Lexus brings the sexy back into hardware development

Style and technology are like peanut  butter and jelly. Each is a disparate concept, but when their forces combine, magic happens.

Lexus is all about PB&J, so to speak. Which is why the luxury car company is throwing a startup competition for products that embody “the intersection of high-tech and high-style.”

The battle is called Lexus Ignition. Eight products will face off, two at a time, over the course of the next four weeks. It will take place on the xompany’s Facebook page, where visitors vote for their favorite. The winning team will receive up to $25,000 in funding to bring these ideas to market.

The eight featured products are:

  • Carbon Fiber Folding Electric Bike – Lightweight carbon fiber folding e-bike that provides urban commuters with a grease-free, sweat-free commute.
  • Vers 2Q – Powerful yet compact Bluetooth stereo sound system, wrapped in a handcrafted wood cabinet.
  • Urban Fidelity Airflow Mini Speakers and Subwoofer – Fantastic sound featuring artwork from indie artists and eco wood construction (no plastic!).
  • Stabil-i – The world’s first pocket-sized, video stabilization case for a smartphone that eliminates shaky video.
  • SolarPOP – Portable solar-powered smartphone and tablet charger with built-in retractable cords.
  • SOLOSHOT – Mobile video recorder mount that tracks movement without the need for a cameraman.
  • Botiful X – Personal telepresence robot with edge detection.
  • spnKiX M – A stand-up and sit-down scooter in one. Sleekly designed, lightweight, and foldable for easy storage.

Lexus is clearly on a mission to make machines sexy. On the last season of reality TV show Project Runway, it sponsored a design challenge where the show’s contestants had to create fashion-forward looks inspired by its cars.

This latest tactic is aimed at further promoting its latest vehicle, the Lexus ES, as well as its reputation as an innovative, chic, and trendy brand.

Read the press release.

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