2019 Tech & Design Round-Up

Struggling to come with gift ideas for him this Christmas? We understand, it’s hard to be unique and get him something that he will love each year. That’s why we’ve complied this list of the top 5 Christmas gifts you purchase from our website, with a round-up of features, specifications and a cost guide, depending on your budget!

Foldable Phones

We first spotted foldable phones at this year’s CES conference in Las Vegas. There have been numerous companies that have developed this ‘folding-screen’ technology over the past year. Samsung revealed the Galaxy Fold in February, with a design that opens like a book to reveal the folding screen inside.

Huawei’s offering a few days later took a completely different approach, with the screen folding around the exterior of the folding phone. Microsoft unveiled the Surface Duo in October, and Motorola gave its classic Razr flip phone a revamp with a screen on both internal planes. With Samsung suffering some problems with broken folding screens, it would appear the technology still has a few kinks to work out. However, we find the idea of foldable screens, very cool and useful. Cell phones just seem to get bigger and bigger, but to the point where it doesn’t easily fit in your pocket. This is definitely one solution to that problem!

Circular Economy

A top trend in the product design world and beyond this year, was the notion of a ‘circular economy.’ Hard to define, but essentially, it is upcycling and recycling older, used products to create new and stylish ones. The circular economy can be applied to all aspects of the market, such as interior design materials, product design and development and more!

Adidas’s innovation team has said that joining the circular economy is “good for business”, while designer Richard Hutten believes that companies that don’t embrace a non-linear business model will go bust.

IKEA has pledged to become a circular business by 2030, and even London’s mayor called on property developers and architects to design for a circular economy.

Examples of these ideas being put into practice included garments by made by Swedish company Re:newcell made from Circulose, a new material that uses recycled cotton clothes, and Carlo Ratti’s orange juice bar that 3D prints a cup to drink from using the fruit’s peel.

Electric Cars

Electric vehicles have been around for quite some time, but this year has seen an uptake in ownership and new and unusual additions to the market, like supercars and Harleys being unveiled. Electric cars featured heavily  at both the Shanghai and Geneva motor shows, and next year’s Olympics will see athletes move around in the autonomous, electric e-Palette vehicle by Toyota

We also can’t forget about Tesla and its recent unveiling of the it’s electric, American pick-up truck, Cybertruck. We are very much looking forward to 2020 and beyond, perhaps we will see and increase in electric vehicle infrastructure across the globe including electric highways and more charging stations.

Waverly Ambassador Translator

One of the coolest gadgets that hit the market this year is the Waverly Ambassador Translator. This gadget design will truly bring the world closer together. Waverly Labs invented an audio device that translates on the spot. The correct translation will play in both of your ears. The technology is still in the Indiegogo stage, but it might be worth it to you to get your hands on an early version. We love seeing new tech development like this, in particular technology that educates, aids and brings down political, cultural and geographical borders. We are really looking forward to seeing how this tech grows and expands over the next few years and what this company will think of next.

Augmented Reality

A bulk of the latest advances in the field of AR were showcased at a number of tech events including the Consumer Electronics Show this year. A few key trends this year in the Augmented Reality area include Augmented Reality as a novel way of shopping, AR for navigation solutions, AR in the automotive industry and much more. We expect Augmented Reality to become a way of life in 2020 and beyond, slotted into all our favorite tech devices and maps.