The Best-Designed Products of 2014, as Chosen by Design Experts
On Tuesday, Yahoo Tech picked its best overall tech products of the year so far.
Now let’s turn our collective attention to the products with the best design.
What are the sleekest, simplest, most ingenious design ideas of the year? One answer, as the tech site Gizmodo points out, comes from the International Design Excellence Awards, or IDEAs. The prizes celebrate fantastic design and are doled out annually by a panel of design experts associated with the Industrial Design Society of America.
The IDEAs are awarded in 23 different categories, from Automotive & Transportation to Student Design concepts. 2014’s winners were sorted into four categories: Finalists, Bronze, Silver, and, the victors, Gold.
We’re going to focus on the gold here, because we love the gold. Several of this year’s winners were either tech products or tech related; here’s a look at some of the gadgets and gizmos that design mavens found most praiseworthy.
“LBR” stands for “Leichtbauroboter” (German for “lightweight robot”) and “iiwa” stands for “intelligent industrial work assistant.” That’s pretty much what the LBR iiwa is: The robot lets human workers control the robot in situations that call for automation and human-robot interaction. Not only is the LBR iiwa effective; it’s also quite sleek. You can see a video of the iiwa in action here.
You know, for credit card swiping.
The Square Stand combines a tablet stand for iPad and a credit card machine for a simple, low-cost cash register. This is a more professional-looking version of the Square credit card reader, the revolutionary little dongle that you could plug in to your iPad to turn it into a point-of-sale machine.
No, Apple isn’t the only company that makes nice tablets. The Nokia 2520 might not have the sales of the iPad, but it did win points among design experts for its “bold polycarbonate unibody design” and its ability to be seen in direct sunlight. It is also endorsed by Jennifer Lopez, which can’t hurt.