THE BEST GADGET DESIGNERS ALIVE: They Created iPhone, RAZR, Wii, And More

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Ever wonder who’s behind your favourite gadgets like the iPhone, Motorola RAZR, and Nintendo Wii?

We’ve gathered all the most talented product designers responsible for all the coolest gadgets of the past decade.

Motorola's Jim Wicks

Jim Wicks was chief designer for the Motorola RAZR, one of the most popular and iconic cell phones of all time. The RAZR was arguable the first 'it' phone, the iPhone before the iPhone.

It single-handedly propelled Motorola ahead of Nokia in terms of North American cell phone sales, AP reported.

Motorola poached Wicks from Sony, where he led their 'innovation centre.'

Wick said in regard to the cell phone, 'It's gone from a communications tool to a consumer electronics device in the last 10 years, or in some cases an object of self-expression.'

Nintendo's Ken'ichiro Ashida

Ken'ichiro Ashida was one of the lead designers on the Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii, two of the top-selling game consoles of all time. He also invented the Wii wheel and Wii zapper, two popular peripherals.

Ashida mentioned in a BusinessWeek article that the inspiration for the Wii came from wireless devices we use every day like cell phones.

'We didn't want wires all over the place, which might anger mums because of the mess,' he said.

Microsoft's J Allard

One-time 'Chief Experience Officer' at Microsoft, J Allard was responsible for making Microsoft's consumer products pretty and ergonomic.

While Allard had his fair share of mess-ups (like the Kin phones and the Zune), his ideas have been instilled in many ultra-successful Microsoft products like Xbox 360, Xbox Live, and the conceptual foundations of Windows 8.

Perhaps his most drool-worthy project, the Microsoft Courier, never saw the light of day.

Fuseproject's Yves Behar

Yves Behar has had his hands on a lot of projects, namely gorgeous Bluetooth headsets with Jawbone and the OLPC XO, a '$100.00 PC' for developing countries.

Behar even designed the Slingbox, which simultaneously looks awesome and beams your TV programming to you when you're on the go.

He's head of fuseproject, a design firm based out of San Francisco.

Dell's Nicolas Denhez

Nicolas Denhez was in charge of Dell's svelte Adamo laptop. It might be the closest anyone has come to creating an alternative MacBook Air. (Arguably something even cooler looking.) Unfortunately, the Adamo was discontinued.

He now works as Senior Principal Industrial Designer at Microsoft.

Apple's Jony Ive

Jony Ive is a senior vice president and head of the industrial design team at Apple. Ive has designed everything from iMacs to iPods to iPhones since 1997. Apple wouldn't be one of the biggest consumer products companies in the world without him.

His modus operandi is practicality, putting the user first. He has been known to use the word arbitrary as a term of abuse.

Google's Matias Duarte

Matias Duarte is the head of User Experience on Google's Android team.

Duarte was poached from Palm after working on the brilliant WebOS user interface. Once at Google, his first task was to build Honeycomb for Android tablets.

WebOS suffers because of sluggishness and Honeycomb reels because of limited app selection and a bit of a learning curve, but both of Duarte's babies have stand-out notifications systems that have defined the next generation of handheld computers.

Yoo's Philippe Starck

Philippe Starck is head of the yoo design firm which generally works on residential and interior design, but Starck has also got his hands dirty in electronics.

He designed a striking line of portable hard drives for LaCie made from aluminium and featuring his signature Starck LED light.

Microsoft's Joe Belfiore

Joe Belfiore is in charge of Windows Phone, Microsoft's next generation mobile phone operating system.

Windows Phone is undoubtedly elegant and inspired, but hasn't yet taken any kind of hold in the public's mindshare.

Microsoft clearly buys into Belfiore's vision for Windows Phone--Windows 8 looks almost exactly the same, and features keystone features built on live-tiles.

Dyson's James Dyson

James Dyson is perhaps best known for his hyper-modern bag-less vacuum cleaners. But he's also the inventor of the no-blade Air Multiplier fan and the AirBlade hand dryer.

Forbes said, 'Dyson brought a level of excitement to housekeeping that's usually reserved for cell phones and plasma televisions.'

Apple's Scott Forstall

Scott Forstall is the senior vice president at Apple in charge of iOS software.

While the iPhone's hardware is glorious (thanks to Jonathan Ive), the iPhone would've flopped if it didn't have world class software built from the ground up.

Forstall has been working with Steve Jobs since their days at NeXT; he's been an integral part of the creation of the iPhone, and continues as Apple's iOS evangelist and leader.

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