Just this week, OPPO, the global smart device company, showcased multiple new conceptual designs based on its human-centric design philosophy at the 4th China International Industrial Design Expo (CIIDE), a national event focused on industrial design. These concepts were created for OPPO by leading Japanese studio nendo, founded by Oki Sato, the two companies collaborating to explore the possibilities of future design.
At this year’s exhibition themed “New Designs, New Trends, New Momentum,” OPPO and nendo unveiled two conceptual designs. The first, the “slide-phone” concept, jumps off from the insight that smartphone users increasingly rely on their smartphones to interact with the world around them. Completely going against the trend of larger phones, as these, while supporting functionality, are less convenient and more difficult to hold, the “slide-phone” is designed with three foldable screens attached by hinges folding over in the same direction.
By providing users with the flexibility to change the form of the phone as needed, users may benefit from the ability to change its size to suit the occasion. Furthermore, a stylus inserted in phone allows users to expand their productivity by using the phone for work or other more complex tasks.
OPPO and nendo’s other conceptual design, “music-link”, is a collection of devices centered around a pair of TWS earphones that includes a smartwatch, an AI speaker, a portable charger and a wireless charger. All devices are designed in a sleek organic form, adopting an affinity design that mirrors the aesthetic values of users today. When the TWS earphones and portable charging case are placed on the AI speaker, users can enjoy a seamless music experience transitioning from headphones to speaker. This symbiotic design between devices, and the emphasis on portability and convenience, reflects OPPO’s integration of technology and human-centricity in its design philosophy.
The “music-link” conceptual design
Commenting on the partnership, nendo CEO and chief designer, Oki Sato, said, “I was impressed by OPPO’s philosophy, which goes beyond leveraging the latest technology and pursues a comfortable relationship between people and their products through a human-centric approach to design. I am looking forward to seeing new concepts from the OPPO team as well as seeing how they manage to further strike a balance between technology and emotional engagement.”
OPPO Industrial Design lead designer Xiao Bo added: “nendo’s design is closely aligned with OPPO’s human-centric philosophy. OPPO aims to bring users a delightful product experience with cutting-edge technology and aesthetic design. This partnership is built upon a conviction that, to create a groundbreaking tech product with the right level of comfort for users, we must focus on “human.” Moving forward, we will double down on this approach by engineering products with a more seamless, user-friendly experience.”
In 2008, OPPO launched its first smartphone, the “Smiley Face” A103, marking the beginning of its pursuit of the perfect synergy of ultimate aesthetics and innovation. These innovations have proved numerous over the past 12 years: from breakthrough smartphone industrial designs, such as 2012’s Finder, one of the world’s thinnest phones; and the snow-covered inspired R9; to industry-leading camera technology, like the N3, the world’s first motorized rotating camera smartphone; the Find X, a full-screen display smartphone with a pioneering sliding design which enabled the camera to pop out from within the phone when activated; and the Reno10x zoom that broke even more boundaries with its unique pivot rising structure. As an explorer and leader pursuing the perfect synergy of ultimate aesthetics and innovation, OPPO established an industrial design center at its inception to incubate design and innovation within the industry. After winning design awards for its cutting-edge designs for the Find X, Find X2 Pro and Reno3 Pro, OPPO continues to focus on product design, further exploring how technology and aesthetics can be integrated to create closer relationships between people, devices, and the world around them.
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