Microsoft Ltd today unveiled the twelve shortlisted designs and final winner of its inaugural PC Hardware Design Project with Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design.
Twenty four MA Industrial Design students were briefed to create and design a range of innovative hardware and user-experience devices which consumers could be using in the future.
Microsoft tasked participating Industrial Design students to conceptualise ideas which demonstrated new thinking in computer interaction – challenging each to devise possible alternatives to the mouse and keyboard or, alternatively, visualise technologies that could be used in the future, based on emerging tech trends of today.
The shortlisted designs were showcased in an exhibition at the College last night. One student, 24 year old Victor Johansson, from Sweden, was selected as the overall winner and awarded first prize. Victor’s winning design was the Keyflex, “an evolution of the humble keyboard.”
Rather than just pressing keys, the user bends, squeezes, twists and flexes the device to control it. It can also be bent upwards and downwards to control the volume. By pressing the ‘modifier key’ at the same time, the action of bending gets assigned to a different function (e.g. fast forwarding a movie). The device can also be twisted to pause or escape. When using social media, the user can squeeze either the right or left side to ‘share’ or ‘like’.”
Scott Smith, Principal User Experience Designer with the Microsoft Hardware User Experience Team and judge of the PC Hardware Design Project, commented:
It has been a fascinating experience to see students who hail from a diverse mix of backgrounds and nationalities developing fresh insights into the world of man/machine interaction. I was particularly impressed with Victor Johansson’s design as he successfully met the overall goal of the programme and really showcased a possible future trend which addressed a clear consumer need – a quality that is at the forefront of all Microsoft design thinking.”
Find out more:
- MA Industrial Design course page