Earned for High Design Quality in the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2019

Oblong Industries, Inc., maker of multi-stream collaboration solutions and pioneer of interactive spatial computing environments, has won a Red Dot Award: Product Design 2019. The Optical Wand – used for gesture control of screen content in Mezzanine and g-speak spatial operating environments — received the Red Dot, whose renowned jury awards to products that feature an outstanding design.

The Wand Provides Magical Control of Immersive Environments

The Oblong Optical Wand is a handheld device used to interact with and manipulate data-rich and highly visual digital content in immersive display environments. Because the wand’s position is tracked in three-dimensional space, users can engage directly with displayed content through intuitive gestures and motions. The wand is an expression of the spatial computing philosophy and human-centered design approach that since the beginning has been central to both hardware and software development at Oblong.

Inspired by undulating spline curves and triangular forms, the wand shape is effortlessly unique, and its weight balance and curvature allows the wand body to nest comfortably in the user’s hand. A minimal four button and touchpad control layout provides users with full power over their digital content. The wand-tracking ecosystem includes patterns of infrared beacons discreetly installed around display areas. An optical sensor embedded within the wand works in real time to visually track these patterns around displays and triangulate the location of displayed content.

Says Oblong CEO, John Underkoffler, “To meet the levels of creativity and productivity demanded by today’s complex business world requires rethinking our interaction with digital tools. The wand is at the heart of Oblong’s philosophy about spatial UI and empowers users to collaborate in a way that’s radically more capable and intuitive.”

Senior Industrial Designer Barbara Brand led the design aspects of the project, in concert with Ayon Sen, Director of Hardware and Spatial Tracking. “This recognition serves to validate our commitment to realizing innovative user experiences! The entire team is thrilled by these honors,” they said in a joint statement.

The hardware team is instrumental in bringing many advances in spatial tracking to Mezzanine, the company’s flagship product for visual collaboration across the enterprise -including a new reduced-footprint configuration for swiftest deployment of the dynamic meeting room solution.  They also work closely with Oblong’s Advanced Technology team to deploy high fidelity solutions in panoramic, pixel-rich architectural spaces.

Design quality is the common factor for award-winning products

“I would like to congratulate the laureates sincerely on their wonderful success. The fact that their products were able to satisfy the strict criteria of the jury bears testimony to their award-winning design quality. The laureates are thus setting key trends in the design industry and are showing where future directions may lead,” said Professor Dr. Peter Zec, founder and CEO of Red Dot, in reference to the winners.

Experience and expertise get straight to the point

The Red Dot Award: Product Design is one of the world’s largest design competitions. In 2019, designers and manufacturers from 55 countries entered more than 5,500 products in the competition. The international jury comprises experienced experts from different disciplines and has been convening for more than 60 years in order to select the year’s best designs. True to the motto “In search of good design and innovation”, their assessment focuses on criteria such as the level of innovation, functionality, formal quality, longevity and ergonomics. The winners will be celebrated at a ceremony in Essen, Germany on July 8, 2019. Learn more about the Oblong Optical Wand on the blog at Oblong.com.

About Oblong Industries

Oblong Industries’ innovative technologies change the way people work, create, and communicate. With roots in more than two decades of research at the MIT Media Lab, Oblong’s flagship product Mezzanine™ is the technology platform that defines the next era of computing: multi-user, multi-screen, multi-device, and multi-location interaction for dynamic and immersive visual collaboration. This focus continues with the debut of Rumpus™ for purely virtual teams. Oblong is headquartered in Los Angeles and supplies Mezzanine systems to Fortune 500 enterprise customers and reseller partners. Learn more at www.oblong.com, and connect via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

About the Red Dot Design Award:

In order to appraise the wide scope of design in a professional manner, the Red Dot Design Award is broken down into the three distinct disciplines: the Red Dot Award: Product Design, Red Dot Award: Brands & Communication Design and Red Dot Award: Design Concept. With more than 18,000 submissions, the Red Dot Award is one of the largest design competitions in the world. In 1955, a jury convened for the first time to assess the best designs of the day. The name and brand of the award were developed in the 1990s by Red Dot CEO, Professor Dr. Peter Zec. Since then, the sought-after Red Dot is the revered international seal of outstanding design quality. The winners are presented in yearbooks, museums and online. Further information: www.red-dot.org.