The onset of 2022 has been pretty interesting as it’s brought with it a storm of mind-boggling and innovative tech trends! At Yanko Design, it’s surely been an exciting time 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 2022 introduced to us, we’ve curated some of the very best. From cool Apple-inspired concepts such as an action camera for content creators to innovative AI-enabled products – 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 gadgets impress you, as much as they impressed us!
1. Apple-inspired Concepts
Since its foundation in 1976, Apple has been always been at the peak of modern innovation! And let’s take a moment to appreciate all the awesome products and inspiration Apple has provided us with. The groundbreaking tech giant never fails to surprise us, we always find ourselves biting our nails and squirming with curiosity, whenever Apple announces a new product launch! Their ingenious and mesmerizing designs and design philosophy have inspired and influenced designers all over the world, resulting in some pretty unique Apple-inspired designs!
The iCam Pro conceptualized by Diego Valdés (aka. Diego Valoro Design) is a miniaturized version of the iPhone 13 – of course with a slightly different utility of documenting extreme experiences. The triple-camera module setup is a detour from the convention of a single potent camera on such sports cameras. This could be a USP for a brand like Apple who’ll foray into a very competitive space dominated mostly by GoPro. The slimmer, more rectangular shape of the action camera will give prospect users the freedom to carry it in the pocket of their jeans without getting uncomfortable. The choice of colors and materials will also play a part in the success of iCam Pro if we happen to ever see one in real life.
2. AI-enabled Designs
Artificial Intelligence has catapulted in recent years, and the advancements being made in this field make me feel as if it won’t be long before we have robots walking amongst us all the time! There was a point in time when the only forms of robots that we could see were toys or vacuum cleaners! But we have come a long long way since then. Most gadgets and tech designs these days are being powered by AI. The world at large is slowly moving away from the perception of robots as evil beings who want to take over the Earth, and accepting that they may have vast and undeniable utility in even our day-to-day lives.
Meet Noa, a detachable phone case that comes with an AI-enabled e-ink screen to learn the user’s response to particular notifications. What I find the most intuitive about Noa’s design is the fact that it can be detached right off the case whenever needed. This in a way physically segregates you from your phone’s inviting notifications to prevent any untimely disruptions without worrying about missing out on what matters to you the most. It can also be used as a kickstand to set up a notifications center and have the phone out of sight. Designer Darren Wells designed it such that it can also send quick replies thanks to the Quick Reply AI, which comes with Summarization AI to organize longer notification messages and automatic scheduling based on the important times and dates in the user’s calendar.
3. Sleek SSDs
SSDs are pretty much becoming the future of storage! SSDs have shoved flash drives, thumb drives, clunky hard disks, and even expensive cloud storage into near extinction. An SSD provides everything they did, except it’s impressively faster, more compact, and convenient, and promises larger capacities. However, a typical SSD design doesn’t raise many eyebrows anymore, hence they’re getting more innovative, unique, and efficient by the day!
Compatible with most USB-C devices, the HybridDrive offsets your need for multiple hubs, dongles, and drives. With a multiport on one end, an SSD on another, and a USB-C interface connecting the two, the HybridDrive bridges the gap between your portable devices (laptop/tablet/phone) and your desktop – in the sense that it gives you extra ports and expandable storage… something most desktops have in common. The multiport setup comprises a 4K 60Hz HDMI port, two USB-A ports with 10Gbps data transfer, a MicroSD card reader, an SD card reader, and a USB-C which supports 100W of power output along with high-speed video and data transferring. On the other end of the HybridDrive is an SSD that comes in 4 sizes, starting from 128Gb and going all the up to a whopping 2Tb.
4. MagSafe Accessories
The reinvention and return of MagSafe became an instant hit! There is a great sense of satisfaction, in my opinion, to have things just stick to your phone. Be it a pair of earphones (maybe that’ll be the next generation of AirPods) or have your phone just conveniently stick to a charging pad – it’s almost like magic! The reintroduction of the MagSafe led to a whole new world of accessories being unleashed! Designers and creatives were racing to create a whole range of products for the repurposed MagSafe.
For geeks who want more than just a standard MagSafe charger for their den, the UFO MagSafe Wireless Charger will be the preferred choice. This cute-looking accessory for the Apple ecosystem is currently just a concept design, but we want to see it make it to the shelves. It’s like a UFO riding on the back of your iPhone 13 minus, all the shenanigans of gimmicky gadgets. The accessory is minimalistic in form and doesn’t go overboard with the spaceship design. UFO MagSafe strikes on first look and doesn’t fade away like other flashy accessories. In fact, it grows on me every time I have a glance at the realistic renders to churn out this write-up.
5. Unique VR Headsets
Immersing ourselves in a simulated world, far away from reality is always fun. And hence, Virtual Reality has been gaining a lot of momentum these days! Its applications and possibilities are endless. VR is extending its scope beyond gaming and providing functionality in a variety of fields. From business, education, entertainment to even fitness, VR is being utilized in almost all industries – especially in the form of cool headsets!
Interestingly the internet is going crazy with the freshly leaked images of the insect eyes like the HTC headset that gives off the futuristic vibe. The person in question is trusted leaker Evan Blass who has posted convincing images of HTC’s next-gen VR headset. The big question arises – will this HTC VR headset be able to compete with Oculus Quest 2? Evan has been posting a constant stream of tweets with photos of the said headset, building anticipation for the tech community. For neutral viewers, these images give a much better idea of what the Vive Flow VR headset will look like. It is not much different than the Project Proton concept headset in terms of the alienating presence.
6. Foldable Screens
Foldable screens are quite honestly taking over the tech world! Whether they’re in the form of smartphones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches, or even televisions, they’re gaining immense popularity. They are a cutting edge and innovative development in the tech world and are a prediction that these could be the future of screens. On a personal note, I do appreciate them quite a bit, as they do tend to be modular and flexible to various forms! They can function as several gadgets in one go, reducing the need to use and carry around various devices. These foldable screen concepts do exactly that, with a single concept doubling or tripling up as multiple gadgets, for example, a smartphone doubling up as a smartwatch, or as a tablet and laptop.
Codenamed ‘Papyrus’, this foldable phone is able to expand beyond the original display size of the Mi Mix Alpha, owing to two scroll-like mechanisms on its sides. This axle allows Papyrus to occupy various sizes, varying from the size of a small TV remote to a medium-sized tablet. Though it is narrower compared to the original Mi Mix Alpha, Papyrus has three versatile modes; compact, standard, and (wide) tablet. In the compact mode, it completely collapses to occupy a folded position, looking much like a chain of lego blocks or a chocolate bar! In the standard format, it expands further (like a scroll) to reveal the three-lens camera with high resolution on the back. And on giving a final tug to the sides, the scroll mechanisms on the axle allow the OLED screen to expand to a tablet of 7-8 inches or even more.
7. Travel Tech
I love traveling! And although I may not be able to do much of it during this pandemic (although travel is opening up slowly), that doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about it or planning my next vacation in my head. My travel bucket list is brimming to the top with exotic holiday destinations. And, as any experienced traveler (not that I am one…YET) will tell you, having a set of handy and trusty travel tech accessories is essential! These are the nifty little gadgets that can help you out in the most impromptu and sudden of situations, and you’ll never regret having packed them in your suitcase.
An SSD that’s waterproof doesn’t really cater to someone who uses it in an office, and an SSD that has a fingerprint scanner may not matter to someone who uses it to dump videos from a DSLR or a drone. By that yardstick, LAMBOGO knows exactly who its audience is. Designed for the great outdoors, this rugged, waterproof, wireless SSD comes with up to 8TB of storage, has an internal fan to keep the drive and circuitry cool when you’re not in the cushy environment of an air-conditioned office, and lets you wirelessly preview and share files between your devices. LAMBOGO comes with a card slot and a single button interface for quickly dumping data from your DSLR and Drone, and lets you easily preview your files on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or even desktop and edit them on third-party apps… without connecting wires.
8. Futuristic Wearables
Wearable designs are currently in the limelight, and we thought it would be fun to explore one of them! Wearable designs make our lives easier and more efficient in multiple ways! From smartwatches, Fitbits to even wearable furniture, innovative wearable designs can be valuable additions to our daily lifestyles. And, not to mention sometimes they’re really fun to use and trendy to wear as well. Great wearable designs are not only super easy to wear on your person, but also promise to make your everyday life easier, simpler, and effortless
Romware’s bracelet helps to reinforce the social distancing guidelines as more of us return to work. The digital device monitors the employees’ location and warns them if they are too close to each other. Initially designed for industries such as construction, logistic, warehousing, manufacturing, and port services, this bracelet can be used by any large company that cannot function remotely and relies on labor. Whenever employees are closer than 6 feet they will feel a vibration that warns them. The bracelet has a geofencing feature that allows you to set a limit for how many employees can be in a specific area to ensure there are no large gatherings. One of its most effective features is that it enables contact tracing, so if someone does fall sick the employer can easily track anyone who may have been in contact and take necessary measures.
9. Dyson-inspired Designs
Dyson is by far, one of the most innovative companies ever! It transformed our mundane household appliances into intriguing products that make everyday chores an absolute blast. Did you ever think you could care so much about a vacuum cleaner? Me neither! The British tech giant has inspired designers to adopt its unique design language, and create some mindblowing Dyson-inspired products, automotive, appliances, and what not!
Merging an abstract sculptural look with a metallic chrome finish, Stalae is a portable home speaker designed by Lucis Ceng to bring the subtle taste of sculptural work to electronic design. While Stelae’s physical build is reminiscent of a Dyson fan’s, the inspiration for Stelae’s distinct form stems from sculpture work. Standing out from other home entertainment systems, Stelae’s speaker plumes from its circular base into the shape of a feather for a slim design that doesn’t take up too much room on the coffee table. The long tube-like portion of Stelae is also lined with four woofers.
10. Pet-friendly Gadgets
If you’re an obsessive pet owner like me, then you’re probably always thinking of ways to make your pet happy! Ensuring your pet feels safe, secure, and comfortable at home is every pet owner’s priority. We want to make sure they always feel loved and truly at home! It’s important to create an environment where they feel completely safe to let their guard down, while also managing to stay active and playful. Interactive tech designs are one way of keeping our pets busy, content, and jolly! Tech products for pets are a whole new ballgame these days.
Say hello to DogTag – a pet-collar tag designed by the fine folks at Studio Proper that houses an Apple AirTag within it. Designed to work with dogs as well as cats, the DogTag lets you easily keep track of your furry little friend when they’re scampering about outdoors or even playing hide-and-seek with you inside the house. Relying on Apple’s powerful ‘Find My’ network, the DogTag lets you be able to keep track of your pet no matter where they are. You can create no-go zones for them, knowing if and when they scale your fence and jump right into your neighbor’s prized flower-bed… and if they decide to play hooky right before bathing time, you can easily ‘ping’ the AirTag inside the collar to give up your furry little monster’s location, or use the Find Nearby feature to help guide you to them!