Trends & Technology from the North American Auto Show

Thinking about the rise of Voice enabled devices, I’m curious to see how this all plays out.


The mantra of Industrial Design has long been “Form follows Function”, yet with a product that is controlled via voice, the physical user experience/controls are much more limited, if not non-existent. These elements in the past were key styling/design opportunities we would exploit to add style and usability.


If these elements completely go away, I’m wondering what that means for the variables left to exploit in terms of styling & usability – Greater freedom or constraints?


Erik Moses

Senior Industrial Designer

George Guffey

User Experience Design Director

Jake Vail

Senior Industrial Designer

Gilberto Cavada

Design Director

George Guffey

User Experience Design Director

Nick Cucci

Business Lead

Nicole Byer

User Experience Designer

Elizabeth Williamson

Marketing Manager

Trends & Technology from the Consumer Electronics Show

Trends & Technology from the North American Auto Show

Trends & Technology from the Home & Housewares Show

Trends & Technology from the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX)

Trends & Technology from the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3)

Trends & Technology from the National Business Aviation Association Expo (NBAA)

Trends & Technology in Commercial Design Interiors from NEOCON

Trends & Technology from The Airline Passenger Experience Expo (APEX)

It was interesting to see how auto manufacturers are still experimenting with trying to find the right mix of manual controls (like knobs and buttons) with screens. As long as vehicles still require a driver (aren't autonomous), perhaps screen-only controls aren't appropriate as they require the driver to look away from the road.

Commercial flight is in the midst of an enormous transition focused on experiences, comfort and efficiencies. Implementation of technologies that inform, secure and entertain are the big goals for airlines.

I am amazed at the growth of gaming as a spectator sport, gamer celebrity, and the expectations for simulating experiences and storytelling.

NBAA 2018 gave us a front-row seat to the future of business aviation. From Aerion’s AS2 supersonic bizjet, Terrafugia’s electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and PDT’s LiFi technology project… The industry is buzzing and it’s exciting to see innovation in action!

After attending the Home & Housewares show this year, I was intrigued by the continual blending of assistive and “smart” technologies within traditionally “dumb” products.


In addition, many products are not only simplifying our domestics tasks, but aim at making our domestic spaces a healthier more wellness-centric place to live.


Walking through NeoCon this year, you can see the continual push for creating adaptable work environments. With multipurpose furniture like space dividers that turn into work surfaces, areas that are used by one person can be converted to accommodate many.


The Airline Passenger Experience (APEX) Expo is always an opportunity to see how PaxEx providers are working to advance the industry. I was particularly fascinated to learn how the airlines are leveraging data and analytics to inform changes in their processes and procedures that ultimately improve passenger satisfaction.

PDT an Astronics Company: Product Design and Development Firm in Chicago, IL

e’ve lived, we’ve learned, we’ve seen, we’ve done. 2018 brought us wonderful opportunities to work with our talented partners, clients and teammates. We thank you for a great 2018 and look forward to another year of collaboration and innovation.


Scroll to see some of our team members’ reflections on knowledge they’ve gained over the past year. Click the snowflakes to view our 2018 trend reports to review what we found noteworthy in 2018.



Facebook LinkedIn Twitter YouTube

© 2019 PDT, an Astronics Company | Privacy Policy

PDT is a subsidiary of Astronics Connectivity Systems & Certification (CSC)

PDT is a trademark of Astronics Corporation