The annual iF Design Awards are a perennial who’s who of design inspiration from around the world. Meant to promote and support good design while highlighting its societal and cultural impacts, the award is “a symbol of design excellence.” And this year was certainly no exception.
The 2021 iF Design Awards welcomed innovators from around the globe eager to showcase their dynamic design concepts — and with an estimated 10,000 annual submissions from more than 60 countries, there was plenty to choose from. This year, however, the focus shifted somewhat among finalists to explore and create devices that bring the often lofty concept of automation closer to home.
AI, robots, and smart home technologies galore permeated some of the top winning designs this year, a shift that acutely represents our increasing reliance on technology within our homes as a way to make life more convenient. Taking Siri or Alexa to the next level, these designs show how sophisticated design technologies can be integrated into even the simplest daily tasks.
Below we highlight three of this year’s winners we were particularly impressed with, all of them devices meant to bridge the gap between automation and the home sphere.
Tokit Omni Cook Multi-Cooker
Home cooks everywhere will recognize this dilemma. Love that pressure cooker? Sure do! That slow cooker’s no slouch, either. But what about that rice cooker? Can’t live without it. The list goes on and on. Now more than ever before, there are all kinds of kitchen appliances built for specific purposes, each meant to fit seamlessly into your kitchen milieu — making life easier, yet somehow existing in their own autonomous space.
The reality is that many of us simply don’t have the space for all the kitchen appliances we need (or want). Enter the Tokit Omni Cook Multi-Cooker. Able to replace 21 traditional kitchen appliances all by itself, this little beauty combines precision and technology with a dash of digital flair to create the perfect cooking assistant. Throw in a smart display that provides recipes and video how-to instructions, and this winning entry from Shanghai Chunmi Electronics Technology Co. Ltd. hands down wins the kitchen appliance wars.
Robots delivering packages may seem like something out of The Jetsons, but thanks to innovations from tech companies everywhere, this tantalizing glimpse into the future is now right around the corner. While you may have heard of the “Amazon Scout” already, there are a host of other companies also working hard to develop this exciting new technology (Starship Robot, Buro, and AutoX, to name a few).
This winning entry in the 2021 iF Design Award competition is brought to you by Kiwibot, an already-established heavyweight in the world of robot delivery infrastructure. Affordable, accessible, and boasting zero carbon emissions, Kiwibot’s newest offering, the Kiwibot Plus, is tasked with becoming the tech company’s next-generation robot delivery superstar. Safe, effective, and most importantly, sustainable, the Kiwibot Plus is more than just a robot, it’s a bonafide member of the community.
The COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult (and sometimes impossible), for people to hit the gym, spurring a slew of technology meant to make the at-home workout more effective, and most importantly, more social. From apps to YouTube videos, Nintendo Switch games to Peloton, the field for at-home fitness has never been more packed with options for everyone from devoted gym rats to casual fitness experimenters.
Enter Fit Bot: an IF Design Award Winner developed by Samsung Electronics. But what sets Fit Bot apart, you may ask? Firstly, it’s a wearable technology, a “robot” meant to support the wearer and encourage safe, healthy exercise habits. Meant to “address the drawback of conventional exercise methods for the general population,” Fit Bot, through its built-in actuator, is intuitive and supportive. It’s designed to reduce the risk of injury for people everywhere, especially for those who may find more strenuous equipment or routines challenging, such as the elderly, or persons with previous injuries or health conditions.
Many of this year’s iF Design Award Winners hit closer to home, showcasing design technologies meant to bridge the gap between our daily lives and automation. As always, the designs were meant to inspire, and to make the world a better place through innovation. In 2021, that “world” just happened to include a little slice of home.
Want to know more? Visit the iF World Design Guide to learn more about his year’s winners.