Deutsche Telekom introduces a mini version of its Smart Speaker 

— 10 July 2020

Hallo Magenta is Deutsche Telekom’s Voice Controlled Assistant & Eco System for the home for the German market, featuring European security (i.e. privacy), and integration with Deutsche Telekom services. It can also activate Alexa services in parallel, running on a separate technical system, not managed by Deutsche Telekom. It was awarded the German Brand Award 2019, the German Design Award GOLD 2020 and the IF Design Award 2020.

The market for voice assistants and smart speakers is growing at a fast rate. To cater for all needs, Deutsche Telekom now launches a Smart Speaker Mini providing the same featured as the normal size one, yet in a more compact body (10x8cm). The Smart Speaker Mini controls via voice Magenta TV (as a voice remote control), Magenta SmartHome (lighting, heating, alarms), reproduces music, radio and audio books and can be used as a phone.

Smart Speaker Mini comes with a twist, it comes with a “wardrobe”
Its unique feature is personalization. Three stickers, each featuring a unique design, can be put on the speaker to make it unique, thus catering for the growing need to personalize technology.

«We worked on several directions within the idea of customization and put a variety of creative heads at work», says Monica Dalla Riva, VP of Design and Customer Experience at Deutsche Telekom. «We created a series of “dresses”, stickers that the consumer can apply on the top and on the side of Smart Speaker Mini, hence changing its physical presence completely. Under the art direction of MMG Studio and Vittorio Linfante, designs were created by illustrators Silvia Gherra and Roberta Ricciuti.

With this commercial proposal also comes a vision, two projects aimed at testing people’s reaction to greater steps in terms of personalization.

«We asked 25 students from the Fashion and Communications courses of the School of Design of Politecnico di Milano, coordinated by professor Valeria Iannilli, to select youth countercultures of all times and locations and to develop their interiors (hence, an environment, with wall decorations and furniture) while giving it a contemporary twist. Their work has been then
visualized in a video», continues Dalla Riva. «We also asked six design and fashion companies and professionals to create physical interventions on the product. This was to test the mix analogue-digital as well as technology-lifestyle and see people’s reactions».

The proposals were most varied. Accessories brand Adais turned the Smart Speaker Mini into a mega pendant. The knitwear designers of Sartoria Vico created a woven cover with zoomorphic shapes to turn the Smart Speaker Mini into a home companion, almost a pet. Artist, DJ and promoter Dafne Boggeri realized an installation in which, through the use of colors, Smart Speaker Mini becomes an invisible part of the environment. Accessories designer Rina Gerbelle create a leather basket, like a see-through shell to hold the Smart Speaker Mini.

Wanda Jelmini (di WandaMilleMille) painted her trademark graphics by hand on Smart Speaker Mini. Endelea, an ethical fashion brand bridging Europe and Africa, realized a doily for the Smart Speaker Mini using a traditional Italian technique called “tombolo”, where lengths of thread are braided and twisted together.

The project shows the potential of customization approaches in addressing individual needs. As the presentation at the 2020 Milan Design Week was cancelled due to COVID-19, the Telekom Design Team created a dedicated exhibition in the lobby of Deutsche Telekom’s Group Headquarters in Bonn, Germany. The first three stickers with different designs for the Smart Speaker Mini will be offered soon in Deutsche Telekom’s shops in Germany.

© — All rights reserved. — Published on 10 July 2020