Modern day product designs that provide relief from the quarantine-imposed boredom and loneliness!

Being stuck at home during this pandemic can be a major bore! I, for one, have tried every possible option to while away my time, but at the end of the day, I’m always grasping for more things to do. Not to mention managing our home, while working from home is another added burden! In such a scenario, having a bunch of quarantine-friendly product designs, that can make our lives a whole lot easier, are a boon! From helping us with our household tasks to creating a productive environment in our home office, or simply entertaining us when we’re bored, this collection of designs will provide some unique solution or the other. They promise to make your lockdown a whole lot more bearable!

Pizza! It is safe to say that this food is almost universal now. Crispy buttery crust, spiced and balanced sauce, and that molten cheese, there are few things on this planet that pizza can’t fix. So, it does make sense to have this slice readily available for anyone who’s having a bad day. This emergency product design with a humorous twist is sure to make anyone’s day better!

Heartfelt works across long distances, and in pairs. It comes in the shape of a heart and works when you hold it with both hands. Place your thumb onto the indentations and they light up in red and blue to notify the other person. When both people hold their Heartfelt devices at the same time, the hearts warm up, creating the warmth associated with hugging someone. “While video-calling helps, most people seem to miss the warmth that a physical hug brings, and we hope to somehow reproduce that comforting feeling”, said Gayle and Jessica. Sensors within both Heartfelt devices will read your body’s current temperature, letting the opposite person feel ‘your warmth’ based on your body temperature. The hearts will even gently pulsate, allowing you to really connect with the person on the other side of the device, and the soft, skin-like outer material will give you the impression of actually hugging another person.

This table is called a Clock and I want you to keep that in mind for the rest of this story. Clock was designed to be compact and fit in the growing trend of smaller living spaces. The designer wanted to create something that seamlessly blended into our workdays (especially when working from home!) without disrupting our office hours or eating habits. The hybrid station converts food waste into energy to power itself wirelessly but also includes the systems to be plugged into a wall if needed. It is an innovative product that combines technology and functionality to sustainably manage waste and encourage more people to shift to natural/renewable energy sources.

Goodbye Phone, Hello World was published to help take that device out of your hands and give you back control of your happiness and overall mental health. The book, which combines beautiful illustrations and bite-sized pieces of text (for an easy transition), is filled with ‘ideas, wit, and wisdom to help you break away from technology and get back to living’. Within its covers lie 60 different exercises to help you find happiness, inner peace, and break away from the addictive activity that is staring at your phone. Yes, I get the irony behind you probably reading this on your phone..!

If you live with roommates or siblings then at some point you will really appreciate having a personal refrigerator during this lockdown and it doesn’t hurt if the appliance looks like a modern version of R2-D2. Silo is a personal refrigerator that solves two of its predecessor’s biggest issues – either they take too much ‘personal space’ or they can’t hold enough of your stuff and this is no time to be judged on your snack stock. This personal fridge is both, beauty and brains if I have to put it in the simplest terms. Even if you find a good enough mini-fridge, it will not look as cool as Silo with its sleek curves and minimal design. For its size, you will be surprised how much it can store in its 3 Lazy Susan shelves – 2 tubs of ice cream on the first level, 36 soda cans on the second level, and 15 wine bottles on the third level. It also has an in-built ice-maker that empty’s into a stainless steel bucket that can be used to keep your drinks cool when we are allowed to have gatherings like summer barbeque parties again!

Chess has seen a drastic technological evolution in the form of the Squared Off chess set with self-moving pieces that let you play against opponents from across the world. Yes, as the remote player moves the pieces on his/her board, the pieces move on your board and vice versa. Now, the budding start-up is bringing to the fore a rollable chess set that can be stashed in your backpack or postman bag. The self-moving pieces are not a luxury in this chessboard and for obvious reasons as the technology doesn’t exist wherein you can roll up a board with all the advanced components that make the self-moving magic possible. Nonetheless, this new version of Square Off’s chessboard revealed at CES 2021 retains the AI and connected tech – allowing you to play with buddies or complete strangers globally.

Companionship is essential for young children, so globally mandated quarantines might get in the way of fundamental growth. Jerry C, the designer behind Xiaole, created the smart companion prior to 2020, but it’s timelier than ever. Xiaole’s digital library is filled with high-quality content that helps inspire self-motivated education amongst youngsters. Reminiscent of robot characters from science-fiction films, this robot is also naturally comforting and familiar to young minds, so learning will always feel welcome and accessible. Speaking to the product’s accessibility, the digital library is stocked with integrated translators, encyclopedias, and entertainment components. This all-encompassing library provides thoughtful and leisurely entertainment for children of varying ages and backgrounds. Xiaole is warm in its shape, emotional in its digitized expressions, and dynamic is physical gestures.

DVDISC is for many of us who still have their old DVD/CD collection but mainly for those who just want to watch a movie without operating a laptop or an app they are not comfortable with. The goal of this design is to make using the device a super simple task, so the UI and UX revolve around that. It has simple physical buttons that are shallow dips on the physical surface and are all labeled which makes it very easy to operate. It literally tells you where to put the DVD or CD and if you need to ‘click’ or ‘press’ a certain button and exactly what it will do. Another important thing was to include a cost-effective display that doesn’t reduce the quality of the image. All you have to do is insert the DVD or CD in the slot and flip it over to watch on the screen. It truly makes watching content easier for the elderly or even those who may experience forms of mental disabilities. After all, everyone deserves a good binge-watching session in quarantine! I would call this a smart design instead of a smart device.

Oliver Perretta’s Kondition was inspired by a piece of furniture that actually resembles a standard workout bench, IKEA’s BEKANT series. Both IKEA’s BEKANT and Perretta’s Kondition have similar personalities as they appear as modest, simple furniture designs whose true essence shines through in their ability to blend into any given room. At first, an unassuming side bench or low-rise table during living room hours, and then, an adjustable home workout with a sliding bench come gym time. Perretta was certain to make bullnose corners for Kondition’s workout station in order to enhance both the piece’s adaptive nature and its approachability in its inherent baby-proof design. Additionally, Perretta plans to utilize aluminum extrusion in any eventual construction process as that would ensure a high strength-to-weight ratio for more intense workouts. Stamped panels also make for easy and deep cleaning so that job won’t ever feel stressful after a good sweat.

With 2020 being the long-awaited year that Cyberpunk 2077 finally hit the shelves, designer Matthew Midir paid homage to CD Projekt’s Night City by bringing its retrofuturistic landscape to a limited edition Couchmaster called CYPUNK. Couchmaster CYPUNK comes decked out with high-tech thermal print panels that feature scenes and props from Cyberpunk’s gamescape like the slick DeLorean DMC-12 parked amongst the neon street lights of Night City. In addition to the Cyberpunk-themed, memory-foam-cushioned siding, Couchmaster CYPUNK comes equipped with an extra source of power, originally made for Couchmaster’s CYCON2, that connects the couch-desk to your PC so that no matter how long or hard you play, the game will operate smoothly without lagging or connectivity issues.