If you haven’t noticed, there is a Smartwatch revolution that has been going on the for the last year and a half or so. The Galaxy Gear and the Pebble Watch have been leading the pack so far, but they both have their flaws. The Gear being too bulky, and the Pebble not being quite as smart and versatile, and I would say that both are lacking a bit on the beauty spectrum. But Motorola seems to fix that issue with the Moto 360. Unlike any other current Smartwatch, Motorola designers are going for a more classical watch esthetic. It reminds me a lot of the Nest Thermostat in that it has a sleek metal band around the display, and then that’s pretty much the end of the story…. The reason this is so special is because it draws more focus to the display, which is almost bezel-less. The display is nothing short of crisp. That goes without saying that this could be the first 360 degree circular mobile device interface to hit them market in human history. I’m quite excited for it even though I doubt it will be compatible with my Lumia 1520. Nonetheless, this device is simply WOW.
Cote & Ceil is a bag company that I must admit makes the most esthetically pleasing knapsacks and backpacks I have ever seen for those on the go. I was contemplating which model to feature on WOW Design: 4 but it became quite an easy decision when I discovered that the Nile Rucksack cleverly hides a water proof hood on the top of the bag. The Rucksack has a organic looking design. It reminds me of a caterpillar cocoon with a series of elegant folds to hug your precious equipment. Inside of what looks like a traditional knapsack we find a very functional pocket system. It has everything from a laptop cushion pocket to several levels of mid-pockets. Its a dream backpack from my perspective, and I especially love the army green design with the yellow-brown strap buckles. WOW. And look at that leather black!
The Nike Element Shield is my favorite running jacket, and of my favorite jackets overall. It features a very snug fit design around the waste and arms, something that Nike is accustomed to doing. The sleeves are an extended fit, which allows for people with longer arms, like me, to wear the jacket over the finger cut-outs. There is a ton of functionality hidden in this thing. A reflective pocket pouch is placed in the bottom half of the back. There’s an extra flap of Dri-fit material that can wrap over the fingers in cold situations. There’s a reflective band around the left sleeve, a reflective zippered pocket on the chest, and (my favorite) a turtle neck sleeve that can extend far enough to cover up your nose and down. Its a beautiful fleece. I’m a sucker for hidden functionality, and Nike is great at achieving that in a high quality way. Wow.
A few years ago the Windows Phone 7 interface broke new grounds for mobile phone interaction. The ‘Metro tiles’ as they were called, were a drastically different approach to how people interacted with applications and content. But the hype died down after two years, even though the concept remained unique. Windows Phone 8.1 update is the perfect example of how simple modifications can make the most remarkable difference. Whereas in Windows Phone 7/8 users could only choose from a color pallet for the background of their ‘live tiles’, Windows Phone 8.1 lets people choose any image they please as the background. The effect makes for a windowed (lol) feel. What’s more is that when scrolling there is a parallax effect where the background image shifts up ever so slightly as you shift the screen down, and vice versa. Its really mesmerizing and gives the Windows Phone operating system a new life. WOW.
And last but not least, the Artifox Desk. I don’t know who these people are that made this thing, but they deserve a really big hug. For quite some time I’ve felt that the desk was long overdue for a modern reboot. It seems that Artifox feels the same. This desk comes in a few different woods. The picnic table construction is such a creative and clever design choice because it doesn’t overbearingly block out the whole back wallpaper and it doesn’t draw too much attention to the base. Instead, we are instantly drawn to the slim surface which features a few slots to hold gadgets and (this is awesome) a dry erase board implanted on the right side of the table!! Amazing, yet so simple. Also, if you are paying close attention, the circular wooden block that covers the plug hole is actually….. drumroll please, a dry easer!!!!! Yes, Artifox folks are sipping the creativity juice. What I also love which is less noticeable are the bars that protrude from each front leg. They are multi-purpose hangers for anything from jackets to headphones to backpacks. All in all, the simplicity of the Artifox’s design and the creativity of its functionality almost makes this desk too good for its class. WOW.