The Design blog

The Design blog


Electric bikes striving to make cities clean and green

Posted: 06 Mar 2012 05:53 AM PST

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

The current scenario:

Cities are choked with gas guzzling vehicles, which pushes up the pollution levels even further. These alarming levels are forcing people to shift their focus on greener options, which will help keep the surroundings in a healthy state. This is where the electrically operated bikes come in the scene, which will become a common sight on the roads in the near future.

Electric bike
Electric bike

The concept:

Traveling by gasoline driven cars not only pollutes the environment, but also consumes a lot space both on road and inside the parking area. This leads to traffic jams and results in parking woes at the same time. Moreover, the ever increasing fuel prices have made traveling by car everyday nothing less than a luxury. Keeping all these factors in mind, an electric bike or e-bike seems to be the best possible option to bail people all around the world out of this situation. The added responsibility to save the world from the clutches of pollution has even made top notch car and bike manufacturers to come up electric versions, which will bang head on with the gas guzzling rides. Electric bikes will save space and can be maneuvered with ease on the roads. They are just perfect when it comes to intercity rides, where high speeds are not a prerequisite.

The inspiration:

The greatest inspiration that forces designers to come up with better e-bikes every now and then is soaring fuel prices. Charging the battery of an e-bike is not an expensive affair and can be done using a household socket. The eco friendly rides are a hassle free creation and prove to be a better mode of transportation on traffic chocked roads. It further saves from other inconveniences faced, like finding a parking space, which is like searching for water in a desert if a place is thronged by many people at the same time.

The advantages:

Electric bike is a onetime investment, which will prove to be efficient as well as light on the pocket later. These can touch an average speed of 25 to 30 kilometers per hour, which is sufficient when it comes to riding inside the city. This trait also makes it a great vehicle for children as well as adults. Housewives will benefit the most as they can run errands in a much more efficient manner. Since e-bikes make good use of electric power, the need of changing oil gets totally deleted and so does cleaning the residue build up.

What might bother you?

There nothing on the face of this earth that doesn't come tagged with a few disadvantages and the e-bike is no different. So, there are a few things you should know before you become complete fans of these electrically driven rides. They will never prove to be a perfect partner when it comes to traveling long distances, which is a major drawback. Moreover, don't expect these rides to take you farther than 20 to 25 kilometers on a single charge, which further confines their usage inside the frame of a city. While there is an option to pedal them if they run of juice, but pedaling the bike uphill will leave you exhausted as the bike is heavy as compared to its conventional counterpart. The e-bikes come stashed with a heavy price tag, which not everyone can afford.

Related trends:

1. Torque: A futuristic, yet realistic e-bike

Torque
Torque

Torque e-bike by Emil Moller Pedersen has a simple frame. The bike comes smothered with traits that will force people to ditch their gas powered vehicles. The futuristic bike features closed chain box, battery ring and hob rings in its wheels, which make it different from an everyday bike. Torque is very stable and comfortable. The stability is a result of the placement of the matter, which is present at the lower portion hence offering a low center of gravity. The motor can come up with an output of 15.5 mph, which is quite impressive.

2. Electric Bike Concept ver2

Ver2 Electric Bike
Ver2 Electric Bike

EBIQ, designed by Yuji Fujimura, will draw attention not only because of its electric status but also its eccentric shape. The electric bike concept comes fitted with a Lithium ion battery, which will power the ride. The motor will fetch the much required power from the battery, which is of course rechargeable. The most interesting feature is the battery's tendency to charge other electronic gadgets. The electric bike has a storage compartment that can be used to safely carry gadgets like iPods, cell phones, laptops and tablets. It will not only protect these electronic devices from getting damaged, but will also charge them using the power provided by the battery.

3. OnCycle E-bike

Oncycle E-bike
Oncycle E-bike

OnCycle E-bike has been specially designed for the American market. It has been fashioned in an aesthetically pleasing way and will prove to be a great alternative for moving around in the city. The motor has been placed at the back of pedal cranks, which powers the ride for a totally exhilarating experience. The electric nature of the bike is made clear with battery level display, embedded lights and a well lit up motor. Apart from this, the eco friendly creation boasts of additional components like rack, lights, pannier and D-lock.

4. City Electric Bicycle

City Electric bike
City Electric bike

City Electric Bike, as the name suggest, will be perfect for traveling short distance like inside the city without adding poisonous fumes the environment. The bike has been dipped in plain looks and has a battery that has been fitted inside the seat tube. The electric motor, on the other hand, has been placed inside the bottom bracket which in turns helps keeping the bike stable as the weight is kept in the center of the bike.

5. Tharula Electric Bike Concept

Tharula Electric Bike
Tharula Electric Bike

Tharula Electric Bike is sure a revolutionary concept, but unique at the same time. The personal electric scooter has been fashioned in a way that will make eyes do a cartwheel in surprise every time it moves on the roads. It comes with a promise to keep the environment in a clean state and save space while you move around on the truly awesome creation. The front wheel is much bigger than the one placed at the rear, which is distinctive in itself. Normally, bikes with such wheels are seen in a circus but this futuristic ride has transported the same feel right in everyday life and that too in an environmentally friendly way.


The Dock Minimal protects your iPhone and keeps it juiced up

Posted: 06 Mar 2012 05:51 AM PST

Shallu Sharma:

The Dock Minimal is an innovative design by Onanoff, a brand that works as a link between innovators and designers from China and other Nordic countries. The brand in known for blending cultures, creativity and experiences together, to fulfill customer needs by manufacturing innovative and smart product designs. Dock Minimal is a similar ingenious design that would surely allure music freaks who love listening to their favorite playlists or enjoy watching videos on their iPhones.

Dock Minimal
Dock Minimal

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Dock Minimal
Dock Minimal by Isak Winther

The Dock Minimal has an opening just below the speakers of the iPhone so you don't have to worry about it fidgeting with the voice quality of your iPhone. It enables you to listen to the music or watch videos while charging your iPhone. Unlike other docks it does not mute the iPhone and releases the maximum sound an iPhone offers. It could be used in both, angled landscape as well as portrait mode.

The design has been created in a straightforward and smart fashion keeping in mind minute details for user's convenience. It could be used with both, iPhone 3G/Gs and iPhone 4. The Dock is very handy and flexible. You just have to attach the cable that you get with your iPhone to make it fully functional. The sync/charge cable is easily sinkable into the dock and you can place your iPhone into the pin and make it stand up. The device looks very elegant in this position and charges as well. The Dock Minimal, priced at $15 is a great addition to any desk as it protects your iPhone and keeps it juiced up with energy.

Via: Onanoff


PowerCube comes with a USB port to juice up your smart devices

Posted: 06 Mar 2012 05:50 AM PST

Shallu Sharma:

Seeing your room full of electronic gadgets is a blessing but finding power source to plug in more than two or three gadgets at a time becomes a pain that all of us might have experienced once in a while in our lifetime. To get rid of this problem Allocacoc has introduced an innovative extension cord christened as PowerCube that could be mounted anywhere within the reach and you don't have to bend beneath your desk to look for power outlets.

PowerCube
PowerCube

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PowerCube
PowerCube extended usb by Allocacoc

The PowerCube comes with a USB power port to juice up your USB charge enabled devices like iPads, iPhones, iPods and even high-powered tablets. The PowerCube is accompanied with a stick-on dock, which is used to mount it wherever you want and you just have to twist and lock the cord to fix it to the dock. The compact design offers four power outlets to power four gadgets at a time unlike large power adapters jamming each other and muddling your room.

PowerCubes can also be plugged into each other to multiply the number of power outlets by four with the modular design to give you low-voltage USB power. About 1.5 meters of extension cord is fitted to the PowerCube so that it could be mounted easily on the required surface which usually is your desktop. The PowerCube comes with a mounting dock as well as a cable clamp and offers voltage range of 220 to 240volts. This condensed easy-to-use extension not only keeps your stuff tidy but also forms an ideal gift item.

Source: Allocacoc


Nyx Concept provides Parisians with an alternative to public transport

Posted: 06 Mar 2012 05:48 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

Created specifically for the city of Paris, the Nyx Concept is an innovative personal mobility solution by UK-based designer Elizabeth Pinder. The stresses of everyday Parisian life couple with longer commutes when suburban dwellers use an over-burdened public transport system like the Metro. Public transport doesn't allow commuters the luxury of personal space and comfort. The electric charging system in the increasingly eco-conscious city is already under so much pressure that traditional fuel or electric vehicles aren't great alternatives to the Metro either. However, the Nyx Concept anticipates and addresses these problems and tries to incorporate the transportation needs, lifestyle and preferences of the people of the region to provide an indulgent commute option.

Nyx Concept Car
Nyx Concept Car

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Nyx Concept Car
Nyx Concept Car by Elizabeth Pinder

A totally guilt-free vehicle, the Nyx Concept takes up little space on the road thanks to a narrow body and flowing lines. As a privately owned vehicle, the concept allows users the freedom to experience the city's commute routes on their own terms and pace. A 100% clean vehicle, the concept uses innovative applications and technologies to ensure that it doesn't incurring an environmental burden.

Large daylight openings allow the occupant of the Nyx Concept to take in the view of their surroundings with more ease than they can in a traditional vehicle with windows or sun roofs. This allows the commuter to connect with the city on an emotional level as well. The sense of openness provided by the interiors of the Nyx Concept also help relax the commuter which can also prove beneficial to the society by reducing the occurrence of road rage and other stress related traffic incidents.

Currently in development at MIT, an innovative hydrogen splitting mechanism will be used within the Nyx Concept that would use the rainwater collected and stored within the structure of the vehicle to provide hydrogen for the powertrain. This allows the vehicle to bypass having the traditional gas storage tanks on board that are perceived as being dangerous by the general public.

To generate electricity, the fuel cell is injected with the hydrogen after the stored water has been splits into its constituent parts using solar energy drawn from especially designed water prisms. This allows the vehicle to be operated only on the sunlight and rainwater that it collects and does not burden the infrastructure at all. This also helps the user save a bundle on recharging, electricity bills, gas bills, etc and allows the vehicle to merge in more seamlessly with the existing infrastructure of the city.

Via: Michelin Challenge Design


Hybrid energy device produces electrical power while cleaning gray water

Posted: 06 Mar 2012 05:46 AM PST

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

A lot of water goes down the drain every single day, which we tag as waste water, and is increasing each day with industrial development and population. Making good use of this waste water are engineers at the Pennsylvania University, who have come up with a technique to generate power from it. The all new hybrid energy technology will clean waste water for free and also generate power from it.

New Device Cleans Water and Produces Energy
New Device Cleans Water and Produces Energy

The design is a hybrid and comprises of two techniques: reverse electrodialysis and microbial fuel cells. Both the techniques are great to produce power when applied individually, but will only act self sustaining when used together. A combination of reverse electrodialysis and microbial fuel cells is efficient enough to power waste water treatment by using waste water as fuel.

Two chambers are used by a microbial fuel cell, which are well divided with the help of a semi permeable membrane and has an electrode on each side. The electrode on one side comes smothered with microbes while the fuel cell holds waste water. The organic material present in waste water is digested by the microbes and in turn produces protons, electrons and CO2.

The electrons produced during the process then passes through the electrode covered with microbes and then a circuit. Then these protons shift to the other side of the chamber and further combine with oxygen and protons. This recombination then generates water, which is actually a byproduct of the entire process.

On the other hand, charged particles that have differing concentrations are used by reverse electrodialysis. It makes use of two barriers, in which one will just let only negative ions flow through it while the other will only cater to positive ions. The hybrid is a great way to treat water. It only needs five membranes and still generates seven times more power, which is worth applauding.

Via: Geekosystem


dbRevo wheel injects electric power to your regular bicycle

Posted: 06 Mar 2012 05:37 AM PST

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

Want to swap your conventional bike into an electric ride? Simply replace the front wheel with a colorful one by DK city and move around in utmost style. Yes, you read it right! DK city, bike manufacturer from Taiwan, has come up with the amazing dbRevo wheel that will inject your ride with electric power.

dbRevO wheel
dbRevO wheel

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dbRevO wheel
dbRevO wheel converts regular bikes to electric

dbRevo wheel comes with the power to swap any ordinary bicycle into an electric model by just replacing the wheel placed in the front. These wheels are available in a variety of colors, which includes green, gray, blue, white, magenta, red and orange. The addition of such a colorful wheel will make the bicycle look all the more vivacious. The wheels can be fitted in almost all kinds of bicycles and are available in models with sizes 20 inch and 26 inch.

dbRevo wheel comes fitted with a battery, controller and motor, which powers the ride. It comes complete with a small wireless console that can be wedged on the handlebars. This will give an apt information about the ride and will give the rider complete control to tweak the power. The awe-inspiring wheel features a DC motor and a 24V lithium battery. Installing the design is not at all difficult, as it solely requires the replacement of the front wheel.

dbRevo wheel has been shortlisted for the Taipei Cycle d&i awards and won unending praises at the EICMA bike and motorcycle show 2011. So, power your bicycle in an eco friendly way and make heads turn as the bike gets some splash of color with dbRevo wheel.

Via: Designboom


Street Furniture turns bridge trusses and rails into comfy recliners

Posted: 06 Mar 2012 05:29 AM PST

Dakshina Thakur:

Ever thought of winding down or slacking off while waiting for a public transport? Or ever wished if your traveling could allow some back-stretching moments? If so, then here's something you should certainly set your sights on. Interestingly Oliver Show has just devised a unique concept termed as “Street Furniture” that will undoubtedly draw attention to the commercialization of public space. Sounds too creative, doesn’t it?

Street Furniture
Street Furniture

Well, the experimental approach quite a lot sweeps users off their feet for having merged innovation with comfort and usability. The mobile concept tries to make seating a little more accessible and comfortable for people in Hamburg, Germany. So, commuters residing in other parts of the world may have to arch their shoulders if the developer pulls up the board “it's only for Hamburg.”

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Street Furniture
Street Furniture for the Public

Nevertheless, the impressive Street Furniture features yellow drainage pipes that can seamlessly wrap around your bike stands and bus stops. Hopefully, now that explains the name behind the striking concept. Designed using highly flexible, weather resistant plastic cushions, the mobile solution facilely transforms bridge trusses into great recliners, safety rails into snug sofas and bike racks into reliable loungers.

What's more, the low-cost model catches attention for its bright yellow accents that easily grab eyeballs to the commercialization of the city's public space. The delightfully simple Street Furniture indeed revamps the entire user experience – be it waiting for some public transport, sitting in a garden with friends for time-gripping conversations or just lazing around.

Enclosed in an empowering design, the distinct tool furthermore strengthens the resourcefulness with its emphatically lackluster material nature. Though it might be a bit too early to say anything about its availability, Street Furniture however does manage to leave us impressed.

Having that said, let's just wait for Oliver Show to divulge some more details on the same. But whenever it may be, Street Furniture indeed looks promising enough to prove as an awesome creation for people in Hamburg.

Via: Architizer


SnoWarrior bodysuit to make snowball fights and sled races more ‘professional’

Posted: 06 Mar 2012 03:56 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

Do you take snowball fights and sledging races a little too seriously? Does your ego get a big bruise everytime your frenemy or rival get the better of you in 'friendly' snow challenges? Do you absolutely have to be victorious in every snowball fight you enter to feel like your life is worth living? Then the SnoWarrior bodysuit by designer Brian C. Tierney is just what the doctor ordered for you. inspired by fictitious superheroes like Iron Man, the suit allows users to "become one" with a sled to ensure that sled riders never have to worry about missing a landing or losing the sled when they have given it a good running start down a slope.

SnoWarrior
SnoWarrior

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SnoWarrior
SnoWarrior by Brian C Tierney

The SnoWarrior gives users the flexibility and maneuverability of snowboards and skis while offering the same level of sturdiness as sleds. The steering of the SnoWarrior requires the user to rotate their body on the sides which makes the suit great workout equipment as well.

Depending on the conditions, user can choose between narrow or wide width for the thigh gear on the suit to optimize their performance for both hard packed snow as well as looser powder. On a bumpy slope, a comfortable suspension-like protection is offered by rubberized leaf springs that bear the bulk of the load. These leafs mount directly onto the amour and can be removed during snowball fight for improved flexibility of the user as well.

Source: Brian C. Tierney


Vestel Assist makes life easier for amateur kitchen kings and queens

Posted: 06 Mar 2012 03:48 AM PST

Shallu Sharma:

Technology has benefited almost innumerable areas of human life. Why not then reap the efficiency and versatility of this excellent man made device in the most basic and vital activities of everyday living? Yes we are talking about modern conveniences in the kitchen, the device which could make life easier for the kitchen kings and queens. To put it crisply and briskly much like our modern hi tech kitchens, introducing technology in kitchens would make them truly user friendly. The project we are about to discuss here is based on the same idea.

Vestel Assist
Vestel Assist

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Vestel Assist
Vestel Assist by Begum Tomruk

The project named termed as “Vestel Assist” was undertaken by Begum Tomruk in collaboration with Vestel Electronics and Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University to create an extra ordinary kitchen control system. The prototype was an eye candy in International Consumer Electronics Fair, IFA Berlin in 2011. The basic idea of this project was to create a kitchen centered home with smart kitchen appliances and systems connected with each other. The connections are made to make appliances communicate with one another for which customizable product family, specialized kitchen counter and built in kitchen appliances need to be designed.

The device offers features like food information, recipes and data sharing, imaging, communication, audio system, etc. It is a blend of various technologies that work together to take charge of overall kitchen activities. The Assist looks like a simple screen that stays fixed to its charging module with the help of magnets hidden under its surface. Apart from the specialists, those who just don't know how to work their way around a kitchen, Vestel Assist can make life easy for them by placing them in the lap of convenience.

Source: Begumtomruk


gloWALK Lighted crosswalk makes people obey traffic signals better

Posted: 06 Mar 2012 03:39 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

The gloWALK Lighted crosswalk concept by designer Eric Tryson is a great way to ensure that pedestrians crossing the road are not in the way of harm and on coming motorists are able to spot pedestrians with greater ease. Since the inception of the modern traffic system, pedestrians have been asked to cross the street only at designated crossings that have lights and signals to indicate their presence on the road to motorists on the road. However, since most of these signals and signs are small and may not always be very easy to read especially on brightly lit days, they fail to inform oncoming drivers of the presence of pedestrians crossing the road.

gloWALK Lighted crosswalk
gloWALK Lighted crosswalk

The gloWALK Lighted crosswalk is created to double up as a speed bump when a pedestrian is not crossing the road. When a pedestrian is using the raised crossing strip, it begins to emit a noticeably bright light that can inform motorists even on a distance that a pedestrian is crossing the road. As soon as the pedestrian gets off the road, the sidewalk returns to its normal level of illumination.

gloWALK Lighted crosswalk
gloWALK Lighted crosswalk

The gloWALK Lighted crosswalk is made from 100 percent recycled mixed consumer plastic that gives it an extremely long life. The material is highly resistant to impacts but is flexible and malleable enough to make its construction easy and cheap. The weatherproof sidewalk is rust proof as well as chemically inert and resistant to rain, frost, graffiti and vandalism. The versatile sidewalk can also be recycled after it has outlived its useful life.

gloWALK Lighted crosswalk
gloWALK Lighted crosswalk


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