The Design blog

The Design blog


iPhone powered electronic gTar promises to teach almost anyone how to play the instrument

Posted: 23 May 2012 05:48 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

“Perseverance, trial & error and walk before you run” are the kind of concepts that seem to be lost on people today who want instant gratification and don't want to invest much time into learning how to play to an instrument the old-fashioned way. Even though gimmicks like the Guitar Hero series got some of these lazy bums learning how to move their hands across fret board, there still are some people who just cannot be bothered with perfecting their guitar playing with practice and want to be able to play like a pro even if they've picked up a guitar for the first time. Created by Incident the gTar is touted to be a learning tool that pretends to teach you how to play the guitar though it ensures that you're never hitting a single bad note.

gTar
gTar

The gizmo comprises of an electronic guitar that can be embedded with an iPhone on which you can download an app that will illuminate the fret board and let the player "see" the chords that he wants to play. With three learning levels-easy, medium and difficult- the gTar promises to help hasten up the process of learning how to play the guitar. However, what makes us a little skeptical of this claim is the fact that the electronic guitar is pre-programmed not to let the player ever play a bad note. At the 'easy' level, a player only gets to learn which strings to play via illuminated LEDs, at the 'medium' level, both strings and frets are illuminated to help the player improve further though its Smart Play function only plays the correct string at all times so you never really get any real audio feedback on whether you're playing the right chords and notes.

Fitted with a bunch of sensors, the gTar nannies a player through the traditionally hard to learn art and at best helps you develop a muscle and visual memory of strings and guitar chords. Since the gTar is programmed to only let you hear the correct chord and strings at all times, you feel like a pro from the moment you pick up the thing though the absence of real time audio feedback may fill you with false confidence and lead you into making a total ass of yourself in front of people when you pick up a real guitar and learn firsthand what your guitar playing really sounds like.

Any who, the project is currently on track raising $100,000 in funds to get the gTar into the manufacturing process and when the company does reach its goals, they promise to retail the gTar electronic guitar for $450 as well as a free app for you iPhone that comes with a pre-loaded library of guitar hits.

gTargTar: The First Guitar That Anybody Can Play

Via: Kickstarter/ Tech Crunch


Diabetics can now keep an 'eye' on their blood sugar level with smart contact lenses

Posted: 23 May 2012 05:45 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

Constant monitoring is perhaps the only way that diabetics can ensure that their blood sugar remains within the desirable level. Now, an organic chemistry researcher University of Akron named Dr. Jun Hu has come up with a new kind of contact lens that would alert people about their friends' rising blood sugar level by simply looking into their eyes. Dr. Hu has been working on the project since 1999 and has finally created not only a smart contact lens that can automatically monitor blood sugar levels of the wearer but is also working on developing a smartphone app that would allow users to simply look into their phone's camera, take a picture of their eye and instantly get the blood sugar reading from the lens.

See
See

The blood sugar monitoring contact lens would change color by sensing the slightest change in the sugar level present in the tears and indicate a rise in blood glucose level by changing their color. This would allow pre-diabetic patients to better monitor their condition and eating habits as well as diabetic struggling to keep their blood sugar level in check through a busy day. The change in the color of the lens would not be detectable by the wearer who would have to rely on feedback from others or a mirror to see if the color of their lens has changed and when combined with the smartphone app, the creation would allow millions across the world to keep blood sugar levels in check without using the painful prick-and-tell monitor.

Seesee, Contact lenses, Contact lenses blood sugar levels for diabetics

Via: Dvice


4N DS 21122010 MS represents the next generation of protective masks

Posted: 23 May 2012 05:43 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

With airborne epidemics like SARS and bio-terrorism no longer being figments of science fiction writers, the traditional protective mask may not be the ideal solution to combat air-borne infections. The national finalist from Switzerland for the James Dyson Award, the 4N DS 21122010 MS protective mask is a new take on the usual single-way protective mask that features a common half mask's bearing system and the mask body of the one-way mask. The optimized solution guarantees optimal positioning and a perfect fit that is essential when the mask is being used in places where the risk of contamination is high.

multi-way mask
multi-way mask

To make the masks more durable and give them a longer working life, the multi-way mask features a one-way filter that sits between the two bowls of the 4N DS 21122010 MS protective mask's body. This allows the users to clean and change the filters as required and as often and also choose the strength of the filtration system. Depending on degree of contamination and the amount of time that the mask needs to be worn, the mask can be customized and optimized for individual users.

multi-way mask
multi-way mask

Equipped on a maximum, the interior and outer shell features recesses that allow the user to remain fatigue-free and maintain a good respiration. The mask can also be adjusted to optimize fit via a color coding system that guides to user to seamlessly contour the mask to their face. On the nasal septum, the 4N DS 21122010 MS protective mask features an eye protector that can integrated into its structure via a simple plug-on mechanism.

Source: Freud Werk


LowePro Backpack Flash lets you take perfect shots even without an assistant

Posted: 23 May 2012 05:36 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

Those amature-ish shots clicked with a digi cam may look like the perfect slice of real life but there lives in all of us, the need to have a few perfect pictures which basically is what runs the massive professional photography business despite the invasion of the camera phones and the digital cams. However, most clients simply do not understand how important lighting can be to make that perfect shot look prettier and sometimes, when a pro photographer is not paid enough to hire an assistant to hold the flash and other paraphernalia that the paying public thinks of as "dispensable", having devices like a Backpack Flash can be a real lifesaver.

LowePro backpack
LowePro backpack

Fashioned by professional photographer Ian Spanier, the backpack studio flash rig called LowePro allows other professionals to mount a flash a few inches overhead to give them the liberty to adjust lighting on their own while retaining the freedom of movement for their hands. Spanier fashioned the rig as a design for bird watchers who need to carry bulky equipment to hard-to-reach places where the traditional requirements for a great shot cannot be ticked off the page as easily.

Spanier used a bunch of mounts and framing to have the diffuser sit just 5 inches above the head with the Canon flash unit powered by a rechargeable battery sitting pretty in the backpacks. To ensure that the flash is triggered as required, Spanier threw in a bunch of wireless receiver and voila! the hands free flash unit was born that could save many a hundred buck in assistant fee per shoot!

Via: Ian Spanier/ Gizmodo


Hybrid racecar by BYU graduates looks good to scorch the track

Posted: 23 May 2012 05:34 AM PDT

Radhicka S Saxena:

Design students at the Brigham Young University (BYU) in Utah must be some set of go getters. Under the guidance of Dr. Robert Todd, they constructed a hybrid race car. Daubed in color blue, this streamlined beauty, aptly known as Hybrid Blue, is touted to be extremely fast and efficient. The super duper auto has already proven its mettle. After taking up the Society of Automotive Engineers Formula Hybrid challenge, the speedster stood first there. The event took place at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway very recently in 2012.

Student built hybrid racecar
Student built hybrid racecar

The auto is also quite the speedster and can generate a torque of 610 Nm. In just three seconds, the auto will pick up from zero to 60 mph. It has an electric motor loaded with a 72 volt lithium polymer battery pack and also an ethanol powered E85 fuel burning engine. The 100 hp auto gallops at an amazing pace.

The power of the auto comes across blatantly in its performance during the endurance run. It not only finished the 13.7 mile stretch before others but also had 75% of the battery charge along with some fuel left over even after it had cross the final mark. The victory is certainly a momentous one as this was the final project of Dr.Todd, who will be retiring shortly. Also, BYU has never stood first at this event before, so the win was really very memorable.

Students build hybrid racecarStudents build an award-winning hybrid racecar

Via: Gizmag


Throw spot light on your Apple gadgets with this ravishing iDock

Posted: 23 May 2012 05:29 AM PDT

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

Products by Apple are very sleek and come covered in a lot of style and elegance. If you have been hunting for a perfect for your iPhone, iPad or iPod, then your search ends here. Here is a smartly designed dock from Woodguy, which is unlike any other you will find in stores. The wooden creation isn't like a block or wood onto which the Apple gadget will stand, but has additional traits that makes it wanted.

Edison Bulb swing arm light
Edison Bulb swing arm light

Synch up and charge your gadgets in style, while giving the space a staggering appearance with this Old Time Light Dock that has been fashioned out of natural wood. The attention grabbing dock will support all Apple products, like the iPhone, iPad and iPod as it sprinkles the space with additional charm. It comes fitted with a swing arm light, complete with an Edison squirrel cage light bulb and an adjustable arm. The handcrafted creation has an extended base and is accompanied by a USB cable.

If you like to keep your phone or tablet or iPod in a cover and hate to remove it while charging, then this will sure be a happy buy. Simply, insert the gadget into the dock while it is still in the case and save yourself some labor. All you have to do is tweak the arms as per the thickness of the case by turning the screws. The wooden creation will fetch plenty of attention and will be a perfect addition to variety of environments like homes, offices, restaurants as well as hotels.

Via: Luulla


Net Zero Energy: High performance school replicating sustainability

Posted: 23 May 2012 05:27 AM PDT

Ishan Sidhu:

Sustainable buildings are the need of the future and various designers around the world have been coming up with various such innovative designs replicating sustainability. Such an example is this Net Zero Energy (NZE), a prototype of high performance school, which is also a winning entry of the Los Angeles Unified School District Competition and planned by the District to be built throughout Los Angeles on several campuses for various purposes.

NZE High Performance School
NZE High Performance School

The NZE Prototype is flexible design with high performance, which sustains variety of uses and spaces and can adapt to changes in size, technology, operations, program and pedagogy of the future. The building comprising readymade kit of parts assembled out of components manufactured previously offsite is designed for various uses like multipurpose hall, charter schools and small learning center in both district owned constricted urban sites and existing campuses. In this two story 30,000SF prototype, classrooms for up to five hundred students can be accommodated and customized as per the site conditions as it is capable of changing size as per the requirements of the program making easy for it to blend in its surrounding environment. It's just not some single building solution, but in fact it's a strategy set as a solution for numerous needs of most varied K 12 systems in the US.

For the flexibility of the prototype four working systems are comprised that include firstly, an exoskeleton, a fixed, consistent exterior building frame system comprising, elevator, stairs, firewall, plumbing and electrical. Secondly, are the variable windows, doors that enable various combinations and options in the buildings exteriors and facades design although the roof monitors, clerestory windows etc. are consistent throughout. Thirdly, in order to accommodate various requirements of space and uses are the variable de mountable, non structural interior partition walls and mezzanine configuration. Last one is the climate system for the maintenance of high natural ventilation, day lighting and energy efficiency. For this, solar absorption tubes, PV panels, panellized solar skin etc. are been used and can be too customized as per different site conditions and solar orientations.

Via: Cargocollective


Grow plants on walls of your house with Urbio

Posted: 23 May 2012 05:24 AM PDT

Radhicka S Saxena:

Many people just love gardens but don't have space to grow plants inside the house. If you live in a space cramped home but nurture a fondness for gardening, then you must take a look at this modular, minimal and flexible gardening system. Known as Urbio, the system mainly consists of planters and plates that can be mounted on the walls of your home. And not just walls, they can cling to all ferrous surfaces like bathroom mirrors, metal planes and even doors of refrigerators.

Versatile Urbio System
Versatile Urbio System

Not sure what this add-on will look like in your abode? Well, you can take small steps in the beginning and mount only a few planters at first. Once you get used to these, just go ahead and add more as and when you like. The system is a fitting choice for small sized plants, flowers and shoots. Herbs, creepers, dainty flowers and bamboo will work well with it. Moreover, the installation process will be a breeze and you can take help of the wall template for planning out their placement.

Think that managing your new decor will be a hassle? No need to stress out as this is a no bother way of doing up your home. The high strength neodymium magnets of the planters glue to your wall real neat. They bond with ferrous surfaces and also to each other very easily. Moreover, they can be detached and rearranged anytime.

Also, look at all the fun things you can do with Urbio. The versatile system literally sets you free and lets you get creative. The planters and containers are available in a plethora of shapes and sizes. They can be tall, short, wide, slender, rounded, boxed or even in the form of wall plates. So go ahead, chalk out patterned designs, or jumble up slew of different shapes, Urbio is as crazy as you want it to be.

UrbioURBIO urban vertical garden

Via: My Urbio/ Inhabitat


Inertia Electric City Bike promises to do all the work for you

Posted: 23 May 2012 05:21 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

The Inertia electric bicycle concept by designer Devraj Bhadra is truly a futuristic take on the traditional bicycle that brings us a clean and eco friendly bike that we'd truly be delighted to ride around the streets on. With a fiber glass covered body and a skeleton made of carbon fiber, the lightweight bicycle is powered by spoke less in-wheel motors that allow the bike to shed the weight of the spokes and reduce the friction during operation.

INERTIA bicycle
INERTIA bicycle

The same mechanism also enhances the rider's control on each wheel since the power is sent directly via the motors to wheels and allows the city bike to remain steady at variable speeds in traffic. Inertia was devised to be perfectly customized to individual bikers and thus comes with approximately adjustable seating as well as an extendable and adjustable peddle system that allows bikers of all sizes to stay in control of the bike and enjoy it in optimum comfort.

INERTIA bicycle
INERTIA bicycle

With a working chain, a main gear and a special power sprocket, the Inertia bike gives the rider the illusion of having a maneuverable gear system in place. This system functions like a flywheel and present the rider with the option of controlling the bike in a different manner at variable speeds.

INERTIA bicycle
INERTIA bicycle

[Cheers Devraj]


A mixed mode ventilated and LEED certified building unfurls breathtaking views

Posted: 23 May 2012 05:18 AM PDT

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

Solomon Cordwell Buenz joined hands with Transsolar Climate Engineering (based in Germany) to give a new outlook to the Richard J. Klarchek Information Commons, Loyola University in the form of a digital research library which is situated on the shores of Lake Michigan. The building has been constructed in a way which will bring down energy consumption and rev up the comfort level as its form, materials, function, space as well as construction act in a way that creates this wonderful environment.

he Richard J. Klarchek Information Commons
he Richard J. Klarchek Information Commons

The building is a four story box which is transparent in nature and has bookends made out of limestone. It vows to use 50 percent less energy as compared to a code complaint building. The building supports both mechanical as well as natural ventilation as the double skin glass curtain wall in the construction works together with shading devices, under floor air, radiant slabs and operable windows. All this depends on the climatic conditions and it is also possible that digital research library works as a hybrid, in which the natural ventilation will be supported by the radiant slab's cooling tendency.

A range of sensors skillfully control the highly sophisticated systems that keep a check on the carbon dioxide level, temperature as well as humidity inside the building. On the other hand, outdoor conditions are tapped by the presence of a weather station. Data produced by all this is enough for the shades, blinds, windows and dampers to adjust automatically. A lot of materials used to make the inside of this building are recycled and have very little volatile organic compounds, which are harmful in nature. Special effort has been made to lessen heat gain by using some special material to coat glass, blinds and shades.

Via: Archdaily


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