The Design blog

The Design blog


Sustainability Internet router brings eco friendliness to tech junkies

Posted: 11 May 2012 05:56 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

Being connected to the internet 24/7 has become more of a necessity than a habit with almost every personal gadget imaginable being given Wi-Fi connectivity these days. Not only does this mean that your internet router is overloaded throughout the day which reduces it lifespan, it also means that routers need to be replaced more often which adds to the electronic waste that usually goes into landfills. Designer Tom Craven, however, has come up with an ingenious solution to make internet routers more sustainable and eco friendly. The Sustainability Internet router is basically a reinterpretation of the Virgin Media internet router which uses 100 percent recycled HDPE injection molded to make it more suited to the purpose.

Sustainability - Internet router
Sustainability - Internet router

The light cover, rear case and the main case are all fashioned out of the eco friendly materials that snap together to form a lightweight yet sturdy covering that allows the router to be used just like a regular router which is great for recyclers. Apart from the circuit board, all other parts are designed to snap together without the use of screw, nuts of bolts which makes it even more eco friendly.

The materials used in the design are also recyclable so you don't have to worry about polluting the environment and killing the planet while you stay connected to the rest of the world.

Source: Thomas Craven


Volet Végétal AKA plant shutter reinvents the window box for apartment dwellers

Posted: 11 May 2012 05:53 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

Window boxes have been in vogue since the height of the Roman Empire and any home built in the old world European style features them quite prominently. With housing in the cities no longer allowing people to live in spaces where mini gardens can be created in terraces or balconies, a window box can be a great option for someone who wants a green patch outlining their view of the concrete jungle. However, most window boxes only allow people to cultivate a single type of plant which doesn't really work for someone looking to build a mini kitchen garden out of their windows. This is where design firm Barreau & Charbonnet's Volet vegetal makes a really great case for itself.

Hanging Plant Balcony
Hanging Plant Balcony

The name literally translates into French as "plant shutter" and allows folks to place three or more planter boxes into a retractable frame into their windows. The frame can be rotated from vertical (covering the whole window) to horizontal (when it hangs out the balcony like a drawbridge) via a pulley system which lets apartment dwellers show off their window gardens to eh world while offering their plants plenty of sunshine and/or rain.

Hanging Plant Balcony
Hanging Plant Balcony

The planters have been designed to stay upright even when the shutter is being drawn in and out so your plants don't spill out and might we say the window garden makes a great green privacy shield for people who like a "garden view" in their high rise home. The Volet Végétal will be submitted at Jardins Jardin, the exterior design expo and garden show set to begin in Paris this June.

Hanging Plant Balcony
Hanging Plant Balcony

Via: Tree Hugger


MIT student develops Super Mario Kart using $1,700 plus worth parts

Posted: 11 May 2012 05:52 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

Developed by Nintendo EAD, go-kart racing video game Super Mario Kart is one of the more popular Super Mario spin offs in the vintage gaming world though the vehicle displayed in the game doesn't have the same cult following as the Tron bike. But that fact hasn't stopped MIT mechanical engineering student Charles Guan from building himself a life-size, fully working replica of the kart that he lovingly calls the Chibikart.

Mario Kart
Mario Kart

Not too sure how the kart would be helpful to the student in developing a career in robotics but the DIY project that took him three weeks to complete says much about his pioneering spirit and craftsmanship. The prototype works just like a regular go kart though it features a much comfier seat and a three spoke steering system that comes without the wheel.

Mario Kart
Mario Kart

We're not sure how impressed Guan's parents feel about their son spending the big chunk of their life's savings that went into paying for his college tuition (and the $1300-$1750 dollars that he spent on building a kart that isn't breakthrough in technological terms by any stretch of the imagination), but at least it shows that socially-inept techies who don't feel too comfortable enjoying go-karting in public can still enjoy the spills and thrills of kart racing within the corridors of their college dorms.

Kart, MIT, StudentStudent Builds His Own Mario Kart

Via: Walyou


Oral Care Motivator Device helps you stick to your flossing routine

Posted: 11 May 2012 05:37 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

It's a well known fact that no one likes going to the dentist and very few of us actually follow the "brush and floss twice a day" routine prescribed to us. However, if you are one of those rare few who actually take their oral hygiene seriously but skip flossing just because finding the floss container and using it demands a bit more time than they like to spend, then the Oral Care Motivator Device by designer Christopher Santos can help you out.

Oral Care Motivator Device
Oral Care Motivator Device

The device helps people maintain a flossing habit consistently by integrating the floss container in the toothbrush stand itself. Users can set alarm times to remind them to floss in the morning or evening via a flashing light and a faint beep or hit the snooze button to set the alarm for the next programmed time. The unit runs on two AA batteries and can be paired with a Bluetooth device or a smartphone app that can be used to program the device remotely and set an alarm on the smartphone/Bluetooth device itself.

What makes the Oral Care Motivator Device really unique is that it also functions as a floss dispenser that allows users to simply hit a button to release the floss while another button cuts it down to a desired length. After you're done flossing, the unit dispenses a half inch wick outside to give you a visual reminder to floss next time as well in case you miss the beeping and the flashing light. The compartment below the stand contained the floss spool which can be refilled when you run out. The Oral Care Motivator Device can be programmed individually for up to four users.

[Cheers Christopher]


Feel the surrounding temperature physically with the Cryoscope

Posted: 11 May 2012 05:34 AM PDT

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

Looking at sun-rays filtering through the clear blue skies or gray fluffy clouds never tell you what the temperature/weather condition is like. How about knowing the outside temperature by the power of touch? Welcome Cryoscope, will let you feel tomorrow's forecast instead of reading it. The multi-layered device has been designed by Robb Godshaw, who is an industrial design student at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Cryoscope
Cryoscope

The amazing device will produce a direct haptic sensation, which will be a clear indication of will the weather be cold or hot the following day. The simple design of Cryoscope comprises of an aluminum cube where a cooling fan, a thermoelectric cooling element and also a heat sink has been placed. An Arduino controller further operates these as it will get forecast data from a Web based application. The design is just not complex and will tell you the temperature in a more natural way, rather than leaving you all confused or in a guessing state every time you plan to step out.

Cryoscope comes clubbed with two modes of operation, which is thermal time shift and thermal space shift. Thermal time shift will give you a glimpse of future temperatures, while the thermal space shift will let you know about the present temperature that too of any location you specify. The aluminum cube also comprises of an LED that will give a visual indication of the present temperature of the device, where blue is for cold and red for hot. Interesting, I'd say!

Via: Kickstarter


Vroom on the Electric Personal Transporter as you stand high with pride

Posted: 11 May 2012 05:26 AM PDT

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

Stand up vehicles come with added convenience and versatility. Police and security people are using it for patrolling rather than covering the same distance on foot, which definitely makes heads turn. Enter 2012 and the Electric Personal Transporter will win your heart. It will make moving around the city effortless, smoke free and enjoyable at the same time.

Electric Personal Transporter
Electric Personal Transporter

The electric stand up vehicle rolls on four wheels, which gives the ride added stability. Want to go out grocery shopping or pay bills, just hop on the electric vehicle and run all errands without getting stuck in traffic or fighting for some parking space, which one gets to deal with when moving around in a car. The front wheels, measuring 8 inches, come fitted with 500 watt electric motors from which the ride will fetch all the power to move ahead. It can cover a distance of 30 miles on a single charge. The 24 volt battery takes six hours to get fully charged and can accommodate riders with a weight up to 450 lbs. The best part being, these wheels can rotate both forward as well as in the reverse direction when need arises.

The Electric Personal Transporter will prove to be a smooth ride as it moves at a speed of 15 mph. The presence of two trailing four inch wheels in the design is responsible for providing steering as well as balance. Control the speed of the vehicle and stop by using brakes that are set on the handlebars for easy use. The height can be adjusted by tweaking the steering column from 30 inches to 40 inches as per a user's comfort for a confident ride. Great footing will be provided by the rubber pad that has been nicely draped on the steel reinforced deck. The twin LED headlights, horn and rear brake light will add to its great functionality.

Available in two colors, red and blue, the stand up electric vehicle can be folded flat that will make sure that it can be stored and transported from one place to the other without any difficulty. So, ride in style on sidewalks, through the park, driveways or paved parks on the Electric Personal Transporter and make heads turn in amazement.

Via: Hammacher


iPhone Plus takes the iPhone legacy up by a notch

Posted: 11 May 2012 05:20 AM PDT

Sahil Khurana:

As the iPhone begins to make minds wander, the iPhone 5 is already doing the rounds of the gossip columns. This is not all, for Apple is all set to launch its new version phone later this year, already titled as the iPhone Plus. The concept is pretty unique, and caters to mainly what the users want the phone to have rather than what has been revealed.

iPhone Plus
iPhone Plus

If word of mouth is to be believed, the new conceptual phone is believed to be a struck off in terms of the width and the size. iPhone Plus is expected to have a Liquidmetal body, all created without any uncomfortable junctions in between. Giving it company would be a 4.3" retina display with an in cell technology, a double coated alkali-aluminosilicate sheet glass and an A6 Quad Processor. However, what sets it truly apart is the 10 MP rear camera and a front facing 2 MP camera with enhanced capability to shoot pictures.

The truly enthralling feature of the phone is the Pico projector which lets you cast photos and videos on any possible surface, making it a more desirable product rather than a reality. Given the stats, it is possible that Apple may end up compromising on the Home button, making it invisible to the maximum extent possible. However, that remains to be a figment of thought, till the time the new phone is actually unveiled.

If these features are actually a part of the new iPhone legacy, then the people certainly have a lot to look forward to in terms of design, variety and definitely quality. Here’s giving it a rest to all varying thoughts, till say October, which seems to be revealing date for the new prototype.

Via: Adr


Agriculture 2.0 gives an entirely new meaning to urban vertical farming

Posted: 11 May 2012 05:08 AM PDT

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

Ever increasing population not only demands us to fight against exhausting housing spaces, but also forces us to show concern over food production and land cultivation. Not only this, even biodiversity and natural resources are jeopardized that may cause a major chunk of problems in the near future. In a hope to answer all these, Appareil has come up with Agriculture 2.0 that will produce food in an efficient way.

Urban Vertical Farming
Urban Vertical Farming

Agriculture 2.0 will support urban vertical farming as it will comprise of a generative system. The most appreciable part being this infrastructure will be that same design can be used anywhere across the globe and in various kinds of climatic conditions. The vertical infrastructure's local design will concentrate on three things: the site where the tower will be erected, area of the city that will be caked in vegetation and the city's climatic conditions as well. Plant incubators will get a complete support structure that the building will be composed of, which will run through the length of the tower.

A four to eight meter square closed pool will act as an incubator that will unfurl a controlled environment necessary for the growth of plants. It will be responsible for collecting rainwater, controlling temperature, sunlight, concentration of carbon dioxide and also air quality. The tower will support the production of lightweight crops, like tomato, lettuce and eggplant, to name a few. Now comes the most astonishing part! A single tower can produce 42 kilograms of vegetables in a single day. Agriculture 2.0 will prove to be a blessing in coming years where food and its production will face new challenges.

Via: Evolo


Etcher for iPads is like the electronic version of erstwhile Etch A Sketch toy

Posted: 11 May 2012 05:02 AM PDT

Radhicka S Saxena:

Kids today don't scribble in sketch books anymore. They either open the paintbrush app on your computer or squiggle on your tablet. If you have one such budding artist at home and also an iPad that stays idle after your work hours, then you will surely grab at this nifty accessory without giving a second thought. The dandy Etcher will transform your iPad into a drawing surface on which your little one can scribble freely.

Etcher
Etcher

Children will really like the look of the gizmo because it is designed on the lines of the famous toy, Etch A Sketch. Its bright red plastic frame is quite attractive. Its interface with an iOS app converts iPad into a drawing toy. Use the knobs to draw horizontal as well as vertical lines on this electronic sketch pad. And just shake the screen when you want to erase a drawing.

Oodles of features that have been lifted directly from the original Etch A Sketch toy make this gizmo really amazing. A back and forth movement is required if you want to darken a line, just like the original piece. This will surely make a lot of grownups out there nostalgic. It's really like reliving your childhood days that were spent scrawling on Etch A Sketch.

The piece is very much like an upgraded version of Etch A Sketch in which innovative and cool features have been added. You can easily save your drawing on it. Wow! If your kid really likes a doodle, then you won't see them rubbing it out with a long sad face. Also, you can easily share your drawings with family and friends. The piece is a creation of Ari Krupnik & Associates, who have collaborated with Ohio Arts, the company behind the original Etch a Sketch, to churn out this model.

Via: Wired


Floating office on sea can hire international workers without visas

Posted: 11 May 2012 05:00 AM PDT

Radhicka S Saxena:

A floating city on international waters sounds really hi-fi and absolutely exhilarating. Apart from the fact that this is utterly cool, the idea is also quite accommodating. It will allow firms to operate sans the jurisdiction of government bodies. The project will roll out for real and about 133 startups have already requested space on it. The concept of this seaborne startup community was initiated by Blueseed. The amazing island office will be launched by the third quarter of 2013.

Floating city
Floating city

The smashing project has attracted investors like Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Paypal. To complete your sea adventure, the office will be housed inside a giant ship. The place will be a multicultural hub that will attract talent from around the world. Startups will not only have offices in here but can also inhabit employees.

Ferries running everyday will transport people from their abode at the ship to the Silicon Valley, which is located a few miles away. A single occupancy home over here that also includes workspace will cost about $1600. Additionally, a top tier single occupancy is also available and will cost about $3200. The floating city will come up somewhere near the coast of California, which is about 12 miles away from the U.S. marine borderline.

This means a load off for many companies. They won't have to worry about going through the weary procedures of visas and permits before they hire foreigners. You heard it right. The area is close to U.S. and yet outside the jurisdiction of government authorities. So, even if you don't have your paperwork right and couldn't manage a visa, you still have a chance to experience international work culture. It is, after all, a free world!

Via: Dvice


1 comment:

  1. Finally, what is the role of innovation, and most importantly what kind of innovation should architects be in a conversation with?

    institute of design

    ReplyDelete

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