The Design blog

The Design blog


10 best cars at 2011 LA Auto Show

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 05:21 AM PST

Prajit Bhattacharya:

Los Angles Auto Show is one of prestigious auto shows where most of the renowned automobile giants participate. The show is famous as you can find different varieties of latest cars here. Moreover, you can also know the advantages and disadvantages of various cars and other technical details of different cars. This article will provide you information on the top ten cars at 2011 LA Auto Show along with their extra features.

LA Auto Show
LA Auto Show

1.Ford Shelby GT500

Ford Shelby GT500
Ford Shelby GT500

This is probably the latest aerodynamic sports car which can 200 mph. Ford has entirely modernized this vehicle, starting from engine to sitting arrangement . The best feature of this vehicle is its engine which is large and has a capacity of 5.8 liters of fuel and has a bod of aluminum V8, which is able to realize 650 horsepower and 600 pound feet of torque. This is considered as a one of the most powerful super chargers. It also has an electronically adjustable blistering damper and the track package, which help to keep the external engine oil, transmission and rare differential cooler. These unique features and attractive looks make this car one of the most admirable sports cars in 2011 LA Auto Show.

2. Jaguar XKR-S Convertible

Jaguar XKR-S Convertible
Jaguar XKR-S Convertible

This is another convertible car that Jaguar has never built before. It takes only 4.2 seconds to reach from 0 to60 mph and has a top speed of 186 mph. You will find the most powerful convertible supercharger of 5.0 liter V8 engine which delivers less that 550 horsepower and 502 pound feet of torque. You can easily differentiate these XKP-S convertible cars from other XK models by virtue of their wide and low height air tank, carbon fiber splitter, twin side nacelles and the contour of the edges of the bumper. The unique rear wing with carbon fiber hatch works as the carbon fiber diffuser. The other interesting feature of this car is that it does not emit shrill sound when it runs. This is due to its active exhaust system design as well as forged 20 inch wheels, updated brake, and revise aluminum suspension.

3.Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 convertible

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 convertible
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 convertible

Chevrolet Company has announced that they will start the production of this car in the early 2012 on a commercial scale. Thus now it is a dummy version. They believe that this is the most powerful and most capable convertible car which will be available at a low price. It has 6.2 liter V8 supercharger engine which produces 580 horsepower and 556 pound feet of torque. The most interesting feature is that it has 6 speed gearbox which works either manually or automatically. It reach 0 to 60 mph speed within 4 seconds and in 12 second to 12.2 seconds a quarter mile. Besides this, the other parts of this car has been made in the most modernized way and the interesting look of this car has made its place at the preview show of LA auto show in 2011.

4. Cadillac XTS

Cadillac XTS
Cadillac XTS

Cadillac has launched this new sports car called Cadillac XTV at the LA Auto Show in 2011. This car has been provided with 3.0 liter V6 super charger engine which produces 300 horsepower. Cadillac claims that it is the most technologically advanced vehicle and it has very impressive fuel consumption. This car is equipped with magnetic ride control and powerful brakes that provide proper safety. There is also a multitouch screen which vibrates when the icons are touched. This technology is probably the first of its kind. The interior decoration comprises of genuine leather and wood.

5. Porsche Panamera GTS

Porsche Panamera GTS
Porsche Panamera GTS

This is the latest vehicle of the Panamera family which is divided into two slots. First one is S/S4, while the other is turbo mod. The 4.8 liter V8 engine that is found in the S/S4 slot, and generates 30 HP and 15 lb ft approaching total of 430 horsepower at 6,700 rpm and 384 lb.ft of torque. The 7 speed dual clutch automatic transmission gear helps to reach the speed 0 to 60 mps in just 4.3 seconds and at the highest speed of 178 mph. Other most important thing you will find are the lowermost air suspension and active suspension management systems. You will also find five millimeter wheel spacers placed between the wheels. The size of each wheel is 19 inches to an optional 20 inches too. Beside this, you will find attractive interior, featuring decorative stitches on the seats, foot mat, door panels, which make this car one of the most adorable sports cars to be participated in the show.

6. Hyundai Azera

Hyundai Azera
Hyundai Azera

Hyundai will launch this most upgraded car in a global market in early 2012. The front and back portions of this car might resemble Sonata but the grill, hood and headlights have been changed and some additional features have also been added, such as ambient lighting, panoramic sunroof etc. Powerful 3.3 liter V6 engine, having six speed automatic gearbox help you to get about 20 mpg speed while you drive inside the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The smart look, along with leather finished interior, 18 inches of wheels, HID lamps and a better audio system make it a rocking masterpiece at the LA Auto Show of 2011.

7. Honda Fit EV

Honda Fit EV
Honda Fit EV

Honda has introduced the most advanced car called Fit EV to be participated in the show. This is one of the most hi-tech electric vehicles which runs upto 123 miles on a single charge. It can be powered by 20k Wh lithium ion battery and 92 kilowatt coaxial electric motor too. This car provides you three modes of driving system; econ mode, normal mode and sport mode. Attractive exterior with separate five spoke alloy wheels and sleek rear spoiler make this car to be the most stylish in its segment. This come with a spacious and comfortable sitting arrangement for five passengers along with well decorated interiors, which give the most comfortable feeling.

8. Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG

Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG
Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG

This is another power packed car which has been made by Mercedes and named as ML36 AMG. Twin turbo charged 5.5 liter V8 engine produces 518 horsepower and 516 pound feet of torque and seven speed transmission gears, which help to hit speed of 60 miles per hour in just 4.7 second. Besides this, the most attractive looks of this vehicle couples with the 20 inch wheels and beautiful interior decoration.

9. Lincoln MKS

Lincoln MKS
Lincoln MKS

Lincoln has introduced their most luxurious car at the 2011 Los Angles Auto Show. The 3.7 liter V6 engine of the vehicle is able to produce 300 horsepower. Upgraded break system with 13.86 front and 13.58 inch rear discs along with standard 19 or optional 20 inch alloys wheel are the other notable features. The attractive looks, feeling of comfort, LED tail lamps and newly designed alloy wheels make this car most popular.

10. Infiniti JX

Infiniti JX
Infiniti JX

This is the first modern car which offers front wheel driving as well as a continuous variable transmission. The powerful 3.5 liter gasoline V6 engine produces 256 horsepower and 248 pound feet of torque. The most interesting feature of this car it that you will find four different driving mode options; standard mode, sport mode, econ mode and show mode, depending on the road and climatic conditions where you drive this masterpiece. Eye-catching looks, different suspension setup, and vehicle speed sensitive power system are other extraordinary features.


ODDIO1 headphones docks your iPod for clutter free music experience

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 02:17 AM PST

Abhinav Shrivastava:

The concept

Several technological advancements have happened lately in the field of audio. Even then, people refrain from using their mp3 devices during trekking, hiking and other outdoor activities because they fear that product may get damaged. They are also scared of using these devices during workout, as the device cables may tangle and break. This shows that average headphones have to go to a long way, with a lot of scope for improvement.

ODDIO1 headphones docks
ODDIO1 headphones docks

Designers Jeremy Saxton and Jacob Hall realize the necessity of bringing revolutionary changes in headphones design and therefore, we have ODDIO1- the latest headphones offered in the market. ODDIO1 are one of the first headphones that offer ultimate consumer solution that is, eliminating any wires or cables necessary for listening audio through headphones. The cord reduction makes these headphones efficient and more user-friendly. This makes them an intelligent, consumer audio solution.

The inspiration

Jeremy Saxton and Jacob Hall, the creators of this product are Utah-based designers, who were interested in bringing a modern edge to an average headphone. They noticed how people had to face cord and cable trouble while plugging their headphones to a device. They also observed people tackling with their headset wires while exercising and performing an outdoor activity. This was enough to inspire the designers who decided to eliminate wires from the headphones.

Consequently, a headphone was devised that integrated mp3 into the product itself. Therefore, ODDIO1 came into existence. These headphones cuts out the middlemen and cabling by assimilating the headphone and audio device like an iPod Shuffle together. The designers took a cue from TikTok and Lunatik and efficiently combined the iPod Shuffle with an output device. These headphones are especially designed for use during exercise or outdoor activities.

The design

The design of this product is simple but intelligent and functional. ODDIO1 syndicates the iPod Shuffle with a pair of headphones with great audio. This enables a cord-free sound system. ODDIO1 is a light, wireless headphone that doesn't require you to carry an mp3 player in your pocket. It is a great product for those who prefer an active lifestyle. The product's outer chassis is made from nylon plastic, the inside section has a cushioning of high grade silicon.

The right side of the headphones has a small section from where you can integrate your mp3 player, preferably iPod Shuffle to the headphones. The audio player snugly fits in the section and is ready to play your favorite music. ODDIO1 is available is available in grey/black, black/blue and black/pink colors to suit your demands. 'Cupertino colorway' is also available as a part of limited edition package.

The fabulous

Most of us prefer an active lifestyle full of workouts and various outdoor activities. We love listening to music, yet we hesitate to pull out a cord and connect our iPod to headset while we are trekking on the mountains or strolling on the beach. But not anymore! ODDIO1 is a fabulous product that allows us to enjoy our active lifestyle without sacrificing our love for music. The headphones intelligently integrate iPod Shuffle for a cord-free music experience. At the same time, the product doesn't compromise with sound quality and as a result you get listen to great audio, anytime, anywhere.

Picture Gallery
ODDIO1 headphones docks
Move Over TikTok: ODDIO1 Finds a New Place to Hide an iPod

The target

ODDIO1 certainly targets people with an active lifestyle. Generally, individuals who love working out or prefer outdoor/adventurous activities also like listening to music because it reduces boredom. But they are afraid of pull out their mp3 devices as they fear that the device might get damaged. But ODDIO1 deals with this issue efficiently. The intelligent integration of mp3 to the headphone works as an ultimate solution for these people. This product is also great for avid music lovers as it allows them listening music by avoiding twisted cords. ODDIO1 is compatible with 4th generation iPod Shuffle. If you buy limited edition pack, then the headphones will come with a complementary iPod Shuffle.

Related trends

1. NeoTune headphone with iPod dock

NeoTune headphones have been developed by RWC Corp Japan, and are available with an in-built iPod dock which enables cord-free music experience. This product is based on similar lines like ODDIO1 and has a compartment for attaching your 2nd generation iPod Nano to the headphones. But it doesn't include a 3.5 mm stereo input; therefore, you cannot connect this device to any other audio source or laptop. At the same time, the design is a little bizarre and iPod Nano sticks out of the headphone, making you look weirder! The product can look more alluring if its design could be modified.

2. Headphones with iPod Shuffle dock

Designed by the headphone manufacturing brand, Monster, these headphones are dubbed as iDock, as they have integral iPod Shuffle dock. This eliminates the need for annoying cables. The product has an in-built dock for your mp3 player and therefore, you don't have to worry about tangled cables and wires. But if you are a music lover, then you might not find this a suitable option as the device has low sound quality. The technical specifications of this product have not been revealed, indicating to the fact that the sound quality might have been compromised.

3. iWalk

This iPod compatible headphone set is a part of new range of Apples' accessories. The product has a wireless dock compatible with 2nd and 3rd generation iPod Nano. The dock leaves command surface of iPod uncovered so that you can navigate through the menu. The product comes in several attractive colors to suit your demands. The good thing is that this device is supported by stereo jack which allows you to connect it with other devices using a wire.

These products clearly indicate that a lot of changes have been incorporated in manufacturing of latest headphones. But still, there is a lot of room for upgrading these products. The designers and manufacturers have to do some more storming to eliminating the drawbacks of these products and to enhance sound quality. This way, these products will actually take the market by storm.


How to hook up your portable music player to a car CD-player

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 12:30 AM PST

Fayaz Ahmad:

Hooking an iPod (or other portable MP3-player) into a car stereo is simple. You have three basic options - use an RCA cable, go wireless with an FM transmitter, or connect via cassette tape. If you go with an FM transmitter, follow the instructions that come with it. This sometimes involves installing software on your PC, downloading the radio stations to your iPod, finding a station with no feedback at all, and matching the station on your stereo to the station on the iPod.

hooking up portable music player
hooking up portable music player

Buy a cassette adapter

They generally run about $15 dollars, and it's an easy way to listen to your iPod in your car. You simply plug a standard plug into the earphone jack of your iPod, and a cord runs from that to a cassette which you place into the cassette player. Tune your car stereo to cassette, and you're ready to go (any cassette adapter at those stores should work with the iPod, so don't get suckered into buying the most expensive name brand). It is worth noting that the cassette tape is an analog medium, and therefore suffers some loss in audio quality. Sometimes these adapters will not work as the deck will sense that nothing is moving as far as the tape wheels, and will eject the adapter.

Buy a wireless transmitter

These devices usually attach to your iPod, and require you to tune your radio to a designated FM frequency. While this is certainly the quickest and easiest fix, wireless transmitting has its drawbacks. First, you will notice a slight decrease in your overall battery life. Second, FM radio transmissions do not usually exceed 96 Kbps, which means that any high-quality audio files (128 Kbps MP3 or higher, AAC, FLAC, MP4, etc…) are down-converted before being transmitted to the radio. This loss in quality is irrelevant to the untrained ear, but intermediate and advanced listeners may notice a drastic difference, especially on high-end stereos.

Also, there is always some interference or static when transmitting and there are times you can't find an open frequency, especially if there's a powerful radio transmitter nearby. Sometimes it's difficult to position the transmitter so that you get a clean signal.

Remove the stereo from your dash

If it's a newer vehicle, you may need a special tool which usually just looks like 2 U's. The pointed ends are inserted into small holes on either side if the stereo. Pull the handles away from each other (pull the left one to the left, and the right one to the right). Pull and the stereo will slide right out. If you have an older car, you will have to find out how to remove the dash and/or stereo. Sometimes it is just a couple of screws, and the rest is held on with clips. On others, you have to figure it out with trial and error (but remember, the more errors you make, the worse your car will probably look in the end). Ask some friends who may have the same car as you, or look it up online so it's done right.

Be sure that your stereo has some type of input in the back

If your stereo has a CD changer input in the rear with RCA inputs, you aren't out of luck - but you may be out another $50 because you need an adapter that changes the CD changer input into simple left and right RCA inputs. If you already have RCA inputs, there will be 2 of them (left and right audio). Usually, one is red, one is white, and they may or may not be covered by small rubber caps (depending on how old it is). If there are caps, you can remove them.

Precautions

If its RCA then the RCA to 1/8th inch jack should be fine, get an extension for the 1/8th inch if you need it but don't go splicing wires. Don't drill any holes; instead, find a way to run the cable under the dash.

Check that everything works, which usually requires switching to an "input" mode or "auxiliary" mode on your stereo. If it works, you're all set. Replace your stereo and dash.


Seven sleek and stylish wooden headset designs

Posted: 29 Nov 2011 10:50 PM PST

Akshata Hegde:

Looking forward to buy new headphones, but are you expecting to get something stylish, different and out of the box? Well how about buying wooden headphones. Yes you heard it right, stylish wooden headphones, sounds something different right! They are actually different, trendy and also offer you the best sound quality you are craving for.

Here is a list of such wooden headphones that might allure you for sure:

1. Parra x

Parra x
Parra x

Parra, a Dutch artist has introduced a set of headphones under the Perfect Unison label. This headset is made by David Burel in the form of skate decks that are made of Finnish birch. With a thickness of just 1.2 mm, these lightweight headphones have flexibility as well as flawless sound quality. The wooden objects have always been admired as they are environment friendly. Parra x would be definitely a hot pick for young crowd who would love to flaunt their headset matching their skateboard on the streets. You can find Parra x headphones at selective retailers, which include The Lazy Dog in Paris.

2. Zebrano wood luxury headphones

Zebrano Wood Luxury Headphones
Zebrano Wood Luxury Headphones

Ultrasone AG, the company that is known to have introduced the edition 8 Palladium headphones as well as the edition 9 headphones, has set to bring the special edition open back headphone i.e. edition 10. This is a limited and high-end edition 10 headphones, by the German headphone manufacturer, is from a list of luxurious materials. With about 2000 units available for sale, this lightweight headphone's characteristics include ear cup inlays of Zebrano wood; ear cup pads made of Ethiopian sheepskin leather, Titanium plated drivers as well as Kevlar coated cables. Its 40mm drivers that are Titanium-plated feature a 10% extra powerful magnet for better sound pressure levels. The Zebrano Wood Luxury Headphones are available at a price of $2,749 and come in a wooden box along with a handcrafted wooden Zebrano headphone stand.

3. Custom birch plywood headphones

Custom Birch Plywood Headphones
Custom Birch Plywood Headphones

Birch plywood headphones are mainly made with custom fabric as well as aluminum. If you are the ones who will forgo the sound quality of headphones for stylish looks then you would definitely like Custom Birch Plywood Headphones. They are unique and simple also you can bet that you won't find any other as well as it in market. One who owns it will surely make a style statement. These headphones are custom made hence you can choose the fabric finish on the outer side of the earcups. Also you can specify your head size in case the normal 45cm measurement doesn't fit you.

4. Zebra wood headphones

Zebra Wood Headphones
Zebra Wood Headphones

Made totally from African Zebra wood, these headphones may seem like bulky wooden blocks fixed to ears but in real they offer greater comfort and sound. Its head band is made from sheepskin and stainless steel, so is the internal part of both earcups. Last but the least, it is not worth wasting a tree to make a pair of headphones that don't even sound good. You can get these Zebra Wood Headphones for a price of $199.

5. Audio-Technica’s hot wooden headphones

Audio-Technica's hot wooden headphones
Audio-Technica’s hot wooden headphones

Audio Technica, a manufacturer of an array of audio products has introduced its latest portable headphones. The ATH-ESW9 sovereign wood headphones are made from some of the finest Hokkaido cherry tree wood from Japan. Besides, this it has a sensitivity of 103db and magnet drivers made of neodymium which are 42mm large and are supported with fiberglass housing. This Audio Technica's latest ATH-ESW9 headphones weights only 170g and are available for $369. You can buy them at $1,700 along with a hard-shell case as well as cable bag.

6. Steampunk monster beats

Steampunk Monster Beats
Steampunk Monster Beats

Following the Steampunk iPod/ iPhone charger, the newest creation from the Thin Gypsy Thief's Steampunk Gear is Steampunk headphone and its custom case. Steampunk monster beats is the latest creation of Kyle Miller aka Thin Gypsy Thief. It is based on the studio version of monster beats. The headphone is built using refined material, which includes black walnut, brass, copper and vintage burgundy leather. Each component of the headphones are designed and built by Kyle Miller, except the process of copper etching. Steampunk monster beats are powerful as well as comfortable to wear.

7. Ashcraft aria concept

Ashcraft Aria Concept
Ashcraft Aria Concept

Designer Britt Ashcraft of Ashcraft Design made Ashcraft aria headset, which make use of recycled materials as well as superior audio technology. The headband is prepared from recycled wood acoustic guitars wrapped and its spun satin ears are made of recycled aluminum. These eco friendly Ashcraft aria headphones are equipped with twosome of titanium-plated drivers of 40 mm that offers extreme clarity and is a perfect choice for the audiophile.


Onda Portable Microwave: A complete cooking solution that is handy and lightweight

Posted: 29 Nov 2011 12:11 PM PST

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

Microwave has become an important part of every kitchen and the useful kitchen appliance has undergone a lot of changes ever since its introduction in the year 1955. It has taken a permanent place in the kitchens and is one of the most popular appliances. Taking the design and functioning of a microwave to an all new level is designer Matthew Schwartz with the Onda Portable Microwave. Matthew specially designed the microwave for the Electrolux Design Lab 2011.

Onda portable microwave
Onda portable microwave

The microwave is extremely light in weight and can be carried from one place to the other without much labor. Onda is an ingenious creation that works in association with food containers compatible with the microwave. It is a handy device that looks like a remote control and can be fitted to various sized containers. When attached to a container, this device transmits microwaves and warms or cooks the contents inside it. It is made of stainless steel and Aluminosilicate glass, where as the containers are crafted using aluminum lined styrene. The device is touch sensitive and hence, easy to operate. The aluminum lined containers lend Onda Eco-friendly traits and also make it a versatile system for preparing meals.

Picture Gallery
Onda portable microwave
Onda portable microwave by Matthew Schwartz

Onda Portable Microwave is user-friendly and won't confuse a user at all. Simply choose the food item or meal and place it in the container. After this, slide the part that transmits microwaves, which will form an air tight seal and then switch on the device. Sealing both the components will open a window that will let microwaves pass through it. Now choose the preferred cooking program and see the microwave do its respective job which means warming the food items placed inside the container. Both the components can be easily snapped apart once the cooking cycle complete.

Onda Microwave fetches all the power from paper batteries that are nothing but sheets painted with conductive ink. The rechargeable batteries are ideal for powering Onda and come sans any harmful chemicals, which make them an Eco-friendly option. The biodegradable batteries supple and lightweight just like paper, thanks to the absence of a metal case for storing the ink substance. The portable microwave can be used to reheat both packaged as well as home cooked meals. It is a smart kitchen appliance that will not remain restricted to the kitchen area. Onda is a complete cooking solution that combines convenience with versatility. It can be used both indoors and outdoors as well remote areas, schools and even offices. Onda Portable Microwave has a simple facade but definitely ranks high in terms of functionality.

Via: Coroflot


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