What will the future look like? These iF Gold Awards hold some clues

Each year the Industrie Forum (iF) in Germany sets out to identify the best new designs in everything from razors to tractors out of thousands of entries. Here’s our pick of just the new designs for emerging technologies among the Gold award winners for 2018.

Google Daydream VR

Google Cardboard virtual reality viewer for smartphones has come a long way. The new design is inspired by premium furniture upholstery so it’s a nicer and more durable gadget to have around the house. About £99.

BMW Motorrad Concept Link

If form follows function, will all electric motorbikes one day look like this? The judges said the distinctive look of this BMW, which ‘shapes a new segment’, comes from the technical realities of electric drive, with flat energy packs in the underfloor and a compact drive on the rear wheel. It’s a Gold award winner in the Mobility category, but iF noted that it’s a communications device as well as a means of transport.

Sony DPT-RP1

Everyone still likes paper for some tasks, so Sony’s design integrates the best things about paper into a paperless deivce. The Digital Paper displays A4-size documents at their actual size, replicates the feel of a pen on paper and has a paper-like finish but it can store up to 10,000 documents and connect to other devices and networks. From around £500.


Put your keys into one neat, compact stack. It holds 2-7 keys, there’s a multi-tool and a USB too, and a D-ring for any bulkier keys like your car key. Designed in Australia. Comes in leather (around £35), rubber or canvas.

Twickto construction toy

A construction toy that will surely appeal to parent engineers. Twickto comprises bricks that connect with couplings called Twicks, sometimes using a Twicktool key. Designed by GBO of the Netherlands.

Samsung extra-wide and curved gaming screen

This QLED (Quantum Dot LED) gaming monitor has a super ultra-wide 32:9 curved screen, equivalent to two 16:9 monitors side by side. The CHG90's many features for gamers include shortcut keys to save personal settings in different gaming screens. From around £1000.

Nest home security system

Nest’s home alarm system includes the battery-powered Nest Detect, a sensor that detects motion in a room when it’s on a wall, open/close when it’s on a window, or both when it’s on a door. A simple, distinctive and compact design. From about £350.

Fluvia Loop

LEDs are opening up whole new possibilities for lighting design. This elegant and minimalist OLED light created by Antoni Arola for Fluvia produces a fine sheet of of light that can be rotated to any angle. Install an individual Loop for reading or other specific task lighting, or in groups for flexible ambient lighting. Comes in a primer finish.

It takes the judges three days tog et through over 6000 entries

The jury of 63 design experts in disciplines from architecture to packaging met in Hamburg for three days in January to pick this year’s 75 Gold award winners from 6402 entries from 1218 contenders from 54 countries.

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