The Design blog

The Design blog


Iris and Soma preserving traditions through elderly experiences

Posted: 23 Feb 2012 04:18 AM PST

Rohit Ram Singh:

The Concept Old people are considered as a treasure of knowledge and experiences, but the only problem is today's young generation is not actually connected to them. They spend most of their internet time on social networking sites. Wouldn't it be nice if they could connect with older people to learn about things they know, for example rituals, recipes, costumes etc? Youngsters are really losing a grip of their traditions due to lack of communication. There should be a way that could use technology to bridge up this gap. Iris and Soma are two devices designed from research initiated by Intel. The two devices serve completely different purposes. Iris is a recording device that can be used to make video tutorials whereas Soma is a specially designed communication device. Both these devices can interact to make a bond between the two generations: young and old.

Iris and Soma
Iris and Soma

The inspiration

Older people are less flexible in learning about new things. There is a need for the device that could help them interact with other people at home. This would in a sense benefit young people and would give them opportunity to learn about customs and traditions. People need to preserve their traditions to know who they are and for this very purpose, learning from experienced person is the best thing one could desire for. Audio visual medium is the best since it is informative, takes less time and is not boring and also provides a practical knowledge of the situation. Also, making things clear by visualizing them is far easier than using words to explain them.

The design:

The technology is incorporated with the help of two different devices namely Iris and soma.

Iris

Iris is basically a motion capturing device with a camera. One can record tutorial with it and share it with the loved ones. You can make a cooking video to teach your granddaughter the recipe that she has been asking for. Also you can teach them a lot about old customs to preserve traditions in your family. People always learn quickly through videos, any other printed media and audio rather than books. You can slower down the speed to your own specific learning capabilities. This device could be a whole archive of different cultures and customs for collective use of family members.

Soma

Soma can be looked as a modified mobile gadget that could be used for fruitful interaction with a whole new feel. This device would help to remove the communication gap between generations. Aging weakens all the senses but the touch of sense is the most unharmed sense in older people. The simplistic touch is the unique characteristic of this device that lets older people communicate through simple touch interface. The device has a folding screen like old Chinese scrolls made of bamboo. Hence this device shares valuable media in form of audio and visual. The conventional touch surface is modified for utility purposes like a keypad, scroll down and power On/Off. Older people need something that is large and more importantly easier to understand. Soma's touch interaction can serve various purposes according to the need and situation. The arc lightning system provides alternative to alert people who develop hearing problems in old age through visual patterns. This also buffs their visual capabilities.

The Fabulous

The design has been made as straight forward as possible. Difficulty in learning new things at an older age is the root cause of making everything minimalistic and simple. It is a great medium to teach your kids about the culture in depth through experienced people in the family. This will also create a bind between them which seems to be fading out nowadays. This also provides older people a medium to interact with family members like their grandsons and granddaughters sitting at home.

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Iris and Soma
Iris and Soma are designed by Alvin Chan for Intel research

The Target

The device related research has been conducted in Asian society. So the main target audience is them but, this is essential for most of the societies. Young generation is unaware of their customs and traditions that would lead to a fading culture. It is desirable to preserve ones history and tradition. This device is a great learning tool and avoids boring printed medium. This would be a big hit in the Asian society where customs and traditions are being followed for hundreds of years.

Related Trends

1. Jive

Jive is specially designed for elderly people so that they can interact with their dear ones. In jive you have an ID which is linked with your digital life. User simply attaches a friend pass to their account. All of the information appears on the display storage device Betty. To know more about the friend you just flash the respective pass on the screen.

Jive
Jive

2. Sonamba

Sonamba is a communication device made for older demographic. The touchscreen device looks like a photo frame and is designed for older people who live independent. This would help them get in touch with their family and friends. It can also serve a lot of other functions like creating notes, adding reminder alerts and even play games to kill time. There is a special button that can be used to let to set away or home. This is for people who check up on them. There is an integrated pendent with the device that can be worn around the neck. The pendent has a panic button which can be pressed to make a call in emergency situations.

Sonamba
Sonamba

3. Smart Table

The smart table system has a messenger that uses infrared and pressure sensors for interaction. The best thing is it does not need any computer to function. The home television can be used for video calls and the table serves as the interface. The built in IR sensor detects the presence of person in the room. As soon as it detects presence it displays the messages and online friends. The pillow has pressure sensors on which the user sits. It indicates if the person is online or not.

Smart table
Smart table


Crossbow Motorbike is the world’s first true all weather two wheeler

Posted: 23 Feb 2012 04:16 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

Created by industrial designer Phil Pauley, the Crossbow takes the safety and comfort of motorcyclists to another level. To shield the rider from the elements during all kinds of weather conditions, the motorbike comes with a canopy cover that extends overhead and provides shelter from rain, snow and even the sun and allows the rider to focus on the road ahead without being distracted or discomforted.

The Crossbow
The Crossbow

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The Crossbow
The Crossbow an Extreme All-Weather Electric Motorcycle

The innovative protective windshield also adds a playful yet functional element to the design of the electric motorbike. The extreme all-weather vehicle still offers riders all the thrill of a two-wheeler and even maximizes the bike's aerodynamics by allowing it to cut through the air more smoothly during high speed engagements.

At low speeds, the unique design helps the rider maintain stability and full control over the vehicle by allowing them to comfortably place their feet in an optimum ergonomic position. The beautifully styled automatic canopy adds to the rugged appeal of the all-weather bike and makes it perfect for urban environments, leisurely weekend drives through the countryside as well as the racetrack.

Complete with a windscreen wiper as well as a heating element, the basic comforts of a roof add to the thrill of motorbike riding and the white knuckle ride ushers in a new breed of electric motorcycles that are masculine and stylish and stand out from the crowd. With the retractable canopy protecting you from all sides, you can also drive without helmet at low speeds and your dates will appreciate not being asked to suffer the horrors of helmet hair.

Via: Inhabitat


Solo is a manual wheelchair with electric assist

Posted: 23 Feb 2012 04:15 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

The concept

The Solo Electric Wheelchair Concept provides users with the same ease of use as an electrical wheelchair without compromising on the functionality provided by manual wheelchairs. The wheelchair is designed to be foldable into a compact mass for easy storage and transport. The concept provides users with the mobility of manual wheelchair with its premium ergonomic design being enhanced by the electrical assist system that also improves its range. The Solo Electric Wheelchair Concept also focuses on avoiding the medical use like feel of ordinary manual and electrical wheelchair and its aesthetics focus on destigmatizing wheelchair use.

Solo Hybrid Wheelchair
Solo Hybrid Wheelchair

The Target

The core user of the Solo Electric Wheelchair Concept would be a person who uses a car to travel frequently and is an avid outdoors person. The target user for the Solo Electric Wheelchair Concept would be someone who is used to a manual wheelchair and has the upper body strength to maneuver one through the course of their day the office or at home.

The need

The target user of the Solo Electric Wheelchair Concept would preferably like to commute to short distances without using a car but doesn't have the strength or the time to push a manual wheelchair through that distance everyday. Since this user also like the ease of use that a manual wheelchair brings, the Solo Electric Wheelchair Concept could be a great middle ground alternative for them. Most manual wheelchairs have a limited range and most electric wheelchairs are not foldable. In a manual foldable wheelchair, lack of back support prevents users from sitting in them for longer durations without getting uncomfortable.

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Solo Hybrid Wheelchair
Solo Hybrid Wheelchair By Øystein Helle Husby

The solution

Since the target user of the Solo Electric Wheelchair Concept doesn't like the medical-device like look and feel of regular electrical wheelchairs, they would not like to invest in a heavily mechanized wheelchair that does not offer them the freedom to move around like a manual wheelchair does. However, since the Solo Electric Wheelchair Concept comes with improved aesthetics that bypass the medical device like feel, users are able to bond with it on an emotional level without being reminded of them handicap. Also equipped with electrical assist, the Solo Electric Wheelchair Concept allows the user to freely switch from electric mode to manual mode. The ergonomic wheelchair can also be used for longer durations without any discomfort. When the user pushes the wheelchair manually, the assist adds an extra push so users can get their daily exercise in without overexerting themselves.

Key features

The Solo Electric Wheelchair Concept is fitted with a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) that regenerates power and recharges the battery when user brakes while going downhill. An auto braking system prevents users from rolling backwards when going up a slope and stops the wheelchair when the user stops pushing it. The Solo Electric Wheelchair Concept is powered by a 24 volt lithium battery and features a compact folding form. Castor wheels are attached to the high strength retractable aluminum spine to offer the wheelchair a greater power to weight ratio. The lightweight and ergonomic wheelchair features an injection molded polymer mesh which allows the wheelchair to be easily folded.

Source: Oystein Husby


EL 1 Low Cost Electric Vehicle provides a safe and sustainable ride

Posted: 23 Feb 2012 04:13 AM PST

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

Motorcycles are a great way to move around in the city and are an important part of developing nations where everyone cannot afford a car. But, bikes are neither spacious nor comfortable as compared to a four wheel ride and don't even lend the much required protection to riders. Keeping all such flaws in mind, Noppan Kewkanjai has come up with the EL-1 Low Cost Electric Vehicle.

EL-1  Electric Vehicle
EL-1 Electric Vehicle

The eco friendly vehicle comes smothered with awesomeness and will wow people with its functionality. The electric vehicle comes wedged with three wheels: one in the front and two placed at the rear. The presence of three tires gives the vehicle the much required stability as compared to bikes. The ergonomic designing will make jaws drop and low cost manufacturing makes it slip into the affordable range.

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EL-1  Electric Vehicle
EL-1 Low Cost Electric Vehicle by Noppan Kewkanjai

The vehicle features a roof and the windshield lends the much needed protection. The presence of an overhead roof will protect the user from rain, sun, dust and all kinds of hash weather conditions. Ample storage is present under the seat, which will leave a lot of space for comfortable riding. Apart from this, the back of EL-1has a detachable luggage box that can be locked to keep the stuff secure.

In case of a collision, the crumple zone and side protection will keep the rider safe from serious injuries, which is worth praising. The environmentally friendly vehicle will be driven by an electric engine as it comes fitted with a removable battery for easy recharging. EL-1 is an all weather low cost vehicle that will blend perfectly with the needs of developing nations.


Soundsnap brings your iPad 2’s speaker to the front

Posted: 23 Feb 2012 04:11 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

Everyone who has ever used the iPad and the iPad 2 absolutely loves the wonderful world of apps that it pen up for them. However, with the speakers of the tablet situated at the back, users are not able to experience the full force of the sound when watching a video or listening to an audio file on the tablet. Since carrying around a pair of speakers isn't the wisest or the most feasible idea, using a passive, snap-on speaker like the Soundsnap Snap-on Passive Speaker could be a real life saver.

Soundsnap speaker for the iPad
Soundsnap speaker for the iPad

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Soundsnap speaker for the iPad
Soundsnap - passive iPad 2 snap-on speaker by Mads Hindhede Svanegaard

The Soundsnap Snap-on Passive Speaker created by Forma Studio basically snaps onto the bottom of the iPad or the iPad 2 even when the tablet is housed inside the SmartCover and brings the sound of the device's built-in speaker to the front. Since the accessory doesn't feature any electronic parts, it doesn't interfere with the natural sound of the tablet's own speaker and doesn't distort the sound in any way.

Crafted out of a soft coated plastic material, the Soundsnap Snap-on Passive Speaker easily holds onto the iPad's frame without scratching it or damaging it. The design is currently in the conceptual stage though the studio is hard at work trying to get some prototypes ready for testing soon.

Source: Forma Studio


ZBoard claims to be the world's first weight sensing electric skateboard

Posted: 23 Feb 2012 04:10 AM PST

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

Skateboards have over the years tuned out to be a stunning and stylish creation, and are creating ripples all across the globe. From kids to youngsters, everyone wants to try their hand on skateboarding at least once and perform attention arresting stunts. Giving skateboards the power of a motor is the ZBoard, designed by Hermosa Beach, which will send in thrill chills every time someone steps on it.

Motorized skateboard
Motorized skateboard

There are a range of motorized skateboards present, but ZBoard supposedly claims to be the very first weight sensing electric skateboards. The skateboard deck has a plain outer skin and can come up with a power of 400 Watts. The motor fitted in the design injects it with enough power to touch a speed of 17 mph, which is definitely cool. ZBoard is available in two models: Classic and Pro. The classic version boasts of a range of 5 miles and can jump to a top speed of 15 mph. On the other hand, the Pro version is a little more speedy (17 mph) and can cover a distance of 10 miles that too just on a single charge.

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Motorized skateboard
The ZBoard handsfree motorized skateboard

ZBoard comes smothered with a simple to use lean and go interface that is just awesome. The drive system is very intuitive and the presence of a weight sensing system gives it additional flavor. The design comes integrated with foot pads, both at the rear and the front, which can sense pressure. These are further attached to a microcontroller present on the motor that helps adjust speed as per the pressure applied. Using the ZBoard comes sans any complications. All the rider has to do is lean forward on the front foot pad and the board will start rolling with all its power. In case you want to stop, simply lean on the rear foot pad and see the ZBoard come to a haul because of the pressure applied.

The ZBoard Classic and Pro come stashed with a price tag of $599 and $849, respectively. So, get sailing on the thrilling skateboard and travel around the city in utmost style.

Via: Gizmag


New skyscraper in Mumbai to get floating pool balconies

Posted: 23 Feb 2012 04:09 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

Mumbaikars are in for a treat. Real estate firm Wadhwa Group is all set to construct two new exclusive residential towers in the Borivali district of Mumbai that will feature the stunning and futuristic vision created especially for the skyscrapers by cyber architect James Law. Apart from the regular state of the art features that help the building reduce energy consumption like energy efficient glass facades, the modern design of the eco friendly residential complex will also feature swimming pools integrated into standard balconies.

Aquaria Grande Tower
Aquaria Grande Tower

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Aquaria Grande Tower
Aquaria Grande Tower by Wadhwa Group

Fitted at the edge of each apartment’s balcony, the series of swimming pools are one of the most stunning and most ambitious architectural features to have ever been attempted anywhere in the world for a residential building.

Apart from the eye-popping feature, the Aquaria Grande residential complex boasting of two 37-storey towers will feature an enormous car park with three levels of vehicle parking space, a sustainable podium garden and a fully equipped clubhouse with a gym and sauna to sustain the luxury lifestyle of Mumbai's elite. Each of the 200 apartments in the complex is fitted with features that allow optimum cross ventilation and natural light from three sides.

Construction of the luxuriant residential towers is already underway and we expect it to be home to the crème de la crème of Mumbai's social elite upon completion.

Via: Home Klondike


You can't poke this touch panel and run away!

Posted: 23 Feb 2012 04:08 AM PST

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

Technology is growing by leaps and bounds and there seems to be no looking back. What used to seem next to impossible is turning into reality, making everyday life easier and more engaging. People seem to be obsessed with touch surfaces and taking it to an all new level is Gunze Ltd with an archetype of a touch panel that can easily tell who is touching it specifically. Wow! This is absolutely amazing and dream like.

Touch panel
Touch panel

The staggering prototype was put on show at the 11th International Nanotechnology Exhibition and Conference that was held in Tokyo, from February 15 to 17 this year. The capacitive touch panel makes good use of the transparent conductive printed film that has been developed by Gunze Ltd. The top surface of a table game machine was fitted with the archetype to judge its functionality. The smart touch panel has been specifically designed for arcade table games.

Four electrodes have been placed around the touch panel, which have to be touched in order to input information with the help of the other hand. So, feeding information by just using one hand, as in conventional touch panels, won't gel well with this design. The best part being, all the electrodes can be assigned different functions at the same time.

A closed circuit needs to be formed to input information by simply touching the panel. Apart from this, if someone sits on a conductive chair the touch operation will still be permitted. This means that touching any one of the present electrodes take a back seat when someone is seated in a conductive chair. The ingenious touch panel will work wonders where it is important to know who placed a bet where game machines are involved.

Via: Ubergizmo/ Techon


Rising Table makes a great case for revival of transformable furniture

Posted: 23 Feb 2012 04:07 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

Storage friendly furniture has never really gone out of fashion ever since it made a grand entrance in the 1960's. The style was pushed into the background when the real estate boom across the world encouraged home owners to buy bigger homes and bigger fixed set pieces of furniture, though it is making a comeback with an increasing number of people relocating to smaller living spaces thanks to the global economy going down the pooper. The Rising Table Concept also echoes the modern need for furniture to be both transformable as well as easy to set up since the modern apartment dweller does not have the time to fuss with instruction manuals or pay a handyman to set a table up for them.

Rising Table
Rising Table

Part of the Rising Furniture series by designer Robert Van Embricqs, the Rising Table Concept ensures usability and practical application with its source materials being harvested from sustainable resources. The stylishly designed piece of furniture is capable of transforming itself from a flat surface to a glorious and fully functional table when the user simply pulls its top up from the ground.

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Rising Table
Self-Assembling rising table concept

The center of the table features a set of wooden beams "woven" into a lattice-like pattern using a few screws. The fluid and flexible form of the table allows it to be simply lifted and fixed into place while the pull of gravity ensures that the crisscrossed mesh of wooden beams automatically fall into place to transform themselves into "legs" of the table. Using the same principles as a wheeled ambulance stretcher, the Rising Table concept is able to automatically retract its legs on its top being lifted up from the ground.

The center of the construct is focused on the function of the wooden beams and the latticework that are vital to form the multifaceted tabletop. The fluid design of the table negates the traditional notion that a table must be stood on separate legs and defies predictability with its transformable structure. Unburdened from conformity, the design is thus able to fully express its functionality and emerges as a conscious choice for the homeowner who would like to have a big table in their home but do not want it to obstruct the space by being a permanent fixture.

Albeit with a twist, this functional piece of furniture is an eye catching design made from a single piece of wood that minimizes wastage of precious natural resources during the manufacturing process. With a tantalizing trench in the middle, the table also opens up a whole world of unique centerpiece decoration ideas while its wide outer edges provide plenty of space for placing regular table settings.

Via: Gizmodo/ Robert Van Embricqs


Tap that stays clean even if you operate it with soiled hands

Posted: 23 Feb 2012 04:05 AM PST

Radhicka S Saxena:

This is a new age intelligent tap that stays hygienic no matter how many times you use it. This tap eliminates a common problem people face today. Present day taps get contaminated when we turn around the knob with dirty hands. Thus, the tap gets soiled before you begin to wash hands. Also, touching the knob with dirty hands repeatedly leaves behind germs on it. Chances are that most people re-contaminate their hands when they touch the tap again to close it. To counter these follies, Wang Li-Hsin and Wu Chi-Hua have come out with an ingenious design.

Easy Clean faucet
Easy Clean faucet

The new fangled design proposed by them is simple and clever. In this design, the handle and water outlet have been merged together. So, instead of the conventional knob that needs to be manually turned around, there is a spout fitted in. The spout looks somewhat like the opening on a tea pot. It is very easy to use this tap. Just tap it gently with your finger and water gushes out. The flow of water stops when the tap is released.

Easy Clean faucet
Easy Clean faucet

Apart from avoiding contamination, there are many other benefits of this design. Firstly, it helps to save water. Also, the intelligent mechanism of the tap does not require any extra energy input for its functioning. Many hi-tech taps involve fitting in a motion sensor, which usurps more energy, but this design operates without taking in additional energy. Thus, the tap helps to preserve two precious resources that are depleting energy as well as water.

Via: Red Dot


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