The Design blog

The Design blog


Mobile Fitness Watch combines cellphone with a fitness tracker

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 03:50 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

Sony Ericsson Mobile Fitness Watch by designer Oystein Husby is a brand new take on the age old idea of sports and runners watches. A fitness watch for the modern athlete has to provide top of the line fitness applications though most of them have to be synchronized with a number of other gadgets like cellphones, tablets and laptops to allow the athlete to keep track of their fitness. However, there aren't any devices in the market at the moment that allows users to make and receive calls without keeping their cellphones with them which isn't very practicable for athletes.

Mobile Fitness
Mobile Fitness

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Mobile Fitness
Mobile Fitness by Øystein Helle Husby

The Sony Ericsson Mobile Fitness Watch features an in-built GPS, heart rate monitor and a music player as well as a full-fledged cellphone that allows users to make and receive calls and texts while recording important fitness data and automatically syncing it to online sites. With a myriad of fitness devices fitted into one, the Sony Ericsson Mobile Fitness Watch features a tight handset integration which makes it the ultimate fitness companion. The watch comes with a docking station that recharges the device and automatically syncs to your laptop/tablet/smartphone via Wi-Fi.

With the functions of the cellphone, music player and fitness recorders available readily on the user's wrist, they don't need to carry a lot of devices on their person, which allows them to concentrate more fully on their training. The Sony Ericsson Mobile Fitness Watch features a steel caged display battery circuit board with a Borosilicate glass Live View Engine. The main body of the Sony Ericsson Mobile Fitness Watch is made from co-molded flexible polymer with an aluminum strap buckle fastener.

Source: Oystein Husby


Thermoelectric devices to breed green energy for off grid charging

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 03:49 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

The concept

The idea of using electricity to cook food the way a regular flame producing stove does is nothing new and microwaves and induction cookers have been invented and developed using the same principles to simplify our lives and free us of the burden of burning wood, oil and natural gas to cook food. But these days, a new trend in energy generating has emerged that reverses this very idea and uses wood burning to create electricity for portable devices. Though most power companies still burn coal, wood and other fossil fuels to generate electricity for the grid, the same principle of thermoelectricity generation has never been applied on such a small scale before and can prove to be quite the game changer for portable devices being used away from grid power that cannot be recharged without an electrical outlet connected to a PV panel or another portable charger that harnesses the elements.

Thermoelectric device
Thermoelectric device

Inspiration

The need for portable chargers to power and recharge portable electronics like cellphone, laptops and at times even television sets and cooking units has so far been fulfilled only by gas/diesel fed small electricity generators that can be carried anywhere a vehicle can go. However, for campers and people traveling or living in places inaccessible by vehicles, carrying additional batteries or a portable solar/wind charger has been the only way to keep their electronics powered. However, a few innovators have been experimenting with chargers that can produce electricity by burning wood which can be a great means of charging cellphones and other devices in case of an emergency or in place where accessing grid power is not possible.

Eco Credentials

Global warming and production of greenhouse emissions is one of the major concerns for any form of electricity production that requires the burning of wood or any other flammable material. However, thermoelectric chargers that use wood burning as its primary source of energy generation, when used only in emergencies, can be a great, affordable and portable solution to the problem of electronics with dead batteries. Since most of the existing designs are created to be smoke and emission free, they can be safely used by people living in areas with no access to grid power and to campers, hikers and other outdoorsmen who depend on their gadgets for navigation and communication in the wild.

Feasibility

Most places on the face of the earth where a person with a cellphone that needs charging can go are bound to have some natural materials that can be burned to generate sufficient electricity using these thermoelectric chargers. Though the existing thermoelectric chargers specify wood chips as their fuel of preference, they can be powered by flames generated by any flammable material which can include dry grass, dung cakes, natural fibers of any kind, and in extreme emergencies (like when you're marooned on a life raft in the middle of the ocean) even clothing, rubber and plastic.

Related Trends

1. BioLite Stove

BioLite Stove
BioLite Stove

Winner of the 2010 Sustainable Brands Innovation Open award and the St. Andrews Prize for the Environment, BioLite is a stove cum charger that can be used to power a cellphone or a LED light while proving people with an efficient and eco friendly wood burning stove that can be used to cook food as well. Designed to reduce smoke emissions from wood burning by as much as 95 percent, the BioLite Stove and BioLite CampStove model apparently require half the amount of wood as an open fire which make them cleaner and greener home cooking and camp stove options as well.

2. Candle powered USB Charger

Candle Powered USB Charger
Candle Powered USB Charger

Created by the good folks over at candlegenerator.com and marketed by TEG Power, the Candle Powered USB Charger is a thermoelectric charger with a difference. Though the current trend in the TEC segment is focused on bundling the chargers with stoves and marketing these devices as products that can be used over an open flame, the Candle Powered USB Charger creates electricity through a candle that can be used inside a tent or indoors without posing a fire hazard.

The Candle Powered USB Charger is also made more effective than open flame or stove based TECs by the fact that a candle can be used for illumination for longer periods of time and even carried along when traveling on foot during the night to preserve flashlights which gives this design a distinct edge over the stove based TECs. The Candle Powered USB Charger can provide 30 minutes of charge time for a standard cell phone using a single candle with power being regulated via a standard USB terminal into a 5VDC or ~100mA output.

3. Thermoelectric Charger Boots

Orange Power Wellies
Orange Power Wellies

Debuted at the Glastonbury Festival, Orange Power Wellies are the latest in eco friendly mobile phone charging technology that are truly alternative as well as sustainable. Though the charger works on the same principles as a wood burning thermoelectric charger, it doesn't really need user to start a fire to be able to produce electricity. Instead, it can use the rising natural heat of the wearer's feet to produce and electric charge as they walk or dance or run or hop along. The Orange Power Wellies use a process known as the 'Seebeck' effect that forces the power generating sole of the boot to sense the difference between the temperatures of the user's feet and that of the cold ground and convert the excess heat directly into electricity.

Renewable energy experts GotWind collaborated with European Telco Orange to create the human powered TEC that can infuse an hour of battery life into your phone (depending on the power needs and efficiency) if your tread in the boots for 12 hours. Of course it would take you a lot less time to generate the desired amount of power if you can get the temperature of your feet up more quickly by running or jumping or dancing or even more simply, toasting your feet up in front of a fire and then wearing the boots!

4. Hatsuden-Nabe TES NewEnergy Charger

TES NewEnergy Charger
TES NewEnergy Charger

Most of us tend to think of Japanese inventions as gimmicky and though a large part of what comes out Japan is actually just that, there are a few novel innovations that really make a strong case for Japanese ingenuity. This thermoelectric charger called Hatsuden-Nabe was launched as a novel gift idea for hikers and campers who could recharge their devices using the heat wasted during cooking on an open flame. The device is now marketed and sold internationally as the Hatsuden-Nabe TES NewEnergy Charger.

The gadget can be used over an open flame with ease since it can withstand 900 °F and juice up an iPhone fully in 3 to 5 hours which means that it would take mere minutes to power your phone just about enough for you to make or receive an emergency call. Depending on the heat intensity, the charger can convert heat energy to electricity efficiently and can power up your phone is pretty much the same amount of time as the device would take on an outlet connected to the grid. For now the product is priced at $280 though it may just be sold for a lot less than that once it gains popularity.


Golmoo Wearable Gaming Peripheral makes syncing multiple displays easier

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 03:46 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

A collaborative project between designers Kim Changmok, Eim Sanghyun and Woo Seunghyun, the Golmoo is a peripheral device for gamers that need to keep switching between different screens during a game. Winner of a Red Dot award for design concepts, the Golmoo Wearable Gaming Peripheral lets the user may focus on a single task while interacting between multiple game screens. Since the device identifies and indicates the location of the user's fingers, switching between various contents, devices and displays is easier.

Golmoo peripheral device
Golmoo peripheral device

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Golmoo peripheral device
Golmoo is a peripheral device aiding users with interaction between multiple game screens seamlessly.

When the users put their thumb on the Golmoo Wearable Gaming Peripheral, the device is automatically turned on. To calibrate their finger position, users can follow simple instructions on the screen. The device then automatically uses integral/differential calculus to calculate the acceleration, the direction, and the distance of the cursor after calibration and syncs the cursor location on the screen to the finger position of the user. On the main screen, a visual marker marks the location of the user’s fingers.

On the display of the other device, the location of the finger is marked transparently when the touch screen is at a distance from the user’s finger. A solid color spot marks the location of the user once the touch screen is touched. This eliminates the need to constantly switch between the display and the input device and the user can thus focus fully on the final viewing screen.

The Golmoo Wearable Gaming Peripheral also provides Haptic sensations that deliver a realistic feedback by syncing the interaction and context of the game to vibration/sound effects via a Haptic motor.

Via: Red Dot


CS 3 stands halfway between a city car and a motorbike

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 03:45 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

Of late, the automotive design world has started to take the single seater four wheeler designs more seriously and an increasing number of designers are investigating the potential for creating a vehicle that covers the middle ground between a motorcycle and a car. The CS-3 Concept by designer Simone Cartechini explores the potential for creating a niche vehicle that falls right between the microcar and the maxi scooter segment.

CS-3
CS-3

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CS-3
CS-3 car concept

The CS-3 Concept seeks to offer users the same comfort as a conventional car while streamlining traffic conditions for the society at large. Hybrid between a car and a motorcycle, the general structure of the vehicle features a wrap around cockpit sitting on three wheels. The “dome” window used in the design eliminates the claustrophobic feel that a small enclosed cabin would evoke and offers users a panoramic view of their surroundings much like a motorcycle does. The two seater conceals a small luggage compartment at its rear end. The CS-3 Concept also helps increase security of the driver with its sides slung up slightly higher. The tapering capsule rises dramatically at the rear to allow the driver to travel in a sitting position rather than slung forwards.

The closed cabin of the vehicle prevents both the passengers from the harsh weather conditions as well as direct impacts of an accident. The cabin of the vehicle sits above a rotatable central pivot that allows the CS-3 Concept to be oriented in both trike as well as reverse trike configurations. For greater ease of driving on roads, users can switch to having the twin wheels at the front and the dual wheels can also be rotated towards the back of the cabin to provide better traction in off-road conditions. The CS-3 Concept is powered by a battery pack arranged in the floor of the vehicle which makes it an ideal zero-emissions vehicle for the city.

[Thanks Simone]


Mobi is a trendy electric mobility solution for seniors

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 03:43 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

Created by student designer Jack Martinich from Monash University, Australia, the Mobi Electric Folding Wheelchair is a brand new reinterpretation of what wheelchairs for seniors should look and feel like. Around the world, the aging population that uses wheelchairs has to rely on bulky electricity driven products that are space hogging, generic and medical-use like in their demeanor. The Mobi Electric Folding Wheelchair looks to create a niche line of electric assisted mobility solutions for senior citizens that are truly futuristic both in design as well as function.

Mobi electric folding wheelchair
Mobi electric folding wheelchair

Mobi Electric Folding Wheelchair is primarily designed to be quickly transported without being dissembled which means that seniors using the product would not need to wait around for the wheelchair to be assembled and dissembled every time they need to go somewhere in a car. Featuring an innovative folding mechanism, the Mobi Electric Folding Wheelchair allows the user to simply push on the hand rims just like a traditional manual wheelchair to help users maintain their physical activity and independence.

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Mobi electric folding wheelchair
Mobi electric folding wheelchair by Jack Martinich

The design of the wheelchair is created to provide added versatility which is why its hand rims come fitted with force sensors that can detect the physical exertion of the user and automatically provide additional power to the wheels then it senses that the user is getting tired of propelling the wheelchair manually. Similar to power steering in a car, the electric assist system in the Mobi Electric Folding Wheelchair complements the user's effort instead of overriding it.

To ensure optimal balance on two wheels, the user's centre of gravity is maintained optimally using Segway inspired technology that self-balances this electric wheelchair. The maneuverable and compact frame of the vehicle eliminates of the need for castor wheels further shirking the size of the wheelchair. Measuring just 700mm x700mm x500mm, the Mobi Electric Folding Wheelchair is fitted with large 26" tires and the user's clothing is protected from the tires by integrated handrest/wheel guards. To allow an easier grip, the wheelchair is fitted with wider ergonomic pushrims for a more confident and pleasurable experience.

The base of each of the hubless wheels is fitted with an electric servo motors that is powered by a rechargeable lithium ion batteries. On a full charge, the Mobi Electric Folding Wheelchair has a range of approximately 20 km. While sitting into the seat or standing out of it, footrests are shifted upwards and the automatic kickstands deploy to improve user confidence and safety. The Mobi Electric Folding Wheelchair is just a model for now though it would be fashioned using injection molded PVC fenders with ABS plastic and polyurethane components attached to a sturdy aluminum chassis. Kevlar lined pneumatic rubber tires are also added to the Mobi Electric Folding Wheelchair to further enhance user safety and comfort.

Source: Monash


GROW Bike, a bicycle that grows with your child

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 03:41 AM PST

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

The association of bikes and children is long known and doesn't seem to end. But, a bike needs to be replaced at least two or three times as a child grows, even if it is in a great condition to ensure a comfortable ride. Gone are the days when only the height of the saddle could be adjusted, as here is a bike that will grow with your child. Surprised! Alex Fernandez Camps has designed a bike that is quite durable and can be tweaked in terms of size depending on the child's needs.

GROW bike
GROW bike

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GROW bike
GROW bike by Alex Fernández Camps

Christened GROW, the bike has an aluminum frame that makes it light in weight and sturdy. It is often seen that many children ride a bike that is not suitable as per their height. But, GROW makes sure that every child gets to ride a bike that is perfect as per their size. At first sight it looks like an everyday bike, but in actuality it can grow in size and can be used by the same child for quite some years at a stretch. Not only can the seat be adjusted, but even the handle as well as the length of the frame can be adjusted making the creation absolutely stunning.

The ergonomic adjusting traits will increase its life span and hence GROW ranks high on the usability graph. The same bike can be used by two kids or siblings of a different age group, in case need crops up. GROW is a thoughtful design that will help bring down both economical and ecological costs. The awe-inspiring design will make sure that once the bike becomes too small for a child it doesn't end up getting loaded with rust or piled up at a landfill.

Source: Alex Fernandez Camps


Butterfly Keyboard flaunts pleasing and ergonomic shape

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 03:35 AM PST

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

Rectangular shaped keyboards do nothing to rob attention. Lan Leonardo realized this and broke the typical image that pops when someone says the word keyboard. The Butterfly keyboard, as the name points out, has been shaped like the delicate wings of a butterfly. The distinctive and vivacious form is truly unique and comes draped in practicality.

Butterfly Keyboard
Butterfly Keyboard

Butterfly keyboard features touch sensitive buttons, which are definitely easy to use. The presence of LED lights surrounding the keys, gives it a surreal appearance. The edge of the keyboard further gets underlines by a blue light, which glows in an aesthetically appealing way and lends the design a touch of serenity.

Butterfly Keyboard
Butterfly Keyboard

The ergonomic keyboard, apart from its good looks, has been designed in a way to reduce wrist strain and carpel tunnel symptoms. These are common signs that crop up because of the same arm position when typically designed keyboards are used for longer hours. The orientation of the touch buttons in the sumptuous design is such that will let users alter their arm position from time to time.

The charming keyboard can be folded and kept away when not in use, unlike other products in the same category that need a specific place always. It has a wireless feature that will kill the need of getting entangled with ugly black cables. The battery used to keep the keyboard in a functional state is also rechargeable, so no more worries of carrying extra batteries.

The Butterfly Keyboard has an attention grabbing zoomorphic design, which makes it stand out and definitely makes a statement.

[Cheers Lan]


RV concept 'Sustainability at Rest' to leave you spellbound

Posted: 24 Feb 2012 03:28 AM PST

Radhicka S Saxena:

Recreational vehicles have been a favorite in America for quite some time now. But, this erstwhile auto could do with a facelift. It's no wonder therefore that a multi disciplinary design was applied to this live in vehicle. The novel design has transformed the age old mechanization and appearance of the speedster immensely. The resulting new vehicle is a lot greener, better looking and easier to maneuver. Its swanky exterior will leave you spellbound.

RV Concept
RV Concept

Till now, most recreational vehicles had a bulky frame and therefore used up a lot of juice. But, the all-new RV design successfully eliminates this drawback. Like all the latest green tagged designs, this RV too has slimmed down considerably. Its lean chassis greatly minimizes air drag and resistance. The auto expends lesser fuel, which reduces its carbon footprint. Economizing fuel also helps to cut down expenses, which is a good thing as the prices of fossil fuels are rising steadily.

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RV Concept
RV Concept by ROBRADY design

The good news does not end here as the vehicle packs in many other green washed benefits. It slots in hydrogen fuel cells as a secondary source of power. The awning and roof of the auto have solar panels. The condensation capture technology in the AquaVentus device is truly a marvel. It can produce sparkling potable water out of nowhere. The automobile also incorporates an electric vehicle charging station for Vectrix motorcycles and Segways.

Due to the many clean and green features fitted in the roadster, it has been rightfully dubbed as "sustainability at rest." Plus, the all-new vehicle has a suave look. This brilliant and novel concept has been conceived by Robrady design. The design solutions provided by this inventive firm are not only collaborative but also lucrative.

Source: Robrady


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