BMW Thinks Outside The Beige Box

March 13, 2009

BMW is best known for its transportation products--notably cars--but apparently the company is willing to tackle any industrial design challenge that gets in its way. The latest comes from Thermaltake, a manufacturer of high-end computers, which has asked BMW's designers to build a new gaming tower.

The result is the "Level 10" concept. As you can see, it looks like a crazy Dada experiment, with all the standard principles of design turned on their little silicon heads. It is also really, really beautiful. Impractical, too--but beauty isn't always practical.

Each of the components in the tower is individually sealed (which is great, because when TCC staffers gathererd round the laptop for a first look, we immediately thought, "Hello, dust magnet!"). From the press release, it sounds like those components can pop on and off, too, which would make replacing parts a snap. For safety, the computer locks with a USB key; without it, you're looking at a very pretty, mauve/black brick. Here are some details:

Whilst the design concept initially appeals visually to gamers, clever detail solutions do justice to their high demands on the applications. A smart lock system facilitates the blocking of access in order to protect the valuable modules. A USB memory key was designed as an extractable “power button” that not only activates the system, but also secures personal system data, rendering it suitable for flexible use. Two ergonomically well-positioned, integrated handles allow safe and convenient transportation of the tower, a highly relevant feature in the high-end gaming tower sector. The design is rounded off by a cleverly devised cable conduit system and light features which communicate a multitude of tower functions such as temperature and memory volumes. Since the computer worlds themselves supply the context for the conceptual idea, an authentic design has been created that significantly emphasises the functionality of the Thermaltake housing and no longer needs to be concealed inside the chassis. The prototype of the “Level 10” tower can be seen from the 3rd to 8th of March at the CEBIT in Hannover.

Dang. That's almost enough to lure us into World of Warcraft. Almost.

[source: BMW]

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