Invisibility is the name of the game

“Shytech”, a design feature also known as the “black panel effect”, continues to be a trend – especially in the kitchen. Switches and displays magically disappear when a home appliance is switched off. When creating user interfaces, glass lends itself as an ideal material. The result: minimalist design and functional elegance.

“Shytech”, a design feature also known as the “black panel effect”, continues to be a trend – especially in the kitchen. Switches and displays magically disappear when a home appliance is switched off. When creating user interfaces, glass lends itself as an ideal material. The result: minimalist design and functional elegance.

Operating panels with buttons, indicator lights and switches, which appear to be “shy” in terms of displaying their visibility on electrical appliances is not exactly new a trend, but rather a sustaining one. The trick is to be able to integrate important functions without overloading the outer appearance and thus maintain a pure and sleek design to the overall interior space.

In the kitchen area,”Shytech” is particularly in demand due to the fact that the number of functions for home appliances is continually growing. No matter how many setting options, displays or control dials there are included in the device, the goal remains to provide the user with an intuitive operating experience. We find ourselves surrounded today by a number of appliances, which include coffee machines, baking ovens, steam cookers and other built-in appliances, that hide complex operational features. What is exciting is that operating elements are only visible when they are actually needed. When not in use, the appliance appears in a minimalist design; however, at the moment it is switched on, the vast array of its technical functions is quickly on display.

Gregor Grosse is a director in Global Business Development & Innovation Management for Home Appliances at SCHOTT Flat Glass.

With its special set of properties, glass has proven to be an ideal material to work with: in addition to the ease of installing electronic elements and lighting components behind glass, conductive surfaces are also effortlessly printed on. And touch-free switches also function well with glass. There is also the fact that the material is easy to clean and when it comes to color, it is extremely versatile. Last but not least, as a design element it helps create a special eye-catcher.

When taking a glance at the developments in “smart home” product solutions, such as the testing of gesture-control to operate an appliance or incorporating safety precautions by monitoring biometric data, it quickly becomes clear that the requirements for designs which include logically structured smart user interfaces is only going to grow. For the foreseeable future, “Shytech” continues to be a trend and most certainly will continue to evolve. Indeed, expectations are high to see what smart user interfaces await us in the future – and you can bet that glass as a material is more than ready to meet the challenge.

September 1st, 2017

Contact

Irene Schwarz
Flat Glass
SCHOTT AG

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