The Design blog

The Design blog


CES 2012: Best Ultrabooks

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 05:01 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

Defined by Intel as a higher-end type of subnotebook, Ultrabooks are the latest must-have items in the notebook segment. Retaining strong performance, these avant garde notebooks have a long battery life and feature reduced size and weight. The Ultrabooks pioneered by Intel rival the ARM-based processors found on tablet computers and give most tablets a good run for their money, thanks to their ability to have multiple ports for Ethernet, VGA, HDMI and USB. Using low-power Intel CULV processors, Ultrabooks are able to boast of a minimal size and fast loading times powered by solid-state drives. The CES 2012 was dominated by a slew of new releases in the segment and these are our top picks for Ultrabooks set for launch this year.


Sustainable SoundMilk speakers deliver high-end sound

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 04:59 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

The SoundMilk speaker concept by designer David Pickett evolved as a way to convey the warmth and human quality of music by providing an exceptional sound experience and accentuate modern living space at the same time. The speakers are targeted primarily at people who appreciate sculptural objects and like to surround themselves with arts and life. Traditionally, multimedia speakers are made from injected molded plastic which lends them an unnatural sound quality. These products also use excessive packaging and the materials and processes used in the manufacturing and marketing process of such sound systems is also unsustainable.

SoundMilk
SoundMilk

The SoundMilk Speaker Concept was designed as a solution for the problems of sounds quality and sustainability that improves the total experience for listeners and provides a better alternative for the eco-conscious consumers. The inspiration for the SoundMilk Speaker Concept came from the shape of a Calla lily flower which was used to form the silicon-like folding structure and uses the Three Amigos Concept at its core.

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SoundMilk
SoundMilk sustainable speakers

These DIY speakers are intended to be sold with templates that allow consumers to scavenge for materials themselves and use them in conjunction with the foldable origami-like speaker enclosures. Designed to deliver a natural sound experience, the SoundMilk speakers come with a packaging that consists of a corrugated exterior and paper pulp interior.

Made with recycled paper, the packaging is molded with seeds so users can unpack their brand new audio equipment and then plant the packaging in their garden to reduce their carbon footprint. Inside the flatpacked packaging, the ceramic enclosures nest within one another. The remaining components nestle tightly within the opening in the ceramic enclosure to reduce wastage of packaging material.

The SoundMilk Speaker Concept is created with non-parallel walls so it has fewer problems with internal reflections. These walls are lined with ceramic that is acoustically dead and successfully balances front and rear sound waves. Bamboo fiber damping material is also helpful in absorbing sound from the rear of the cone and helps the speakers deliver a purer sound.

Via: David Pickett


Make your room look world-class with ultra-wide Escea DX1500 fireplace

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 04:53 AM PST

Ruchika Pahwa:

If you are searching for a luxury gas fireplace that gives something extra, then none could be smarter than the Escea DX1500 ultra-wide fireplace. Installed with the unique Smart Heat control system, this modern and stylish fireplace can give you the heat output up to 10kW at five star efficiency standards. With a 1500mm-wide flame, such a sophisticated fireplace can make your living room appear very elegant when you look at the flame through a 1560w x 360h viewable glass. With the double sided see-through option of DX1500, the wide flame offers a more spectacular pattern.

DX1500 Ultra
DX1500 Ultra

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DX1500 Ultra
Escea DX1500 fireplace

Escea DX1500 is based on the Heat Ducting Technology that makes it highly energy-efficient. Its special technology lets it capture around 90 percent of the available heat and then returns it back into the room. The heat ducting technology also supports the heat to be taken to the far end of a room and even to the hallway. Thus, you may get an even and complete room heating with this exclusively designed fireplace. Its intelligent heat control system maintains the right amount of heat and can also be connected to any home automation system. In fact, this smart system also allows fire control via a cellphone, remote control or internet.

For an optimum output, this fireplace utilizes Escea’s direct vent flue technology. Under this system, the air for the fire is brought from outside the house. For this purpose, horizontal flues are placed to be terminated on vertical walls. This fireplace also offers great flexibility when it comes to its suitability per the overall look and feel of the room. It offers a frameless look, along with the Velo fascia that is available in two colors. If you further provide a dark Birch wood or light Driftwood top to the glowing Crystalight fuel bed of this fireplace, it could create amazing fire effects through reflective side panels. The dancing flames within this fireplace might also make you jump with joy.

Via: Escea


Energy Roof produces green energy and fights global warming

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 04:25 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

Admittedly, global warming is the biggest challenge that humanity faces today. Since the dawn of modern civilization, roofs have been constructed with heat-retaining materials like concrete though raising awareness about global warming has seen solar panels and terrace gardens being employed as more planet-friendly solutions. However, in a world struggling to maintain the delicate balance between development and sustainability, roofs of urban buildings need to be not only heat-repelling but also energy-generating. This is where the Energy Roof concept by designer Wooho Park comes into the picture.

Energy Roof
Energy Roof

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Energy Roof
Energy roofs will generate power for self-sufficient buildings

The next generation of smart roofs, the Energy Roof serves its basic function of providing a structure with shelter and protection from weather. The roof also meets the 21st century requirement of being eco friendly and energy saving. It is quite future ready since it was made to serve as a power engine for self sufficient buildings. The high-tech roof uses solar ivy which is fitted with piezo photovoltaic panels in conjunction with super-hydrophobic metal and green roof technology to provide a new generation solution to roofing.

The solar ivy is a new take on traditional solar panels and is a series of leaf-shaped solar panels that come with piezoelectric material embedded in it. The leaves are designed to collect solar energy as well as wind energy and also help in harvesting rainwater. The branch-like structure is created to transfer the energy collected by the leaves to the main batteries for storage and distribution.

The second layer of the roof is made from super hydrophobic metal which features a nano scale surface that is etched or molded on metal to repel water and keep ice from forming. The layer below these two layers features a garden installed on the roof of building to retain heat, harvest rainwater and purify air. The water collected via this garden is to be consumed by plants or collected in a water tank. The electricity and water produced with this system can then be used within the building.


Height-adjustable X-Vent refrigerator perfectly fits in smaller apartments

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 03:59 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

The X-Vent refrigerator concept by Turkish designer Ali Cagatay Afsar is created around the premise that in five years from now, a large majority of the urban population would be dwelling in studio apartments that would be too cramped for space to allow the use of traditional-sized refrigerators.

X-Vent
X-Vent

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X-Vent
X-VENT refrigerator

Since preservation and storage of cooked and uncooked food are a huge part of our social structure, therefore refrigerators are an integral part of our lives. Generally, a person who lives in a studio apartment would be very conscious of the kind of money he/she spends on food and not having a refrigerator would create an undesirable situation. But since most studio apartments do not come with enough space to accommodate a regular-sized fridge, a product like the X-Vent refrigerator could come in really handy for people living within a budget and in a smaller living space.

The X-Vent refrigerator is designed to be mobile so that users can carry it to the different parts of their apartment according to their needs. What's even better is that the fridge will be height-adjustable, so users will be able to reduce its height and fit it into a smaller space or increase it when they need more storage space.

The interior of the X-Vent refrigerator has been specially created to optimally store beverages and ensures that there is no spillage even when the fridge is being moved. Users can also use a touchscreen control panel to adjust the temperature and height of the fridge while a telescopic trail at the base of the structure enables easy lifting.

Via: Cagatay Afsar


SpareOne cellphone can live 15 years on a single AA battery

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 03:41 AM PST

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

The market is flooded with Smartphones and their accessories that make sure these smart gadgets always remain in a functional state. But, it is nothing less than a headache to hunt for a charging slot every now and then especially when you are on the move. To save you from all such troubles a cellphone has been designed that won't need any charging for a good 15 years.

SpareOne Cellphone
SpareOne Cellphone

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SpareOne Cellphone
Beastly Battery-Powered Phones at CES 2012

Christened as “SpareOne,” the new cellphone will be perfect for nomads and for the times when an urgent situation crops up. The phone has been fitted with a single AA battery, which will keep it juiced up for 15 years at a stretch. This means it will have the same shelf life like the Energizer Ultimate lithium battery. Now, this is absolutely mind-boggling. The phone is easy to use and at the same time deals with all the short battery life issues.

SpareOne cellphone managed to fetch a lot of attention at CES 2012 and made eyes do a cartwheel in surprise. But if you expect the phone to have a sumptuous facade, then you will probably be left depressed. The gadget is nothing like flashy handsets that make people go bonkers, as its sole purpose is to cut the tension that one faces everyday in terms of charging their mobile phones.

The cellphone ranks high on the performance scale and will be a great option in case emergency strikes. SpareOne cellphone bows down to all the long standing battery demands, becoming an important part of all emergency packages. So, get ready to make this amazing gadget an indispensable part of your life as it helps you save the time and energy wasted to charge phones every single day.

Via: Trendhunter


Mobility for the Elderly: A comfortable mobility device with intuitive controls

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 02:47 AM PST

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

The older generation suffers from restricted limb movement, which makes them confined to wheelchairs many a times. This snatches away their independence and maintaining mobility also becomes a major concern for them. Such a dependency can irritate elderly and can act as a hindrance in their everyday life. Jamie Zollo has come up with the Mobility for the Elderly, which will shower all the independence old people require.

MOBILITY FOR THE ELDERLY
MOBILITY FOR THE ELDERLY

Mobility for the Elderly is a personal mobility device that has been specially designed for the older generation. The concept looks like a wheelchair, but will prove to be very beneficial amongst the aging population. The useful mobility device can easily balance and take care of cross falls by making good use of gyroscopic stabilization. It will provide all the safety in terms of gyroscopic balancing and will also unfurl a lot of useful options like curb mounting and dismounting capabilities.

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MOBILITY FOR THE ELDERLY
MOBILITY FOR THE ELDERLY by Jamie Zollo

The personal mobility device has joy stick controls that are quite intuitive and are effortless to use. The seat has been crafted in an ergonomic manner and comes coated with a lot of comfort. The awesome device is quite agile and can be rotated at an angle of 360 degree that too when placed at a particular spot. This spot rotation feature will make the device all the more easy and interesting. ‘Meta’ wheel rotation can further mount the curb, hence giving added freedom while using the mobility device. The placement of wheels is quite interesting and they are totally geared up for torque.

The device can lower its center of gravity automatically as well as can retract the footrest in dismount/mount mode, which let a user get in and out of the Mobility for the Elderly without much struggle. Apart from this, it also extends a great eye level communication, which will definitely be a blessing for people with restricted movement.


Suspended Night club complies elegantly with compact Hong Kong planning

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 02:39 AM PST

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

You must have seen a lot of buildings, but the Suspended Night Club in Hong Kong will definitely leave you wheezing. The architectural marvel has been proposed by a young architectural studio named Urbanplunger and will not rise from the ground like other buildings but will remain suspended in mid air. The studio also managed to grab the third place at the Hong Kong international competition in the Night Club Hotel category.

Suspended Night Club
Suspended Night Club

The elevated building will get enough support from nearby buildings as it will lean on them. The Suspended Night Club will be perfect for Hong Kong as the place has a very compact planning and this structure will utilize the space between two buildings. It will have load bearing frames in the form of wings that will transfer the complete load on the nearby buildings it will lean on. Such a construction will encourage the use of strong and lightweight composite materials, which will make it easy to come up with horizontal and vertical structures.

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Suspended Night Club
Suspended Night Club in Hong Kong

The Suspended Night Club will comprise of three main parts, which include nightclubs, public mid levels and hotel. All the floor slabs have been given the same size and depth, but towards the top the structure tapers inwards. Such a construction will help constructing balconies for both double and single rooms, while the presidential suite, suites and serial villas will get terraces. The nightclubs will be placed in the lowest part of the building, while the upper most part will be the hotel. The mid levels will consist of security access, lobby, store, restaurant, business center, spa and a swimming pool.

The suspended building will be connected to the ground with the help of lifts. These will take you till the lobby as the lifts pass through the nightclub zone. The nightclubs will be open for public use. Customers will be able to access the spa center and hotel from the lobby. The Suspended Night Club has a lot of area for recreational activities that will leave visitors impressed.

Via: Evolo


Tuli Heater doubles up as foot rest and sock dryer

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 02:22 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

The Tuli Heater by designer Daniel Hull draws on the Finnish tradition of having wood/paper chip heaters in the house that supplement public heating throughout the Scandinavian nation. The name of the heater is derived from the Finnish word for heat - “Tulipalo.” The free-standing heater is shaped to reflect simplicity of the Finnish home life and their closeness to nature and the natural way of life.

Tuli Heater
Tuli Heater

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Tuli Heater
Tuli Heater by Daniel Hull

The Tuli Heater is designed to fit into the household as a warm and inviting object unlike industrial-looking like wall-mounted radiators and metallic heaters. The Tuli Heater has been designed to be safe for use around smaller living spaces as well and features gentle curves. The inviting and touchable heater stays cool to the touch and doesn't leave you with nasty scratches and burns even if you bump into it accidentally.

The Tuli Heater not only serves as a spot heater but is also ideal as a space heater since it uses a set of heating coils as its primary heating mechanism. The heater draws cold air through its bottom and as the air crosses over the coils it gets heated and the vents then push the heated air out of the top. This design ensures that the heated coils pose no threat to the user.

The flat, vented top allows the Tuli Heater to be used as a foot rest as well, therefore users can warm off freezing toes and can even dry wet socks on it. The top level of the heater is made from fire-resistant felt which retains heat to let the heater's top stay warm for longer even when the heater is switched off.


Razer Project Fiona, a high-end Windows 8 gaming tablet concept

Posted: 17 Jan 2012 02:13 AM PST

Abdul Vahid V:

Razer Project Fiona is a higher end Windows 8-based gaming tablet, which was on display at CES 2012. Unlike portable gaming consoles like Sony PS Vita, Razer Project Fiona will be an advanced gaming tablet with fixed game controls on either side of the display. Razer has just shown off the prototype model of Fiona. The gaming hardware giant describes Fiona as the first dedicated tablet for gaming world.

Razer Project Fiona gaming tablet
Razer Project Fiona gaming tablet

Razer Project Fiona sports a 10.1 inch 1280 x 800 capacitive touchscreen, which is highly appropriate for hardcore gamers. The fixed gaming controls of the device look pretty good. The tablet will be powered by Intel's third generation Ivy Bridge Core i7 processor. There will be front and rear facing cameras on the gaming tablet.

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Razer Project Fiona gaming tablet
Razer Project Fiona gaming tablet with third-gen Core i7 processor

The concept gaming tablet will run all famous PC games such as Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Firefall and H.A.W.X. 2. An intuitive control setup with the tablet ensures an exceptional on-the-go gaming experience for users.The tablet will feature 3-axis gyro, multitouch capability, magnetometer, accelerometer, Dolby 7.1 surround sound, Bluetooth 3.0 and 802.11bgn Wi-Fi. Razer is to release the product late this year. Indeed, the gaming tablet will raise stiff challenge to Sony's upcoming PS Vita.

Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan says there will be some more hardware modifications with the device's final product. Learning from out experience with Razer's Switchable, we can certainly expect for some big changes to the Project Fiona. The company says the device will appear in stores for a price under $1000 in the fourth quarter of the year.

Via: TheVerge


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