We look at how simple everyday products can become game changers with small but genius design improvements.
Here at Red Points we appreciate innovation, and most particularly how innovation can be realised through the simplest of designs. We’ve come up with a list of some of our favourite genius novelty products, that show how a tired product can be spiced up: with good design that revolutionises and customises even the most basic of products:
It may surprise you but these testicle-shaped bike balls, “the world’s most confident bike light”, are not only attractive but very effective. Their high-quality design, with soft silicone outer and LED lights (activated through a gentle squeeze), produces a unique ‘bobbing’ motion that enhances visibility, meaning they can offer a greater level of safety for cyclists at night.
Never Soggy Cereal Bowl
Here at Red Points we are strong advocates of the moist-not-soggy debate when it comes to cereal. Therefore we agree that Obol’s Original Crispy Bowl, built with separate chambers for milk and cereal designed with no-spill sides and a built-in grip for improved sofa-eating, thoroughly deserves its title “the champion of breakfast bowls”. The bowl is expertly designed with separate chambers for milk and cereal - or for the adventurous, soup and crackers, hummus and pitta, or even salsa and tortilla chips.
Discover what’s lurking at the hidden depths of your soup with this adorable Nessie ladle. Dishwasher-safe and equipped with little feet for freestanding, this superb design of this unique utensil does not compromise on its practicality. Created by Israeli design company OTOTO, this ladle is part of a collection also featuring a Nessie spaghetti spoon and “baby Nessie” tea infuser, all guaranteed to give your friends and family a case of the green-eyed monster. Disclaimer: probably no refunds given for ladles that may disappear, never to resurface.
Any siesta fans or keen travellers will instantly see the appeal of this groundbreaking product design. The Ostrich pillow, complete with breathing hole as well as arm slots for maximum comfort, fully surrounds and engulfs your head in its warmth for an optimized napping experience. The only way in which this genius product could be said to foul its own nest (sorry) is that it further spreads the myth that ostriches bury their heads in the sand when they sleep.
What was once a tiny backpack will rapidly inflate before your very eyes into a lightweight nylon bed. After fighting for the sole rights to sell the world’s most-copied inflatable sofa, Fatboy USA last year secured a design patent for their hugely successful - and criminally comfortable - Lamzac. Easy to inflate with surrounding air through a simple swing motion, the - portable sofa? Hammock? Pair of giant enveloping lips? - regardlessly, opens up the opportunities for go-to comfort, and surely redefines the subtle art of lounging around.
What these products have in common is a high level of creativity and innovation, allowing the most mundane and ordinary of daily utensils, electronics and furnishings to exhibit individual flair. However, budding product designers should be warned: as entrepreneur Stephen Key explains, these types of useful novelty products with highly-creative designs are extremely susceptible to copycat products, and proper patents and copyright registration should be sought. It’s a lesson learnt the hard way by Israeli entrepreneur Yekutiel Sherman, who spent a year carefully refining his selfie stick smartphone case only to have the phone case ripped off by counterfeiters just a week after its Kickstarter debut. In a world where virtual borders see no limits in innovation copycats, we recall that famous quote: “with great product design, comes a great need for copyright.”