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Philips Tour Puts Focus On ‘Simplicity’ Push

LED lightbulbs that change intensity and color when touched, a handheld crystal ball that displays photos and home videos, a mirror that doubles as a touch-screen family message center, and a home audio/video system controlled by waving a wand were among the highlights here of a Royal Philips Electronics exhibit that’s on worldwide tour.

Philips brought retailers, press, and the architectural and design communities to a cavernous enclosed pier here on the Hudson River to demonstrate current products and working prototypes to communicate the company’s progress in delivering on its “sense and simplicity” brand repositioning, which was announced in September 2004. The products underscore the company’s resolve to deliver “sense and simplicity in everything we make and do,” said chief marketing officer Andrea Ragnetti. The 25 working prototypes at the exhibit could appear in stores in three to five years, he said.

The exhibit featured current products and prototypes from the company’s healthcare, lighting and technology businesses. All were developed with the goal of making technology less complex to use and meet a lifestyle need, the company said. The future products sported intuitive user interfaces, some of which dispensed altogether with buttons and menus.

Shown at right are just some of the featured products.