremely well for Apple and Facebook, among others. Follow her on Twitter at @ayeshamathews.