This past fall, Prolitec launched Aera. I led the industrial design and we were dedicated to bringing a warm approach to a consumer electronic product that was designed to live in the home. Recently, Aera has shown up on many design inspiration sites and most importantly as a part of Stylus' report titled, "CMF Industry View: Personal Electronics."
The report's overview highlighted four key criteria that directly relate to our design goals for the program. Those criteria are copied form the Stylus report below.
SOFT TECH AESTHETICS: The emergence of softened shapes and forms suggests a gentler tech aesthetic is emerging. Curved Edges and rounded corners are tempering tech's harsh black, white and bright tones.
INCLUSIVE INTERFACES: Designers are finding ways of making tech more inclusive. For example, Dot has introduced the braille smartwatch, which features a transforming textured surface that visually impaired wearers can respond to.
DESIGNED FOR DISPLAY: Next-generation products feature designer collaborations or tactile materials that appeal to the design-conscious consumer. Directional tech products are more akin to home and fashion accessories than conventional electronics.
COLOUR INVESTMENT: Mobile phone companies are investing in new vivid pigments - indicating a need in the market for more expressive finishes that cater to customers looking for more individual technology.
Aera appears in good company with products such as the Plume Wifi Pods by Branch, Yves Behar's ElliQ Robot, B&O's Beopaly H4 Headphones, and Leica's TL Camera.
Together, the collection of examples highlight the report's "Discreet Metallics" section which is described below.
"A subtle metallic direction is emerging, with the brushed and pearlised finished that first noted at IFA Berlin 2015 becoming warmer and more neutral in tone. Muted metallics enable personal electronics to blend more discreetly into everyday surroundings.