Phone cases, a motion sensor, outdoor speakers, mobile power sources and a returning champion are all in contention in the Consumer Electronics category for the 2014 Good Design Awards.

For the second year running  and the second year that the awards organisers have included a standalone Consumer Electronics field  the entrants to this award have predominantly been smaller, niche brands, with the Big 4 brands; Sony, Samsung, LG and Panasonic; all abstaining from entering.

There are still, however, a few major players in the running, most notably Braun and Philips, but the overall entrants list is a much more obscure affair. Blackmagic, last year’s overall winner for the Cinema Camera, has again entered, this time for its Pocket Cinema Camera, and this must surely start favourite for Best in Category considering last year’s excellent showing.

Among the upstarts looking to upset the cart are the Leap Motion sensor controller for Macs and PC, the Jump charging cable and popular notetaking gadget the Livescribe 3.

Philips has entered a Beard Trimmer, which seems to skirt the borders between Consumer Electronics and Appliances, as well as the E5 Fidelio Home Cinema, its M1X-DJ Sound System and the VisaPure female personal care appliance.

Consumer Electronics entries for the 2014 Good Design Awards

BACtrack Mobile Breathalyzer
Backbone iPhone 5s cover
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
BlueAnt Pump HD Sportsbuds
Braun Series 9 shaver
HuntKey Charging Base with Sound Amplification
Dropcam Pro (by Whipsaw)
Emergence AS4 speaker system (by Infinity)
Gripster Wrap for iPad Case
HuntKey Hand Emergency Portable Power Source
Holiday Light (by MooresCloud)
Jump Charging Cable
Jays a-Jays Five headphones
Kaleidescape Cinema One
Leap Motion Controller
Legrand Excel Life
Livescribe 3 (by Whipsaw)
Buckshot (by Outdoor Technology)
Philips Beard Trimmer 9000
Philips Fidelio Home Cinema E5
Philips M1X-DJ Sound System
Philips VisaPure
Røde iXY
Soen Transit
Vixtel Unity VoIP Tablet and Handset
Harmon/Kardon Sabre SB 35
iDect Boomerang

Click here for the Appliance Entries for the 2014 Good Design Awards

The finalists will be announced on 6 May 2014 ahead of the gala presentation in Sydney on Wednesday 28 May 2014. Selected products will also be showcased to the public in a special curation between 23 May and 9 June 2014 (the Award organisers say these showcase dates are subject to change).


It’s a shame that none of the big, big brands have decided to enter any of their products into the awards this year. Judging by the funds splashed on their launch events, sponsorships and spokespeople, the two Korean companies have enormous marketing budgets so it is intriguing that neither could find the $600 or so to enter their magnificent new Ultra HD and Curved OLED panels into the program. Panasonic might not be as flush right at this moment but it has still had a strong release program over the past 12 months, with particular reference to its outstanding new Lumix Micro Four-Thirds cameras, especially the GX7.

Sony perhaps has the best excuse for not entering the awards: none of its new products are particularly noteworthy or likely to win acclaim.

It says something about the Australian consumer electronics industry that the smaller players, for whom I know for a fact find it harder to round up the cash to market their products, have reached into the bottom drawer to support the Good Design Awards and trust in their products to win the respect and favour of the judges.

Blonde Robot, a relative newcomer to the brand-house distribution network, has entered the Leap Motion, the Soen Transit speaker and the Buckshot. Mint Technology, a company comprised of several ex-Uniden Australia staff has thrown up the iDect Boomerang home phone for consideration and Whipsaw, an American industrial design firm from Silicon Valley, has two entries for consideration.

These are just three companies that see value in the Good Design Awards to give their products an edge when on shelves competing for a customer’s attention. It would be great to see more of the established brands demonstrating such enthusiasm for the country’s major product awards program.