If you have a quick scan around your home, you’ll become aware of typical household items that haven’t changed much in recent years. Things like kettles or microwaves may have had tweaks to the design or technology, but nothing revolutionary.
However, there are other items that are completely different to what we once knew, like how the Apple iPhone pathed the way for smartphones. These types of disruptive technologies take existing ideas and reinvent them for the modern age, which have the power to change our lives for good.
Here’s a closer look at a few of the brands that have broken away from the design mold through disruptive technology.
Tesla Electric Car
Tesla has really changed the way we look at cars, both through technology and aesthetics, marking it as one the most well-known disruptive innovations.
Tesla’s electric cars have become globally renowned. The disruptive design sees the car’s Uber futuristic, minimalist aesthetic mirrored by the highly advanced technology.
While Tesla may have not invented the first electric car, it pushed the idea into the mainstream, prompting even more of a focus on sustainable technology. But even more disruptive is the self-driving technology, which is unlike anything currently on the market.
We may be a long way away from cars that are fully autonomous, but Tesla's autopilot mode has completely changed the way we approach cars, and we expect to see the technology continue to advance, with many other companies following suit.
With a history of innovation, Nintendo falls right into the disruptive technology category. Nintendo released its first handheld gaming console – the iconic Game Boy – in the late 80s. We continued to see Nintendo release handheld devices, such as the Nintendo DS, with many other brands trying (and failing) to follow suit.
With the success of at-home game consoles, Nintendo gave us an updated Mario Kart and launched the now-discontinued Wii in 2006. The Wii was unlike any other console at the time and was a much more immersive and interactive experience than many others on the market.
However, it’s the more recent Nintendo Switch which marks a completely new disruptive technology. The hybrid device is both a handheld and at-home gaming console, which marks the first of its kind. The Switch combines the design, technology and gaming experience of its previous products to create a completely new way to game.
The concept of Bluetooth speakers isn’t a new one. Whether used for gaming or social gatherings, most homes have some kind of audio player. But whereas a lot of companies opted for the same old design, GravaStar chose to break away from traditional design mold.
Instead of merely creating an audio device that is exactly that, GravaStar merged technical specs, like Bluetooth 5.0, RGB lights, 15 hour battery life and an output power of 20W, with an equal focus on design. GravaStar’s intergalactic-inspired Mars Pro speakers are as much of an art piece as they are a piece of technology. And the result is a bespoke product that allows the user to feel completely individual.
What does the future hold for audio technology? We expect to see more brands following in GravaStar’s footsteps and experimenting with unique designs.
Dyson Air Multiplier Fan
The first electric fan was invented in the late 1800s, but despite years of technological development, its design hasn’t changed much in the time since. That was until Dyson came out with the Air Multiplier fan in 2009, which completely changed an everyday household item.
Dyson took the traditional design and completely disrupted it, creating a product that’s not only sleek, compact and modern, but much more efficient. The bladeless design is not only safer to use, but it moves air around a space much more efficiently, and even has app control.
As with many disruptive technologies, the well-established but stale design of the traditional fan meant that Dyson was able to build on the existing design. By developing the technology further, Dyson’s Air Multiplier puts equal focus on design and functionality – completely changing the way many of us will keep our spaces cool for good.
Apple’s iPhone may not have been the first touchscreen phone…or even the first smartphone, but chances are it’s the first one you think of.
In 2007, there was a whole lot of buzz surrounding the first iPhone’s release. It brought the ability to carry around a personalized computer, portable music player, and gaming device in your pocket. It allowed us to quickly Google anything at the touch of a button…or rather, screen.
The iPhone's key to being dubbed disruptive technology was, and is, its ability to constantly adapt. Nowadays, we can even use our Phones as our own personal wallet. The iPhone has disrupted the mobile industry so much that the core use of a mobile phone – texts and phone calls – has almost become an afterthought for many of us.