This project was done during my first year at Central St. Martins MA-Industrial design. Microsoft asked the students to conceptualise ideas which demonstrated new thinking in computer interaction.
One of the most important insights that where concluded from the research was that computer peripherals often was made for work and therefore had a certain negative feelings associated with them.
So I set out to create a computer-input device that was completely focused on relaxation, entertainment and home environment.
The design of the device is borrowing language from living rooms instead of offices. It’s referencing to ceramics, organic shapes and textiles. The actual shape of the object is strongly conveying its functions and it’s intentionally left a bit raw and open to let the users focus on function and customisation.
The concept is concentrated around physical manipulation. Instead of just pressing buttons the user bends, squeezes, twists and flexes the device. By using these actions the user interface becomes very natural and intuitive.
The device can be bent upwards and downwards to raise/lower volume. By pressing a “modifier-key” at the same time the action of bending gets assigned to another function (for example fast forwarding a film). The device can also be twisted to for example pause or escape. When using social media the user can squeeze either the right or left side to “share” or “like”.
The smooth curved surface of the device is interrupted only by subtle etchings. These etchings surround the most important functions of the device. Under the surface lies an E-ink touch screen and a piezo-actuator which means that you can customise the keyboard layout, language, font size and so on all by yourself.
Microsoft Keyflex – Made for the living room.
Microsoft Keyflex – Made for relaxing.
This project was awarded the first Microsoft UK Design Award.