Industrial design is a field that is constantly evolving, with new technologies and design trends emerging all the time. Here at SurfaceID in Montreal, we are acutely aware of how important it is to keep pace with this ever-changing market. In recent years, the industry has seen a shift towards sustainable design, user-centered design, and the integration of emerging technologies.

Sustainability has become a major focus for industrial designers, as companies and consumers alike seek to reduce their environmental impact. This has led to an increase in the use of recycled materials, as well as a focus on designing products that are durable and can be easily repaired or recycled at the end of their lifespan.

As sustainability becomes an increasingly important consideration in consumer product design, a number of innovative and eco-friendly products have emerged that do an exceptional job at balancing functionality with environmental consciousness. One such product is the Adidas Parley shoe, which is made from recycled ocean plastics and recycled polyester. The shoe not only minimizes waste by using recycled materials, but it also helps to clean up our oceans by removing plastic debris.

Adidas Parley
(https://www.businessinsider.com/adidas-releases-new-parley-ocean-waste-plastic-shoes-2017-4)

User-centered design has also become increasingly important, with designers focusing on creating products that are intuitive and easy to use for consumers. This includes designing products with accessibility in mind, as well as considering the needs of a diverse range of users.

User-centered products are those that prioritize the needs and wants of the user, and ultimately provide a seamless and enjoyable experience. The Nest thermostat is a prime example of user-centered design. From the outset, the design team focused on creating a product that would be intuitive and easy to use for a wide range of people. They conducted extensive research into user needs and preferences, and incorporated this feedback into every aspect of the product’s design. The result is a sleek and stylish thermostat that is both functional and user-friendly. The interface is simple and easy to understand, with clear visual cues that allow users to adjust temperature and settings with ease. The device also learns from users’ behavior and preferences, making adjustments automatically to ensure maximum comfort and energy efficiency. Overall, the Nest thermostat is a prime example of how user-centered design can result in a product that is both useful and enjoyable to use.

Nest thermostat
(https://www.pcmag.com/reviews/nest-thermostat)

The integration of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and the Internet of Things (IoT) has also had a significant impact on industrial design. These technologies are being used to create more personalized and interactive products, as well as to optimize production processes.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming the way we design and create industrial products. IoT technology allows us to embed sensors and connectivity into machines, products, and devices, enabling them to collect and communicate data in real-time. This data can be used to optimize performance, improve efficiency, and reduce maintenance costs. Industrial designers are using IoT to create smart products that are responsive to user needs and capable of learning and adapting over time. Such a product is the Google Home, a smart speaker developed by Google that is powered by the Google Assistant.

Google Home
(https://www.businessinsider.com/google-home-features-tips-tricks-2018-2)

It allows users to use voice commands to interact with various smart home devices and access information from the internet. It integrates IoT devices into a smart home setup, as it provides an easy-to-use interface for controlling a wide range of devices, such as lights, thermostats, and security systems, with just your voice. By leveraging the power of IoT and the convenience of Google Home, users can create a seamless, interconnected smart home ecosystem that enhances their everyday lives. With IoT, industrial design is no longer just about creating products that are aesthetically pleasing, but also about designing products that can communicate, collaborate, and provide insights into how they are being used in the real world.

Overall, the current state of industrial design is one of innovation and adaptation to changing consumer and societal needs. As designers continue to push the boundaries of what is possible, we can expect to see even more exciting developments in the years to come.