Dezeen promotion: a robotic stand that turns a Samsung Galaxy device into a collaborative smart assistant has taken the top prize in the accessories category of the Samsung Mobile Design Competition.
Named Star of Galaxy, the stand is the work of Portuguese designers André Gouveia, Nuno Pires and João Pereira.
It is able to follow a user around a space by automatically adjusting the position of the device depending on where the user is located.
Gouveia said his team's design was inspired by the idea of "collaborative robotics", which focuses on making robots that humans can work together with, rather than those that supplant human activities and work in isolation.
"This approach makes for a more friendly coexistence between humans and robots," Gouveia told Dezeen.
Star of Galaxy's unique feature is its articulated structure, which — combined with the power of Samsung smart assistant Bixby — enables it to angle the device so it follows the user as they move around.
This would be particularly useful for people who are recording themselves on video, but Gouveia also imagines it enabling better video conferencing or helping people follow recipes in the kitchen.
"The articulated arm allows total rotation and tilt, captures everything using the front and back cameras of Galaxy's devices," said Gouveia. "This ability to follow you in every direction and the vocal recognition, allied to the software integration, represents a leap in the market."
The jury named Star of Galaxy the winner of the Next Mobile + category, which sought ideas for new accessories capable of enhancing Samsung Galaxy devices. The designers came ahead of four other finalists, who presented their work before a jury of experts in London.
Second prize in the competition went to Ece Demirpence and Cagatay Demirpence from Turkey, whose Fellas of Galaxy design allows Samsung Galaxy smartwatches to have a second life as a huggable children's toy while they are charging.
In third place was Germany's Alexander Rehn and Tobias Saller with Belt of Galaxy, a protective case with a loop to wrap around the wrist and stop users dropping their devices.
The first place getters have won $10,000 in prize money, with $5,000 going to second place, and $3,000 to third, from a total prize pot of $40,000.
The jury — made up of designers Stefan Scholten and Paul Austin, executives from Samsung's IT and Mobile Communications division, and Dezeen editor-at-large Amy Frearson — revealed the top three in each category at a live judging in London on 25 September.
Those designers travelled to the Samsung Developer Conference from 29 to 30 October in San Jose, USA, where the top prize was announced and mock-ups of all of the finalists' works were on display.
The Samsung Mobile Design Competition was a global contest, which sought new designs to enhance Samsung Galaxy mobile devices.
"At Samsung, whether it’s through hardware or software, we’re constantly exploring ways to take users' experiences with their Galaxy devices to the next level," said Samsung. "Hosting this competition and attracting creators from diverse backgrounds allows us to do just that."
As well as the Next Mobile + category, another category in the competition, titled Next Mobile Wallpaper Paradigm, sought ideas for new and innovative screen wallpapers. The winner in that category has also been announced on Dezeen.