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2017 Trends: The Future is near
Product Design Melbourne

As technology becomes smarter, products are becoming more than just tools. Soon we will look to connect and interact with products like living entities. Let's have a look at a few of the technologies that will be booming this year.

The Internet of Things (IoT)

The scope and application of IoT continues to grow and surprise us. IoT is the concept of connecting all our devices using the internet and you can read more about it here. Bayly has some IoT products in the pipeline that we are working on with our customers which we are excited to share with you later this year.

The idea of a "smart home" has been around for a few years now.  Being able to control your entire home using a phone or provides many opportunities:

  • You could control appliances remotely. No more rushing home to check that you turned the stove off!
  • You could feed your pets and even play with them via your phone when you're away
  • You could water your garden according to weather conditions and types of plants.

In 2017 the Smart Home is being supercharged with the use of programs like IFTTT. These tools allows customers to make "if this then that" rules. For example: "If it's dark, turn on my Philips Hue bulb". No phone or tablet required. Stringify is another innovation that allows for more complex, conditional rules. "If it's dark, and my phone GPS indicates that I'm home, turn on my Philips Hue bulb and turn on my Sonos speaker. The possibilities for these types of products are endless.

For easier integration, devices no longer need to communicate with a central hub. The trend is moving towards using trusted WiFi technology. This means products communicate between each other rather than using a hub. With advanced router technology, the ever increasing amounts of bandwidth makes this easier.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality (VR and AR)

We are starting to see more and more affordable VR and AR technology. Past design was for entertainment purposes but more businesses are adopting the technology. Think about how valuable it would be in the service industry. You could look at a device and see the operations manual for that specific model pop up on your headset. Factories would have much quicker turnover when servicing their machinery. Safety will improve for trainees and apprentices learning their trade.

Fashion businesses are getting smarter with AR too. Brands are thinking about how technology enhances experiences in their physical stores. "Virtual dressing rooms" allow shoppers to change what they are wearing in a display. They don't need to physically change their clothes. Companies like UNIQLO, Topshop, Nike, Converse and more have experimented with the idea. Earlier forms of Augmented Reality clothing looked like stickers on top of the body. In 2017, Augmented Reality garments can look like the user is wearing them.

How could you use VR or AR in your newt product design?

Drones as more than big toys

Expect the sales of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or drones, to increase in the coming years. This is due to technological innovations that take drones beyond fun and entertainment. Drones are becoming smaller, smarter and more autonomous. Drones can even be equipped with VR capabilities.

Drone Technology is being used by Airbus to inspect their planes. Computers then analyse the high definition images to find imperfections. Something that once took 2 men 2 hours is now completed in 10 minutes. Inspectors can perform checks quickly and safely from ground level.

Bayly attended the Intelligent Transport Systems Congress in Melbourne late last year. One exhibitor showed drones that could deliver medical supplies. This would assist injured motorists stranded on the highway. The drones could also bring medical supplies where traditional help cannot access.

Some of these innovations are still a while away, but gadgets that once appeared to be gimmicky entertainment are now being used for greater purposes. Finding business applications for these products is the future.

Would you like to talk to Bayly about a new IoT application or an idea for future technology? Do you have a problem that you think these new technologies can solve? We would love to hear from you. Contact our Melbourne design office on +61 3 9413 9000 or send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Michelle Rosevear, 11 April 2017

FXMirror, 3D virtual fitting solution

Stringify and Philips Hue
Image: Stringify

Stringify can connect and run your IoT devices
Image: Nest


Augmented Reality shopping
Image: FXMirror

Header: Drone inspecting the Airbus aircraft
Image: IQ by Intel