June 2021 brought with it a storm of mind-boggling and innovative tech designs! At Yanko Design, it was surely an exciting month for us, as we came across an influx of intriguing designs that left a lasting impression on our minds. Each design broke through some barrier or convention in the tech world, bringing to us unique solutions, improved functionality, and immense value. From the downpour of tech designs that June introduced to us, we’ve curated some of the very best. Not only do these designs address tangible problems, but they also make our lives better, easier, and efficient in their own way. We hope these inventive tech trends impress you, as much as they impressed us!
The NightWatch is a pretty simple accessory that enhances your Apple Watch’s abilities. It doesn’t come with its own charger but will let you hook your watch’s charger into it. Once assembled, you can easily slide your Apple Watch into its unique design, and that calibrated glass lens on the front enlarges the screen like a magnifying glass would, making numbers much more visible when your watch is in Nightstand mode. It comes with a patented system that even lets you tap the glass surface to ‘wake’ up your Apple Watch’s display, so you can read the time clearly… and when your watch’s alarm begins ringing, special acoustic channels designed in the NightWatch dock’s base help amplify your watch’s audio, making that alarm much louder.
Italian designer Antonio De Rosa believes an Apple action cam is a realistic possibility in a landscape of current-gen geeky gadgets. Apple and an action cam would not be something out of the ordinary for the Cupertino giant to create. So, Antonio leaves me in awe with the Apple AirCam, which is no more significant than the AirPods Pro case. It carries a similar design language to the case with the obvious addition of an LCD screen display on the front and the big camera sensor on the backside. If you look closely, this lens is accompanied by a small Apple Watch-like screen, perhaps to click selfies and display vital heads-up information. There is a single shutter button on top to keep things as simple as possible. On the sides, there is space for USB-C and SHDC card slots to make data transfer seamless and load the camera with additional memory.
Leica announced its first-ever smartphone, the Leitz Phone 1, centered around its revolutionary camera tech. Announced at a virtual press event in Tokyo, the phone sports a familiar clean design that we’ve come to expect with Leica. It houses a Snapdragon 888 processor on the inside, and sports a 20MP primary camera with a massive 1-inch sensor (the largest for any smartphone). To complement the powerful camera, Leica even ships a magnetic lens cap that lets you conceal it, for protective + privacy reasons.
The Generark HomePower 2 is a backup battery for your home that’s cheaper than setting up a generator or shelling $12,000 on a Tesla Powerwall, it’s also classier and less noisy than those gas-powered generators that definitely seem archaic. Standing at roughly 2 feet tall and weighing a pretty commendable 45 pounds (20 kilos), the Generark HomePower 2 comes with an electric-vehicle-grade high-performance Lithium-ion NMC battery that can power 99% of your home appliances (even the heavy-duty ones). It doesn’t require installation or even a permit and can be carried or wheeled around the house depending on where you need it. Each Generark comes with 4 AC outlets, 2 USB-A ports, 2 USB-C ports, and a 12V/10A car outlet to power a host of devices, allowing you to run your home’s entertainment systems, surveillance systems, kitchen appliances, your workspace peripherals, garage power tools, medical equipment, and even recharge your EV.
The Razer BELiEF designed by creative studio Smooth Way is a testament to that fact. This cool conceptual gadget is a mouse pad that doubles as an external solid-state drive (SSD), something that no one asked for but everyone needed. This super thoughtful product design is the brainchild of designers Jaehee Kim and Seungho Choi who’ve adapted Razer’s philosophy, highlighting the use of technology for digital nomads for this fantastic creation. The idea is relatively straightforward; use the accessory as a mouse pad and when you need to transfer data, attach the cable, and it’s all done. Then, when it is time to take the data home from your office, wrap up the mouse pad, and you’re good to go. Portability is the key here as BELiEF offers lighting fast data transfer speeds and maximum space utilization on your work desk.
A winner of the Spark Design Award (probably for sheer far-fetched futurism), the AIO Phone-book comes from the mind of Kylin Wu, a Shenzhen-based Industrial Designer. Objectively, without looking back at what laptops have been like for the past decade, the AIO Phone-book makes a pretty common observation. The trackpad has a touch-sensitive surface, and so does the phone… so why don’t they both exist together as a single device? The AIO Phone-book comes with a smartphone that sits flush against its keyboard, with a screen that serves as a trackpad + mini-tablet. When docked in place, the smartphone acts as an auxiliary device for the laptop, allowing you to use its screen as a numpad, control center, and trackpad. Detach it, and you’ve got yourself a smartphone that can be used independently as its own device, or as a mouse for your laptop.
The SwitchBot Curtain appeared somewhere on my Instagram feed a week ago, and I scrolled right past it, paused, and scrolled right back just to get a better look. Here’s a product that’s perfect for lazy people, for technologically inclined people, for elderly people, and for people who prioritize home security. What’s the SwitchBot Curtain? Well, it’s a Kickstarter success story, but more specifically, it’s a tiny smart robot that sits on your curtain rod, and can push or pull open your curtains for you using simple voice commands, or better still, your alarm clock.
The silver lining with the Satechi Stand & Hub for Mac mini with SSD enclosure is the matching design and silver finish – reminiscent of the 2020 M1 Mac mini. However, it is sized exactly like the Mac mini and looks a natural extension for Apple’s smallest desktop computer. This useful accessory for your Apple ecosystem increases the Mac mini’s storage without the need to depend on an external hard drive courtesy of the M.2 SATA SSD enclosure. Plug it into the USB-C port, and you get additional ports in one simplified hub. This accessory has three USB-C 3.0 ports (5Gbps), USB-C data port (5Gbps), SD and microSD card readers (104Mbps), and a 3.5mm headphone jack too.
Meet the Apple glass concept that pays homage to Steve Jobs’s favorite pair of prescription glasses – the Lunor Classic PP. The Apple co-founder was obsessed with this eyewear ever since he got influenced by the ways of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi – who shaped up Steve’s very thought process. After the turmoil of being fired by the board of Apple, he got the pair of circular wire-rim glasses to emulate his hero and ultimately returned stronger than ever as the CEO of Apple. Later on, Steve switched to the rimless brand Lunor Ideal i 380. Combine that iconic piece of historical magnificence with the brewing rumors of the Apple AR eyeglasses, and it makes for a perfect case. Yes, this concept by Antonio makes even more sense since the world is expecting the augmented reality glasses by Apple to be announced as soon as this year. Having them in the Lunor Classic PP theme will be the apt strategy to send every Apple fan into overdrive!
In its closed format, the FunKey S is about as small as a Tile tracker, or better still a Game Boy cartridge. Designed to emulate the Game Boy experience, the FunKey S comes pre-loaded with a whole bunch of favorite titles for endless hours of retro entertainment. It’s tiny enough to fit on your keychain, lightweight enough to be carried everywhere, and satisfyingly just like the real deal, except smaller. Oh, and it comes in a transparent color-way too, taking you back to those good-old days!