May 29, 2024

Year in review: top 10 technology stories of 2021

New engineering normally walks a tightrope between the important and the unnecessary. With our reliance on electronic gadgets ramping up in excess of the training course of the year, most of us favoured uncooked features about eccentric forms, as properly as the possibility to get absent from tech where ever possible. On the other hand, organizations of all dimensions observed new approaches to innovate, no matter whether it was refining outdated favourites, emphasising longevity above disposability, or simply creating new sorts of shock and delight. In no distinct get, the following 10 stories are know-how editor Jonathan Bell’s favorite forays into the intersection of layout and the electronic entire world, with a healthful dose of treatment, craft, and creative imagination thrown in. 

Top rated 10 know-how stories of the yr

01. Transparent’s portable Light-weight speaker gets the get together glowing

The Light speaker (pictures courtesy of Clear)

A transportable speaker and lamp in just one, the Light speaker by Swedish know-how firm Transparent attracts inspiration from the traditional lantern. Clear could be small but it has grand ambitions. Set up in 2011, the Stockholm-primarily based model observed early fame with its signature Clear speaker, a striking piece of industrial layout that lays its interior workings bare thanks to meticulous industrial layout. Their new Mild speaker pushes all our buttons. Author: Jonathan Bell

02. Cosmo, the chopping-edge consider on the electrical guitar by Verso Instruments

The Cosmo Additionally guitar (Pictures courtesy of Verso Devices) 

In the previous yr, we observed the electrical guitar undergo 1 of its periodic revivals. When the instrument is routinely composed off as aged and embarrassing technologies, beloved by Boomers and irrelevant to fashionable mores, curiosity is often sparked by revivals and returns, as perfectly as a continual stream of innovators who are equipped to do new matters with six strings and a chunk of wood. What seldom changes is the guitar’s kind element musical innovation does not essentially will need technological transform. This is in which Verso Musical Devices will come in. Established by the industrial designer Robin Stummvoll and primarily based in Hessen, Germany, Verso Musical Instruments builds electrical guitars with a distinction. Writer: Jonathan Bell

03. Urbanista’s new ‘Los Angeles’ headphones are photo voltaic-driven stars

Urbanista Los Angeles headphones in Sand Gold and Midnight Black (Pictures courtesy of Urbanista)

Swedish engineering manufacturer Urbanista is seeking to do anything a little bit distinctive. The company’s latest merchandise is dubbed ‘Los Angeles’, an properly sunshine-drenched destination for a pair of wireless headphones that can be charged employing the sun. We spoke to Anders Andreen, Urbanista’s founder and CEO, about this new solution to ability-conserving technological know-how and consideration to detail. ‘We make items for modern day urbanists,’ states Andreen. ‘Our brand name, products and solutions, and packaging ought to all stand out, just like a fashion brand name. These headphones have to be a little something you want to wear.’ Author: Jonathan Bell 

04. Virtual supercars offer a new variety of driving expertise

CURV x Aston Martin AMR-C01 (picture courtesy of CURV Racing Simulators)

Digital supercars and the delights of sim racing imply you can exam the restrictions of an Aston Martin Valkyrie or a Zagato, say, without having leaving the consolation of your gaming den. For all those with the house – be it in sitting rooms, experiments, garages, or even devoted gaming complexes – this new breed of electronic driving experience has been developed in near collaboration with manufacturers and designers. We discovered a fleet of virtual supercars that are primed and prepared to deal with the world’s trickiest circuits and most stunning streets from the convenience of household. Writer: Jonathan Bell 

05. Wallpaper* Smart Room Awards: finest new layout and technology for the residence

Wallpaper* Intelligent House Awards: the very best new layout and technology products for the house (Photography: Neil Godwin at Upcoming Studios)

In 2021 we unveiled the winners of our first-at any time Intelligent House Awards, a putting selection of the most effective new engineering and design goods for the house. The panel of judges integrated architect Tosin Oshinowo, of Nigerian apply CM Design Atelier (section of our 2021 Architects’ Listing) artist, musician and designer Yuri Suzuki and Harrods’ retail supervisor Veronica Forin, with each other with Wallpaper*’s editor-in-main Sarah Douglas and transport & engineering editor Jonathan Bell. The five sifted by means of a considerable pile of entries, searching for objects that encourage, and technological innovation that is developed to last. As normally, the winners are really Wallpaper*, a celebration of plain attractiveness, hanging design and intuitive functionality. Author: Jonathan Bell 

06. Mod Devices’ open up-supply instrument pedals perform a different tune

The MOD Dwarf (Photography: Amos Fricke)

Berlin-dependent Mod Devices generates a new generation of multipurpose audio instruments. The tiny enterprise subscribes to the ethos that devices should really be open to those people with the time and techniques to make a improve. Mod builds results processors for musicians of all stripes, with each individual unit a developing block for an limitless sonic entire world. In layman’s terms, its electronic containers sit concerning instrument and amplifier, enabling gamers to layer distinctive outcomes in infinite numbers of approaches, as very well as generate their personal. Writer: Jonathan Bell 

07. Minimalist speaker designs blend audio with artwork

Bang & Olufsen BeoSound Amount (image courtesy of Bang & Olufsen)

A new era of audio style puts overt technological innovation on the back again burner in favour of heat resources, easy kinds and supreme versatility. We round up the most effective techniques of bringing significant-fidelity audio into your house with the supreme levels of discretion and taste. From Bang & Olufsen to Bose, KEF, Braun and Audio-Aesthetics, these are speakers we’d be really content to stay with. Writer: Jonathan Bell 

08. Fender seems forwards with a new hybrid guitar design

Fender Acoustasonic Jazzmaster (picture courtesy of Fender)

Fender’s Acoustasonic Jazzmaster is a hybrid style with a built in ‘Acoustic Motor,’ a processor that transforms its apparent but neutral tones into a range of various sorts of guitars. When it was released in 1959, Fender’s Jazzmaster was initially pitched at, unsurprisingly, jazz musicians. It before long identified a lot more favour as a twangy surf rock instrument just before undergoing a cult revival in the 1980s and 1990s. In Acoustasonic sort, it stays one of Fender’s most stylish designs, with a slender, quickly neck that fits any selection of playing models. Pair this instrument with a modern outcomes processor, and you have a fantastically crafted all-rounder that flatters the day to day participant but sounds fantastic more than enough to use skillfully. Author: Jonathan Bell 

09. Syng is rethinking the art of speaker style and design

Cell Alpha Speaker by Syng (picture courtesy of Syng)

Syng was commenced by Christopher Stringer, a item designer with about 20 decades of practical experience at Apple, in which he labored on numerous iterations of the Iphone, iPad, MacBook, and Apple View. His co-founder, Damon Way, established skatewear experts DC Sneakers and was also a husband or wife at components professional Incase. As Syng’s main brand name officer, he’ll put his substantial knowledge with artist collaborations to use, while Stringer’s role as CEO and main design officer gives the new enterprise a reliable grounding in structure-driven products, beginning with the Mobile Alpha Speaker. As very well as the solidity of the elements and enclosure, the Cell Alpha incorporates Syng’s ‘Triphonic’ sound, a way of mapping house to support form the sound, with the ‘Triphone’ 3-horned seem job at the centre of the item formed using 3D printing. Author: Jonathan Bell

10. Within Apple Park: first glance at the style and design staff shaping the future of tech

Apple Park, Pictures: Jason Schmidt 

And finally, no apologies for mentioning one particular of our most significant stories of the year, a world distinctive job interview with the Apple Design and style crew. Led by Evans Hankey and Alan Dye, the Apple Layout Workforce retains enormous sway above our evolving romance with know-how. Opening the doors to their studio at Apple Park in Cupertino for the first time, they supplied us a deep dive into the doing the job processes driving their hottest creations. Writer: Jonathan Bell