The Design blog

The Design blog


Guipo lets visually impaired athletes sprint without a guide runner

Posted: 20 Mar 2012 06:58 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

The concept

Not having the sense of sight can be one of the most traumatic experiences in life that makes it very difficult to lead a normal life. The trauma is even more magnified for athletes and runner who have to depend on guides to help them compete in races. The Guipo is an adjustable device worn on the head that allows blind runners to participate in 100-meter dashes without requiring the help of guides. The device consists of two vibrators, housing, a battery and an electronic compass. When the runner is ready to commence a 100-meter dash, the runner needs to be on his mark. Just before the race starts, the runner needs to turn on the Guipo after which the device will register whether the runner maintains the course in a straight line.

Touch & Go
Touch & Go

The Target

Blind runners are coached to finish 20 meter dashes on their own without needing the services of a guide. To make the blind runner learn to rely on their hearing abilities and feel confident, coaches train them with claps. The Guipo is aimed specifically at runners competing in 100 meter dashes and helps them in competing in these races without requiring the services of a guide runner.

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Guipo visual aid
Guipo lets visually impaired athletes sprint without a guide runner

The need

Blind runners need to be tethered to guide runners during 100 meter sprints and are allowed to use two lanes with the guide telling the blind runner whether he/she is running in a straight line. However, tethered blind runners encounter many problems. They need to ensure that they don't trip the race, the blind runner cannot move freely because they are tethered to another person, the heights of the runner and the guide need to be matched to ensure compatibility between their running paces, the movement of the tethered arms of both the guide and the blind runner is restricted and they need to coordinate their arm movement and both the runners need to maintain the same speed while competing. Even though these athletes are trained to use audio feedback like the clap of a hand or a call from their coach to maintain a linear course, these methods cannot be employed during a race since it interferes with the performance of other athletes as well.

Key features

The Guipo is designed around accurate measurements and measures deviations from the straight line very accurately. Being a low energy consumption device, the Guipo can be used by the runners to practice before competitions without having to worry about running out of battery power. The product is light weight and doesn't hamper the performance of the runner. The device is fully adjustable and can be customized to each runner's physical dimensions and doesn’t slip off during a race.

The solution

When the blind runner starts to deviate from his linear course, the Guipo starts to vibrate and makes a noise to allow the runner to correct his course. If the runner is deviating on the left side, the device vibrates makes a noise on the right side and indicates the runner to adjust his course accordingly. Since the runners would have been using the product right from the training stage, they would be accustomed to using the input for course correction. If the runner fails to correct his course in time, the vibration and the noise gets more intense over time.

Guipo visual aidGuipo lets visually impaired athletes sprint without a guide runner

Related trends

1. Touch & Go navigator makes life autonomous for visually impaired

Touch & Go
Touch & Go

The Touch & Go navigation system for the visually disabled is created by designer Natalia Ponomareva. Worn on the hand, the stylish device features a tactile map that can be "read" by the blind user. An arrow indicates the direction in which the user is moving and a plum at the center indicates the user's current position. An ultrasonic transmitter-receiver offers audio feedback via earphones and informs the users whether they are on the right course.

2. Origin: A GPS powered walking cane to navigate visually impaired

Origin
Origin

This walking cane named Origin is created by designer Xun Ye and allows the blind to navigate the streets on their own. The collapsible cane features a Braille scale, a switch, speakers and a microphone. Before setting off, the user can speak the name of their destination into the microphone and the GPS confirms it via a Braille message. The GPS keeps track of the user's movement and informs them of upcoming turns.

3. Thimble finger glove allows multimedia access to the visually impaired

Thimble finger glove
Thimble finger glove

The visually impaired are perhaps the only segment of society that has not been extended the benefit of modern multimedia gadgetry. The Thimble finger glove innovated by designers Zack Bennet and Erik Hedberg allows the blind to "read" text on paper in Braille form using the glove. An optical scanner embedded within the fingertips of the glove turns text on a paper into Braille script that can be felt and read by blind users.

4. na:vi: GPS navigating system for the visually impaired

na:vi
na:vi

The na:vi is a GPS navigating system developed by designers Joe Müller, Kristina Chudikova and Pia Weitgasser. The aid allows users to navigate through streets and public spaces on their own using a wrist worn device. The aid allows an accurate and safe direction finding with its 3D user interface allowing the user to use GPS navigation and a laser range finder to move freely. Using gyroscopes, the device provides haptic feedback to the user to make navigation smoother.


Bridges breaching distances in renewable energy generation

Posted: 20 Mar 2012 06:56 AM PDT

Radhicka S Saxena:

The concept

Basically a structured pathway that connects two disjointed land masses or isolated spots, bridges are integral to any construction plan. Although bridges are essentially built as a crossing over deep water bodies, bottomless valleys or railway tracks, it is quite likely that they might outgrow their primary function in the coming future. Designers and architects are realizing that apart from just linking two different sites, bridges can be put to many other uses as well. While they stand outdoors at a fixed spot, bridges endure and hold out against the changing weather. As bridges are constantly exposed to external climatic conditions, it is very easy to harness energy and generate eco friendly power using them.

Energy generating bridges
Energy generating bridges

The Inspiration

All bridges are exposed to natural conditions like bright sunlight, blustery winds, rippling waves and strong undercurrents. With the energy crisis looming close, there is an imperative need to generate renewable power and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Bridges fit the bill perfectly and can be used to produce clean and green power.

Besides this, there are many other advantages of using bridges for power generation. Firstly, the mechanism will use only natural resources, thus will be cost effective. Furthermore, as no additional land area will be required for a power plant, the plan is also space saving. This is definitely a boon considering the fact that land area will have to be used judiciously in the future. Industrial expansion usurps a lot of land, leaving lesser area for the development of plant and human populace. But this nifty plan takes care of this drawback too.

Eco Credentials

The very fact that bridges will be utilized to produce eco friendly power means that the project has a horde of green benefits up its sleeve. This project will surely help to reduce carbon emissions and discharge of other hazardous fumes into the surroundings. There is no doubt therefore that these are structures for the future. In the imminent years, the supply of conventional fuels will dwindle, thus setting off the need to source alternative fuels.

In addition, the plan saves on land space, which will also become scarce in the coming years. Moreover, these bridges will house other green facilities and functions also. Like, some of these bridges will accommodate public recreation centers while others will have vertical farms. As land space becomes scarce in the future, projects that use land area optimally will be welcomed whole heartedly.

Feasibility

Perks of using bridges to generate eco friendly power are manifold. Firstly, the towering height of the bridges is advantageous. At higher altitudes, bridges are exposed to strong crosswinds, which can yield copious amount of power. Also, sunlight streams down on bridges in abundance. Thus, installing wind turbines and solar panels here can turn out to be very productive. Wind turbines can also be integrated in between the pillars while solar PV panels can be deployed along the walkways. So, it is possible to put together a solar wind bridge.

Moreover, the plan will also help to cut down expenditure incurred to generate energy. The infrastructure cost will be eliminated as a separate energy farm or power plant will not be needed. Instead, an existing structure will be developed further and utilized for power generation. However, the task of fitting in so many functions into a single structure is definitely not a simple one. All such projects are currently in the making and it is not certain if they will see the light of the day. The breakthrough designs are quite challenging and require plenty of innovation as well as technical skill. Hence, the concept still remains tentative.

Related trends:

1. "Solar Wind" Building a bridge to renewable energy

Solar Wind bridge
Solar Wind bridge

This project connecting Bagnera and Scilla in Italy will include wind turbines as well as solar cells, which will produce 11.2 and 36 million kWh of power respectively every year. This structure will provide energy to about 15000 homes. The wind turbines will be installed between the pillars of the bridge while the solar cells will be embedded on the walkways. The greenhouse located on top will not only grow produce but also vend it out to people driving by. The proposed design was an entry at a solar highways competition called Solar Park Works and was conceived by three Italian designers - Giovanna Saracino, Luisa Saracino and Francesco Colarossi.

2. Planning Korea envisions solar-clad bridge

solar clad bridge
solar clad bridge

The 1080m bridge, linking the Dang-Li power plant and National Assembly, which are separated by the Han River, is truly multipurpose. The Seoul based structure will integrate a power generation plant, recreation center and also a docking station for vehicles and waterborne vessels. The power produced by the all new Paik Nam June Media Bridge will be send out to public organizations like library, museum and an IT complex constructed on it. There will be a horizontal garden on each floor and promenades for walking and biking. The gardens will receive natural sunlight and ventilation thanks to the modeling of the structure that is also capable of holding rain water.

3. London Bridge

London Bridge
London Bridge

This famous overpass on top of the Thames River will get a facelift owing to the design plan by Laurie Chetwood. The structure will have spires for producing solar as well as wind energy. It will also incorporate an organic vertical farm and a commercial center. Renewable energy produced by the bridge will power up the farm, commercial center and heating up of the structure. Other eco friendly add-ons of the building are rainwater harvesting and natural ventilation. All this will transform the bridge into public hub and an organic marketplace for buying fresh produce.

4. Cross-wind bridge

cross wind bridge
cross wind bridge

A 40m long passage running over Segunda Circular Highway in Lisbon will be outfitted with 2000 lightweight rotating panels. The wind velocity produced by autos zooming under the bridge will be increased by 20 percent by a truss system incorporated into the structure. This along with the induction power system and electromagnetic band will be able to light up the bridge during night time. The structure will be made from concrete stairs and footing as well as recycled steel sourced from the auto industry. A tunnel for walkers and bikers will also be built into the structure.


Futuristic aircraft designs visualizing a supersonic flight

Posted: 20 Mar 2012 06:55 AM PDT

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

There was a time when supersonic flights just meant the great Concorde. The aircraft has always been an inspiration for creating speed coated aircraft with its ability to fly at Mach 2, which saved a lot of time while traveling. But, the only hitch with such aircraft is the deafening sonic boom that one experiences and the large amount of fuel needed to fly at such high speeds. The future sounds promising with supersonic flights that will be both light in weight and will make use of greener fuel options that too without compromising on speed. Have a look at 10 futuristic aircraft designs that visualize a supersonic flight in the coming years.


Mouse Magnifier lets people with low vision blow up fonts as big as they need

Posted: 20 Mar 2012 06:53 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

People who suffer from old vision due to an accident or old age find it harder to adjust to a life without newspapers and magazines that people who have had the ailment their entire life. Prescription glasses and magnifying glasses are often recommended by Ophthalmologists though they don't really aren't serve the purpose as needed. The Mouse Magnifier is one such innovative product that allows the smaller print of a newspaper, a magazine or any other piece of printed text to be magnified manifold on a television or a monitor.

Mouse Magnifier
Mouse Magnifier

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Mouse Magnifier
Mouse Magnifier for People with Low Vision

The magnifier is designed to be used with RCA compatible monitors and displays like televisions or computer screens and blows up the smaller print of hard copies of newspapers, labels of medicine bottles, prescriptions, maps and any other etc into a high-quality magnified image that can be magnified to the user's comfort level.

The device outputs images in PAL/NTSC systems in as many as four display modes and offers screen lock and zoom in functions. The comfortable and ergonomic the Mouse Magnifier measures 132 x 70 x 62mm and runs on a 500mAh Battery which makes it totally portable. The Mouse Magnifier retails for $38.67 plus shipping.

Via: Chinavision


Let the sun shine up your grills for barbecue thrills

Posted: 20 Mar 2012 06:51 AM PDT

Shallu Sharma:

Let the sunshine allow you to grill and shine. No soot, no smoke, no oil, no coke but only the golden sunshine assisting you in displaying your flair at red hot barbecue. The "Eat // Meat" is an ingenious modern barbecue designed to feed on solar energy and play the roles of well a barbecue, an aesthetic piece of furniture and even a dock for gadgets for your mobiles and iPods. So not only does this device harness solar energy, it also becomes a center for energy production. Now that's not only street furniture but let's say for kicks street "smart furniture" eh?

EAT MEET solar grill station
EAT MEET solar grill station

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EAT MEET solar grill station
EAT MEET solar grill station by Marvin Bratke

The main grill of "Eat Meat" is powered by prefab barbecue fire repacks. These can be conveniently cleaned without loaming the grill ever so slightly. The grill stone constitutes of three porcelain plates which can be brought back to cleanliness and shine by just a hand wash or a round in an ordinary washing machine. Exchangeable grill stones impart various individual characters to the grill, with each one being varying from the other. Different meats can be suited to different grills.

Overall, what you get is an aesthetic, versatile and power saving device which can be one you sport on social get-together nurturing your tongue and your communal success. So "cue" up your culinary enthusiasm and raise a toast to your well done roast, there's only one life to live, make the most.

Source: Marvinbratke


Sandman electric vehicle backed by human propulsion

Posted: 20 Mar 2012 06:47 AM PDT

Shallu Sharma:

Recent years have witnessed a green trend with people bending towards buying eco friendly gadgets and vehicles. This environmental consciousness among people has made companies and designers create and target their products with the "green" idea. Sandman is a similar means of transportation that has been targeted on people who believe in practicality and sportiness of a car without making any compromises with the Mother Nature.

Sandman
Sandman

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Sandman
Sandman, transportation vehicle

The vehicle exhibits simple design to keep its price reasonable and usage easy. It consists of minimal parts to keep weight of the vehicle as low as possible. The most attractive part is that it is being powered using a faultless blend of human propulsion and an electro engine. The electro engine of the vehicle has been placed near the pedal joint that enables the driver to pedal along using pedal mechanism. The vehicle is juiced up by using a very light and condensed Li-Po battery placed under the seat.

The car is not controlled using steering wheel but has levers at the sides of its seat to control its direction. This environmental conscious car would be easy to park in small space and won't create unnecessary traffic as created by big luxurious vehicles. All thanks to the designer Adam Danko who made this green design possible because we need more such designs to make this world a better and a greener place.

Via: Auto-design


Meduse Human Powered Water Craft with a jellyfish like propulsion

Posted: 20 Mar 2012 06:45 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

Created by Bratislava, Slovakia's Academy of Fine Arts and Design student Michaela Tvarůžková, the Meduse is a human powered water craft with a difference. The vessel is propelled by human effort though it uses a rather unique method of propulsion that is inspired by the movement of the jellyfish. The craft features silicone arms and an elastic bag on its underside that forms the major part of its propulsion system.

Meduse
Meduse

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Meduse
Meduse, water manpower vehicle

The vessel itself is comprised of two distinct parts, namely the underwater elastic bag and arms and the overwater glider. The hydrodynamically designed glider makes it easier for the vessel to smoothly travel across the water. When the user pumps air into the bag, it moves the silicone arms that mimic the motion of opening and umbrella thus providing the vessel a jellyfish like movement forward.

Via: Student Sky Design


Now enjoy golf being followed by a robot caddy

Posted: 20 Mar 2012 06:42 AM PDT

Shallu Sharma:

Golf has been regarded as an expensive way of playing marbles. It is fun to watch the game on television but actually playing it on the golf course could be really tiresome with the strain of dragging caddy throughout the course. But now no more worrying about lugging clubs as FTR systems, Inc. has come up with a robotic caddy termed as Caddytrek that would hold your golf clubs and track you around the course.

Caddytrek
Caddytrek

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Caddytrek
Golf slightly less frustrating with robot caddy

As an improvement to the remote controlled golf trolleys that needed some human attention, the Caddytrek follows you without your assistance throughout the track carrying your irons, putters, woods etc. The robot is monitored via a control unit in your pockets from where it receives signals and makes a stop when you stop. You can even send this gizmo to get can of suds and likewise by operating it through a remote control.

The robot comes equipped with navigation sensors that prevent it from banging into obstacles. It can work well on slope of 25 degrees. It is powered by a lithium ion battery good enough to make it tour 10 miles or for 27 holes on the go with its two hour charge. The robot weighs around 39 pounds including its battery and can easily fit into your trunk with its collapsible compact configuration. You can get this ultimate accessory for your game at $1,595. Indeed a game for rich and famous!

Via: Cnet


Burosit Wrist Stand supports your hand during extended work sessions

Posted: 20 Mar 2012 06:24 AM PDT

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

The world of computers has not only made our lives easier, but has also given birth to a number of new problems in terms of health issues. The most troubled part is the wrist, which has to move along with the movement of fingers when the keys are pressed. Keeping the injuries and risks in mind, Ibrahim Guvendikler has designed an office accessory named Burosit Wrist Stand.

Burosit wrist stand
Burosit wrist stand

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Burosit wrist stand
Burosit wrist stand by Ibrahim Guvendikler

The small stand has been specially designed for people who spend a lot of time in front of a computer and need to use the mouse to move the cursor. This may cause problems of the wrist and hands like callus, calcification and carpal tunnel syndrome. The wrist stand for mouse has been given a very special form and is flexible in nature. It will give the much required support to the wrist than one usually gets.

The design has elliptical sections and structured channels that make sure the wrist doesn't touch the flat surface of the desk. The material used to fashion Burosit Wrist Stand can even soak some sweat and dirt as well. If you are really conscious about hygiene and can't touch things thinking they are dirty, then the simple looking stand is just for you. Simply wash it whenever you feel that too without the fear of damaging it.

Burosit Wrist Stand is a great product that won't consume a lot of space. It will give proper support to your wrist and keep wrist and hand complications at bay.


Make your own style statement with the rippling timepiece

Posted: 20 Mar 2012 06:22 AM PDT

Shallu Sharma:

Time moves in ripples for all. Highs and lows are a part of life which keeps alive the delight and significance of good times. It would be nice to let your time piece exhibit that same rippling property of time. It would convey a universal message and that too in style. The "Ripple" e-paper watch designed by Devindh is based on the same thoughts.

Ripple e-paper watch
Ripple e-paper watch

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Ripple e-paper watch
'Ripple' e-paper watch adds texture to display time by Devindh

Though it seems to be complex but the design is quite simple. The dial consists of fashionable horizontal strips made up of e-paper presenting ripple effect. The most impressive trait is that any amount of simple or cryptic themes could be created for displaying time. Functions could be accessed through a touch strip that is placed at the side of the watch. The timepiece maintains brilliant curvature without compromising with its functionality, presenting essence of technology. Sturdy wrist band gives it a durable and masculine appeal. The e-paper devices that were presented in CES 2012 served as the source of inspiration behind this one of its kind design.

Its emerging display technology and design are enough to allure any person interested in smart and appealing gadgets. The textural aspects of the timepiece would definitely make you stand out of the crowd. The only concern that might arise is e-paper display that does not allow quick image demonstration thereby making it really tough to have seconds as well as scrolling features. Other than that it would definitely appeal to style conscious people who love setting trends.

Via: Tokyoflash


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