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The Design blog

10 steampunk music players for that retro melodic experience

Posted: 28 Oct 2011 06:52 AM PDT

Shruti Mukim:

Simon Jansen's Steampunk record player
Simon Jansen’s Steampunk record playerSimon Jansen’s Steampunk record player

Music is the best companion to fill in the empty space in your life, having no bar with regard to age, caste, creed or sex of an individual. It adds a musical tune to your preoccupied mind, relaxing it and providing enough solace, sending positive energy to induce your mind and body. Considered as the best stress-reliever by millions of its lovers across the globe, music, however, has a huge legacy and variation behind it to follow. Capable of soothing all kinds of mood swings, one can fall back on it anytime, anywhere, depending upon taste, mood and temperament in which you choose to spend some quality time listening to it. With a variety of deviations and latest advancements in musical instruments and sound recording systems, steam-punk art form of music has managed to steal the hearts of many, as it imparts the retro melodic experience, making it stand out from the rest of its kind. Check out these music players for your retro retreat.

1. Steam punk music players

steampunk music players
steampunk music playerssteampunk music players

A fusion of science, fiction, fantasy as well as alternate and speculative history, this music form came into existence in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. An exclusive setting that uses steam power, which generally dates back to the Victorian era Britain, incorporating elements from any one of the above mentioned fields, these music players are based on the Victorian way of looking at fashion, culture, architectural style and art. A perfect mix of old with new, imparting a retro-music effect that can enthrall you completely.

2. Steam punk plasma speakers

Steampunk plasma speaker
Steampunk plasma speakerSteampunk plasma speaker

Designed and crafted by Polish artist Conscious Flesh, these vintage-look speakers are incorporated by using plasma arc speakers with a retro punk stylization that produces sound waves in an unconventional and unique manner, different from those using diaphragms as woofers and tweeters to move the air. Instead, this instrument enables heating up of the air with its high frequency electric discharge which in turn leads to expansion of the air around, creating pressure to act as sound waves. Apart from its internal feature, its look is sure to leave you mesmerized.

3. Handmade pipe steam speakers

Handmade pipe steam speakers
Handmade pipe steam speakersHandmade pipe steam speakers

This variety of speakers are crafted by hand, using PVC pipes, each one of this houses a 3″ magnesium or aluminium alloy driver and a 20mm Textile Dome tweeter. A 2-way crossover frequency is installed to create a response of 65-20,000. The back is posted by a 3-way binding and a bass port which produces an excellent sound stage. Priced at $ 350 a pair, this one is worth the bucks.

4. The clockwork Quartet

The Clockwork Quartet
The Clockwork QuartetThe Clockwork Quartet

This marvelous piece of machine has been built by banjo player Will Segerman for a musical group called The Clockwork Quartet, after whose name the instrument has been christened. Though this group of artists have just begun rehearsing for their first show at House of Strange studios, they are sure the most-awaited lot for all steam-punk lovers. A combination of brass and steam, spotted at the steam-punk workshop, this is an awe-inspiring musical machine.

5. Steam-punk i-Pod skin

Steampunk iPod skin
Steampunk iPod skinSteampunk iPod skin

i-Pods, the most popular musical gadget with today’s young generation, this one is a retro modern mechanical device created by Artist Colin Thompson. Priced at $ 14.95, this vinyl skinned i-pod is an alternative approach to the high-tech hardware settings of your fantastic and latest i-pod, conceptualized by using gears, springs and levers.

6. Simon Jansen’s steam punk record player

Simon Jansen's Steampunk record player
Simon Jansen’s Steampunk record playerSimon Jansen’s Steampunk record player

An Arduino controlled, turn-able machine, this record player has been designed by Simon Jansen of Auckland in New Zealand, to play a Sex Pistols LP. The engine has been made using bits of junk from the maker’s garage, while the boiler has been made from a copper water pipe. However, for the bespoke platter and base, wood has been used. This entire creation is a mere work of experiment which has proved to be very successful for its concept-er.

7. Pocket Hi-Fi C4 Pro

Pocket HiFi C4 Pro
Pocket HiFi C4 ProPocket HiFi C4 Pro

Styled out of wood and gold, this steam-punk audio player uses CIRRUS Logic CS4398 DAC and CS 8422 SRC chip-set, which makes its sound clear and crisp to achieve 108 gB signal-to-noise ratio audible to the human ear.The output of this instrument is MW, with a port of SPDIF. Apart from its traditional basic design, it comes with enough memory storage space with a micro SD card slot, headphones that support 6.3 mm and 3.5 mm jacks and an outstanding sound quality. It has been priced at $ 800.

8. Victorian MP3 Players

Victorian MP3 Players
Victorian MP3 PlayersVictorian MP3 Players

A sci-fi futuristic setting in MP3 players, this one is sure to take you the past, into the Victorian age with its fascinating look and latest features. Fulfilling all the requirements of a latest MP3 player, this one, with its highly retrospective look, is awaiting to adorn your palms as well as your room.

9. Steam punk CD player

Steampunk CD Player
Steampunk CD PlayerSteampunk CD Player

A usual CD player with an unusual look, created by steampunker using modern technology, this design utilizes a regular portable CD player and a pair of amplified speakers which have undergone metamorphosis, using a brass plate at its base to place the electronic segment below it, while the dome has been done with a smoothed and shaped brass sheet to cover the spinning disk. The rest of the intricate details and also the exterior has been finished using wood as its ingredient whereas the electronic work compiles its lights, control buttons and the two analog meters. Totally deceptive by its look, you are sure to get confused in judging it.

10. Steam punk Retro Wooden radio

retro wooden radio
retro wooden radioretro wooden radio

A light-weight, slim and easy-to carry portable radio, best for picnics, camping or even as a piece of decor to adorn your home, this piece of music contains bright, shiny dials and buttons on the top. A perfect retro radio for all steam punk lovers.

Steam punk, being an art form that uses modern technology inspired by Victorian times, is a perfect fusion of past with the present and thus has created a niche in everyone’s heart and soul for itself.

Seven solar powered timepieces for eco geeks

Posted: 28 Oct 2011 05:22 AM PDT

Dino Renthlei:

solar powered timepieces
solar powered timepiecessolar powered timepieces

The power of the sun has always been waiting to be harnessed. This endless supply of energy is more than enough to satisfy our needs and wants. But the technology needed can be expensive while lack of initiative by governments worldwide add to the inability of the human race to be better able to make use of this life giving force. Even so, this hasn't stopped people from coming up with very interesting concepts that run on the power of the sun. Check out these watches that have been designed keeping in mind the environmental consciousness of people.

1. Nixon Volta solar powered watch

Nixon Volta solar powered watch
Nixon Volta solar powered watchNixon Volta solar powered watch

This solar powered watch by Nixon is one good looking timepiece. Sturdy and vintage looking, it is the company's first solar powered watch since its inception 11 years back. The dial, which is semi-transparent, invites the sun's rays down to the solar panel which recharges the watch's batteries. Made out of stainless steel casing, hardened mineral crystal and a crown filled with triple gasket enamel, the Volta is perfect for the outdoors. Double sided leather strap and a stainless steel buckle complete the look. You can recharge it by placing it near a source of light like a desk lamp for an hour and get a day's worth of power. But if you place it directly under the sun for an hour, you'll get 60 days of time. Tough and classy, wearing the Volta means never having to worry about your battery going out.

2. Solar powered mechanical watch

Solar-powered Mechanical Watch
Solar-powered Mechanical WatchWorld's First Solar-powered Mechanical Watch

The world's first solar powered mechanical watch has arrived. Designed by Cabestan Watches, it has been named Sol Invictus and costs a huge $560,000. As expensive as it may be, the Invictus does come with some cool features. It incorporates the antique fusee and chain, vertical tourbillion and drums. Silicium crystals will be used to produce solar cells which will harness the sun's energy and power the watch. Each piece will be created according to clients' specifications so you know you'll be sporting a one of a kind piece. And while the price leaves something to be desired, you can't deny that it is a stylish combination of advanced technology and electromechanical engineering.

3. Solaris series concept watches

Solaris Series Concept Watches
Solaris Series Concept WatchesSolaris Series Concept Watches

Concepts are always so awe-inspiring and the Solaris series designed for Tokyoflash is no different. Created by French designer, Oliver, the watches are nothing like conventional timepieces. Looking more like hi-tech gadgets, these watches make use of solar cells that harness the sun's energy which lights up the LEDs on the face. A cross bar in the middle indicates the four quarters of an hour, while purple LEDs make up the five minute groups. And just in case you don't get any sun, Oliver has thoughtfully put in a battery as well so you can never lose track of time.

4. Boiler solar powered watch

Boiler Solar-powered Watch
Boiler Solar-powered WatchFreestyle Boiler Solar-powered Watch

Solar powered watches are all very well and good, but have you heard of one that functions for a whole year on a single charge? Freestyle's Boiler watch does just that. This digital timepiece has a sleek looking face which is perfect for the fashion conscious. Retailing for $115, Boiler is well priced in view of its looks and eco friendly concept.

5. Citizen stainless steel eco drive

Citizen Stainless Steel Eco-drive
Citizen Stainless Steel Eco-driveCitizen Stainless Steel Eco-drive Atomic Perpetual Mens Watch

This analog chronograph watch by Citizen is one manly looking device. Stainless steel straps and case and a black dial make this piece perfect for men. Conventionally designed, the only difference is that it runs using the sun's energy.

6. Shuo Yang designedsolar powered clock

Shuo Yang designed Solar powered clock
Shuo Yang designed Solar powered clockShuo Yang designed Solar powered clock

Ever heard of a clock with no face? Well, Shuo Yang has come up with a solar powered clock made entirely out of recycled paper that has no face. Hitting two birds with one stone, Yang has attempted to not only save batteries, but also cut down on the use of metal with his ingenious device. The hands of the clock are attached in circles to follow time while the empty face allows you to fill up the device by sliding in your favorite picture. Named Empty Time, the clock is truly innovative.

7. Solar powered clock

Solar-powered clock
Solar-powered clockSolar-powered clock

Designed by Vienna-based Vandasye design studio, the solar powered clock has been built for interior spaces so it has a large capacity to absorb solar energy. It has a backlit display and while the aesthetics may not be as high up there as other such timepieces, the large solar panel means that it harnesses a lot more energy than other clocks. Currently a prototype, it could be a while before it hits the market.

Seven cool portable gadgets to enhance mobile computing

Posted: 28 Oct 2011 05:21 AM PDT

Preeti Dahiya:

Samsung ultra slim mouse
Samsung ultra slim mouselong as the average index finger, measures eight millimeters thick

Everything is going mobile these days. There used to be a time when your basic computer used to be so huge, it used to occupy a full room. Now, with the advent of nanotechnology, all mobile computing gadgets are steadily shrinking in size. So, when the laptop was the ultimate thing till the last year, this is the year of tiny tablets and so on. I know how tough is it to carry all your gizmos related to mobile computing all the time with you. If you're a web worker, mobile computing is either a necessity of the job or something you choose to do to get away from the monotonous confines of your office work station. Along with your laptop, there are a plethora of useful devices that you can tag along with you to enhance your computing experience.

Here's a round-up of seven cool gadgets that can supplement your remote work space.

1. HOLO2.0 mobile computer

HOLO2.0 mobile computer
HOLO2.0 mobile computerDesigned by Elodie Delassus

With computer becoming an integral part of modern life, regular PCs have taken the form of portable notebooks and other mobile devices, so you could stay connected all the time. Reinventing the mobile computer, French designer Elodie Delassus has come up with a highly mobile computer concept named "HOLO2.0" that will give internet access, also becomes a fashion accessory for the trendy. Worn like a bracelet around the wrist, the portable computer features the body finished in a flexible non-conductive, non-allergic and heat resistant material for a safe and easy networking. Though, we are short on technical info, the holographic device seems to emit sound vibrations for instant alerts. If you are not comfortable wearing it around the wrist, you may place in your pocket.

2. Lapstrap

LapStrapLapStrap Carrier is a Laptop Bag Without the Bag

The Lapstrap is a cool accessory which is a must for all the laptop handlers out there. This cool strap is just a messenger bag shoulder strap fashioned into a loop with an utmost durability to keep your laptop safe. The fashionable strap not only looks cool, but also adds to the beauty of the laptop and the person who uses it. It is priced at just $25.

3. Solio solar charger

Solio Solar Charger
Solio Solar ChargerLittle charger that can sit in your window like a picture frame

We haven’t heard much about new solar chargers coming from Solio — probably because the one they came up with a few years ago has been a crowd pleaser. But the company has just announced the “Bolt,” a tiny and adorable little charger that can sit in your window like a picture frame. According to Solio, the Bolt needs about 8-10 hours of sunlight to charge a battery for a small handheld device like an MP3 player or GPS unit to full — that’s pretty normal for a charger this small. Also, it can hold two full charges for most cell phones in its back-up battery.

4. Buffalo LinkStation Mini

Buffalo LinkStation Mini
Buffalo LinkStation Miniworld's smallest network-attached server

Buffalo's dual drive LinkStation Mini network storage server offers a variety of features for home and business users in a tiny, compact package. Quickly back up, store and share documents, music, photos, videos in a secure, central location with easy access from multiple computers simultaneously. Paired with two 2.5" hard drives, the LinkStation Mini is the smallest NAS on the market, fitting in the palm of your hand. Support for RAID 0 and RAID 1 provides users the choice between maximum capacity and performance or maximum redundancy and reliability. The fanless design ensures reliable, silent operation for noise-sensitive settings such as studios, bedrooms and living rooms. LinkStation Mini features gigabit Ethernet connectivity and exceptional performance in a small package. Fast, reliable, compact and quiet, the LinkStation Mini fits into any environment.

5. Samsung ultra slim mouse

Samsung ultra slim mouse
Samsung ultra slim mouselong as the average index finger, measures eight millimeters thick

Judging from this picture, Samsung’s new ultra slim mouse is as long as the average index finger, and I’ve been told it only measures eight millimeters thick (hence the 8.0 model name). This pretty in pink mouse comes with a scroll wheel that can operate horizontally and five additional buttons. At present, they’ve only hit the Korean market, although I guarantee they’ll be worldwide in due time. Not the most comfortable/functional mouse for everyday use, but just like the extra small Kensington wireless mouse, it’d make an excellent travel accessory.

6. USB memory watch

USB Memory Watch
USB Memory WatchUSB memory watch is a fashion piece and has a hidden USB device.

USB memory watch is a fashion piece and has a hidden USB device. This is the master piece of Tokyo flash; they are now jamming USB drivers into one end of wristband of this watch. Therefore your drive will always within your reach. It has three small circles and each one represents usual things like hours, minutes and curiously the third one is not for seconds. The third indicates about storage space and notify you that how much storage space is there on your device.

7. Mobile printer scanners

Mobile Printer Scanners
Mobile Printer ScannersThese devices are extremely portable and can be used just about anywhere

This is the age of mobile printer scanners. These devices are extremely portable and can be used just about anywhere. Here is useful information on mobile printer scanners.

Mobile printer scanners are few in number today. This is a preferred device among the younger generation of businessmen and executives, who would love to have a mobile office right at their fingertips. Of course, because of their small size and portability, these are also easy to carry around and work with, anywhere at all.

The Canon BJC-55 is one such cool mobile printer scanner. This bubble jet printer, available for $349, is just the mobile printer you need to take along on your business trip. Weighing only 2.1 pounds, this fits in snugly into your bag and transforms itself into an all-purpose color printer as and when you need it to. The best thing about the BJC-55 is that it does not need special paper to print.

Five creative music players for the hearing impaired

Posted: 28 Oct 2011 05:20 AM PDT

Sandeep Sangwan:

Music for deaf people
Music for deaf people“Music for deaf people” by Frederik Podzuweit

The music can completely change the environment and can easily entertain plenty of people. And it can also be used as a source of killing boredom. Well entertainment is what we all look for in our part time and as that said music is a soul of human body in every situation of life. So hearing impaired people can't be exception. Thanks to designers who have come up with innovative designs that facilitate hearing impaired with music to listen. Below we are listing out 5 creative music players for the hearing impaired. Have a look.

1. Sounzzz

SounzzzSOUNZZZ by Sungwoo Park

Developed by Korean designer Sungwoo Park, the concept Sounzzz is an MP3 player for a new kind design to enable people with hearing fails to feel the music in another way, by involving the senses such as sight or touch. It is Fully flexible, tactile and can emit light and vibration function of music, all the information and images are in the sequel! It also offers sound option for all those who can actually hear. This way everyone with or without some kind of hearing problem can use it by bringing into play the sense of touch. So everyone around, especially the deaf, here is your chance to shake yourself on the tunes of songs.

2. Music echo

Music Echo
Music EchoMusic Echo by Jennifer Crossley.

Music and sound have a tendency to touch your soul. It comes with a magic which can work as a mood lifter and can make you drift away from all worries. But what about people who cannot hear? How will they know what it feels like being surrounded with music? If that is what you thought till date, Jennifer Crossley from University of Dundee, Scotland has conceived the music echo. The product will make sure that even the deaf and those hard of hearing don't miss on this experience. As a part of her 4th year university final project, the product design student has tried to bridge the gap making good use of the sense of touch. People with such disabilities will be able to savor tunes with the help of changing frequencies which in turn produce different vibrations. All a person has to do is hold the beads and feel music through the vibrations created. Music Echo comes with headphones that can be used by people who can hear.

3. Soundtouch

SoundtouchSoundtouch by Filipe Lima

Designer Filipe Lima has developed an innovative music system that could help the deaf in experiencing varied forms of music. Developed as a concept for Bang & Olufsen with its unmatchable record in sound and product development, the product dubbed as Soundtouch uses piezoelectric materials to activate vibrations, thereby creating a series of rhythms for the deaf to feel the beat of music. Easily wearable on the ear, the device is powered by eco friendly fuel cell technology and generates excellent sound quality.

4. Acoustic poetry

Acoustic Poetry
Acoustic PoetryAcoustic Poetry by Michail Vanis

The “Acoustic Poetry” project, conceptualized by British designer Michail Vanis, is created keeping two specific type of people in mind - those who can hear and those who cannot. The object helps a deaf person to know and familiarize with his surroundings. When a situation makes a deaf person curious he can use this object to send a sound sample to a human interpreter. And after understanding the sound sample, human interpreter can create a poetic description of the situation, which when sent will appear on the object. Now, try and look at this object from a deaf person’s point of view, look at how this will improve his life, how much more he can understand about what is going around him. This object will open gates for him to broaden his view about the world he lives in.

5. Music for deaf people

Music for deaf people
Music for deaf people“Music for deaf people” by Frederik Podzuweit

A common misconception about the hearing impaired is their inability to experience the joy of music. They may not hear and process sound audibly but they certainly can feel it. In fact, studies have shown the sense of touch is heightened, allowing the deaf to perceive music in an altogether different way. Addressing the issue, German designer Frederik Podzuweit has come up with a collar concept called the "Music for deaf people" that uses electricity to make a special membrane substance expand and contract again, translating the sound into a series of vibrations. These vibrations are transferred to the user’s neck, shoulder and collarbone. The device also features a receiver for radio frequencies as well as plug-in for MP3 players to enhance the experience of the hearing impaired.

10 funky yet functional cufflinks for the geeky

Posted: 28 Oct 2011 05:18 AM PDT

Jancy James:

Cool Cuflinks
Cool CuflinksCool Cuflinks

If you thought that cuff links are passé, you are definitely wrong. They have made a comeback with prettier and futuristic styles that define modern man and his fantasies. As modern man is far more aware and fussier than his ancient counterparts, he looks not just for the overall aesthetics of the product, but also at the significance and uniqueness. For the tech y in you, who loves to wear his heart on his sleeves, here are some geeky cuff links to make a stylish and unique statement. Each one of these cuff links are exceptional and do not fail to make a mark.

1. Vintage Lighter Cuff links

Vintage Lighter Cufflinks
Vintage Lighter CufflinksVintage Lighter Cufflinks

Again, a vintage piece created from vintage lighters that are in excellent condition, they have a bullet back closure, flame covers and screw bottoms for the purpose of refilling. These lighters were discovered about 50 years ago in gumball machines. As these lighters are in good condition, they serve well as a lighter that can be used for lighting your cigarettes and what not!

2. Cuff links Made From Prince Charles' Aston Martin

Cufflinks Made From Prince Charles' Aston Martin
Cufflinks Made From Prince Charles' Aston MartinCufflinks Made From Prince Charles' Aston Martin

The British royalty has always had its special charm and anything that bears the stamp of royalty would immediately appeal to the public. These cuff links are honed from the Aston Martin DB6 Volante that Prince Charles owned. Six pistons which were removed from his classic vehicle have been used for carving the accessories. Created by TMB ArtMetal, the proceeds of each pair goes to the Prince's charity. Aston Marton cuff links are made with 18 ct gold and one replicates the car while the other is the car wheel spinner.

3. Aston Martin Racing Green Enamel Cuff links

Aston Martin Racing Green Enamel Cufflinks
Aston Martin Racing Green Enamel CufflinksAston Martin Racing Green Enamel Cufflinks

This is a silver plated pair of cuff links with green enamel work on a circle and the Aston Martin racing logo which is laser engraved at the whale back fitting. The sleek cuts, and the attention to detail, are trademarks of Aston Martin racing products. They come in a beautiful black case and are ideal as a gift. The Aston Martin Enamel Cuff links are priced at € 57.

4. Fahrenheit Thermometer Cuff links

Fahrenheit Thermometer F Cufflinks
Fahrenheit Thermometer F CufflinksFahrenheit Thermometer F Cufflinks

The Fahrenheit thermometer cuff links look very stylish and a wonderful accessory for those who like to be in touch with science. They are very functional and can show the temperature in Fahrenheit and also Celsius scales. With a black base and white lettering, it comes with 0.7 inch diameter and has rhodium plated metal to enhance the overall looks. Thermometer cuff links come with a free case and make a perfect gift for your loved one. They are available for $39.99.

5. Green Working Level Cuff links

Green Working Level Cufflinks
Green Working Level CufflinksGreen Working Level Cufflinks

These beautiful cuff links are shaped out with the handyman in mind. They are perfectly suitable for those working in the engineering and construction field. As the same come with a beautiful gift box, they can be considered as a gift. They look very sleek and well with nature due to their greenish tint. Green working level cuff links are available for $ 32.99 which is easily affordable.

6. Alarm Clock Cuff links

Alarm Clock Cufflinks
Alarm Clock CufflinksCreative Alarm Clock Cufflinks

These are novel cuff links with an alarm clock as design. They are ideal gifts for those who value time in their lives. Though they are not actual working clocks, they are made with so much precision that they look very professional and real. They come with a luxurious cuff link case and are made of rhodium which is quite popular these days. They come for $ 64.99 and do not disappoint the receiver at all as they look smart and very professional with all colors due to their white dial.

7. Bottle Opener Cuff links

Bottle Opener Cufflinks
Bottle Opener CufflinksBottle Opener Cufflinks

For the man who enjoys his drinks and loves to party along with his friends, a bottle opener cuff link is the perfect way to start a conversation. Shaped like a bottle opener, these cuff links can actually open bottles and turn heads in your direction due to their novelty. They are great groomsmen gifts for wedding parties and are made of stainless steel. They come in bullet black and are sized approximately 7/8 inch by ¾ inch. As they are extremely functional, they would be a delightful gift for any man who loves to socialize.

8. Bullet Shell Cuff links

Bullet Shell Cufflinks
Bullet Shell Cufflinks270 Premium Bullet Shell Cufflinks REM UMC Two Tone silver and gold

Looking for authentic handmade cuff links? Here is one that fits army personnel or just anyone with an interest in bullets, wars, antiques and guns. Made from the heads of two real 270 Winchester ammunition, they immediately catch your attention because of their uniqueness. These brass bullet casings are polished to perfection before they are shaped into cuff links. They are not only antique pieces, but also great for making a cool fashion statement.

9. Facebook Like Dislike Cuff links

Facebook Like Dislike Cufflinks
Facebook Like Dislike CufflinksFacebook Like Dislike Cufflinks

In this world of facebook and twitter, this pair of cuff links would be welcomed with arms wide open. They are specially carved out for the new age youth and depict a like and a dislike with thumb expressions along with alphabetical depiction. Now, all you need to do, instead of clicking a like and dislike button, is to lift your arms up for the right gesture without having to announce your preferences. These cuff links are for the cool dudes out there who are not only professionally accomplished, but have their personal style to flaunt as well.

10. USB Flash Drive Cuff links

USB Flash Drive Cufflinks
USB Flash Drive Cufflinks2GB USB Flash Drive Cufflinks

These are great cuff links that come of use as USB drives, that you can carry around with all important documents and presentations that are needed when you are attending a party or a wedding. They come in a rectangular shape with 2GB storage space in each cuff link. Available in silver/gold and gunmetal finish, they can be engraved upon, and come for $ 100 per pair.

How to make a torch from an old coke can and cereal box

Posted: 28 Oct 2011 05:17 AM PDT

Manhardeep Singh:

torch from an old coke can and cereal box
torch from an old coke can and cereal boxMaking torch from an old coke can and cereal box.

What do we do with old useless things? We throw them away, right? Some even recycle it. But, there are some other people who experiment and upcycle them to turn them into more useful stuff. In this post you will learn how to make a torch using an old Coke can and a cereal box. You will come to know about the difficulty level of the task, the time required to complete the project, all the resources you will require to get the final product, estimate cost which you may incur, a step-by-step instructions for a hassle-free process, answers to some frequently asked questions, some quick tips and things to watch out for so that you do not injure yourself while carrying out this activity.

Difficulty level

The difficulty level of making a torch from an old Coke can and a cereal box is moderate, which means you may require some basic knowledge to complete the task.

Time required

The time required to make a torch from an old Coke can and a cereal box totally depends upon the speed and the skill of the person. A more skilled person can complete the task much earlier than a beginner.

Resources required

1. One torch bulb

2. Two AA (R6) batteries

3. One large cereal box to make the main body parts (24cm or 91/2″ long). Bigger boxes tend to have stronger board.

4. One Coke can for making the bulb holder and switch mechanism.

5. One length of thin parcel wrapping string. Approximately 200 cm or 80 inch for making a grip.

6. One small square of cooking tin foil for making a reflector.

7. One food coloring to dye the board.

8. A small quantity of varnish to seal the cardboard parts.

9. Tube of super glue or other quick drying glue.

10. Paint brush.

11. Pair of scissors.

12. Scalpel/craft knife.

13. Paper hole puncher.

Estimate cost

The estimate cost of the project totally depends upon the availability, quantity and quality of the resources.


Step 1: Building the bulb housing and switch mechanism

In this step you need to take an old Coke can and cut out the cylindrical section of it. After cutting the cylindrical section, you need to cut it vertically and then the edges (top and bottom). After the cutting is done, flatten the can and you need to trim out the required shape using the CAD drawing which you have to take a print out.

Step 2: Exterior tube and inner wrap

Now you need to use the cereal box. This box will be used to create the outer layer of the torch. You need to cut the cardboard box into flat pieces. You can color the board with the color you want of your torch. After drying it, you need to cut it into the design which can work with the can. Again you need to take CAD drawings print out and use them to cut the pieces of the cardboard in the design so that it can work as the outer covering of the torch. You may need to use a ruler or a knife to give a good finish to the cardboard cuttings.

Step 3: Reflector unit

In this step you will make a reflector unit for the torch using the cardboard and kitchen tin foil. To accomplish this, you need to again print the CAD drawings and use them to cut the piece of the cardboard. Cut the cardboard in a way so that it can be folded as a 3D triangle. After cutting the cardboard in the desired design, you need to cover the cardboard with the aluminum foil to make it reflective.

Step 4: Battery holder

Again you need to use the cardboard to cut it out in the shape so that it can be used to hold the battery. You need to make the shape of simple square box so that the battery can be placed in it without any problem. In order to stick two corners together, you can use the glue.

Step 5: Bringing it all together

This is the last step of making the torch from an old Coke can and a cereal box. In this step you will assemble every part of the torch which you have already made using the can and the cardboard. In this step, the inner most will be the can cutting where the bulb is joined. Which will be powered by two battery cells that are held by the battery holder created. This structure is held in place with the help of the cardboard cutting we made to cover it, with which a string is also attached. Finally the whole structure is covered by the out covering which you colored to meet your requirements. Bingo! your torch is ready.

Frequently asked questions

1. Can I use any other box if I do not have a cereal box?

Ans: Of course, you can. The basic aim behind this project is to upcycle stuff instead of throwing them away. You can use any strong box.

2. What is the material used for reflecting the light of the bulb?

Ans: A widely available aluminum foil is used as reflecting agent. This foil is used as kitchen tin foil.

Quick tips

1. Do not worry if a few dents appear while cutting the can.

2. You need to have patience while working the project. Remember, haste makes waste.

Things to watch out for

1. Make sure that you trim the edges of the can properly so that they do not be sharp otherwise you may injure yourself.

2. Take extra care while cutting the cardboard and can with the scissors. Wear safety gloves to keep your hands safe from cuts.

10 creative and trendy webcams for cool geeks

Posted: 28 Oct 2011 05:15 AM PDT

Aravind Balasubramanya:

Geeky webcams
Geeky webcamsCreative and trendy webcams for cool geeks

All gadgets and tools in the world are getting redesigned and refashioned day by day. Now, it seems to be the turn of the relatively inconspicuous webcam to get a face lift. Useful for recording and uploading videos to YouTube or for an enjoyable chat on Skype, the webcam has just become more interesting with innovative designs.

Here is a list of 10 creative and trendy webcams that are sure to thrill anyone.

1. Skull web cam

Skull web cam
Skull web camIt uses USB v2.0 PC interface and is compatible with Windows Vista/2000/XP

This is not a shrine that has been dedicated to the evil Satan! With a 1.3 megapixels resolution, this exotic looking web camera performs very well too. It has a 640 x 480 VGA surface having a frame rate which is 30 fps. Using a USB 2.0 to interface with the computer, the camera is compatible with Windows Vista, XP and Windows 2000. The camera features a 24 bit true color. In case you wish a Gothic decor for your work, you should go and get this piece. It would also be a cool Halloween gift for your friends.

2. Sporty webcam

Sporty Webcam
Sporty WebcamMPC-095, a webcam shaped like a guy holding a ball.

The MPC 095 is a sporty webcam that is sure to find a place in the hearts of all football enthusiasts. Made by Chinese company Rodintech, the sporty guy holding the ball comes in the football, basketball and baseball variants. This is also a 1.3 megapixel video camera and it has a resolution of 300K. The arms and legs of the robot are flexible and thus the camera can be easily mounted anywhere. It comes with its own built in mike too.

3. Novo Minoru webcam

Novo Minoru Webcam
Novo Minoru WebcamThe world's first 3D webcam

After the arrival of 3D theaters and 3D home theaters, it is now the turn of 3D webcams! Novo Minoru happens to be the first ever 3D webcam in the world. It makes use of the technique known as ‘anaglyph’ which takes in two images - one in red and the other in blue. The superposition of these two images produces a stunning 3D effect for the viewer. No wonder that the little ‘robot’ has two eyes in the camera. With its own in-built mike, this is the webcam for the future.

4. Flower Webcam with 12 LEDs

Flower Webcam with 12 LEDs
Flower Webcam with 12 LEDsLotus-Shaped USB Webcam comes with built-in microphone and 12 bright white LED lights

Another wonderful webcam has blossomed! This USB 2.0 lotus web camera features a 640×480 resolution at 30 frames per second. Since it comes along with the LED flash too, this camera should work wonders in dark times too! With the automatic white balancing, automatic exposure, automatic flash control and a highly flexible neck, it is wonderful in its utility value. It comes along with a bottom suction cup to hold on to the surface on which it is placed.

5. R2-D2 webcam

R2-D2 webcam
R2-D2 webcamR2D2 Is Now A Remote Control, Wireless Webcam

This 628×528 resolution camera has many features. First of all, it is wireless and thus is super elegant in its functioning. With its Star Wars beeping sounds and functions to digitally record photographs and audio, it is definitely a next-gen camera. The coolest feature is that the robot actually moves! And it moves in all three dimensions! It comes along with a remote and a built-in technological advance which prevents the robot from walking to the table edge and falling over! The price tag, however, is a steep $350.

6. Heart-Shaped USB Webcam

Heart-Shaped USB Webcam
Heart-Shaped USB WebcamDesigned with a microphone and a touch sensitive LED lights

A simple clip-on heart which promises you hours of disturbance-free web chat experience. With its 640 x 480 resolution and USB 2.0 compliance, the webcam has all the features of any other webcam. It also provides for video conferencing and video recording. A tilt and swivel base of the camera allows greater flexibility. It comes packed with auto white balance, auto exposure, auto flash control and security features too.

7. Star trek webcam

Star Trek webcam
Star Trek webcamStar Trek webcam will add one another pretty item to your Star Trek collection.

Another cool design that hopes to capitalize on the craze that has been generated by the famous Star Wars movies, this webcam will really stand out on your ‘desktop’. It has a camera mounted on the underside and gives an ‘out of the world’ feel as you video chat. It is very inexpensive too. It is available for just $30.

8. Missile Launcher webcam

Missile Launcher webcam
Missile Launcher webcamHas been developed by Dream Cheeky

This is a multi-function device. Originally, it came as the missile launcher USB drive. Now, more ‘ammo’ has been added on its top in the form of a webcamera! Dubbed as USB MSN Missile Launcher, it has been made in collaboration with Microsoft. The camera is detachable and it comes with a software that allows you to seamlessly integrate with the MSN messenger client. It is planned to release this product for sale in select locations around the world. Keep a lookout for the big guns.

9. Veo wireless observer

Veo Wireless Observer
Veo Wireless ObserverThe device can be remote-operated using its browser-based interface

This is a very advanced webcam. It comes with a choice of multiple resolutions and you can completely control the camera through the web browser that you are using! It is wireless in its functionality and arrives with a built-in microphone. Usually, when there are bandwidth problems, the web-chatting experience gets bad. The camera gives you the option of disabling only the audio so the video continues! It also has a built in, infra-red motion detector which snaps a picture whenever it senses motion - a cool security feature for your home.

10. ANEO GX-10 webcam

ANEO GX-10 Webcam
ANEO GX-10 WebcamIt has a trio of PC video interactive games to keep you occupie

We will not spend page space to describe the normal webcam features that are all loaded in this. This cam comes complete with three interactive games. This means that even as you play, the camera places your image in a virtual gaming environment in real time. That is real absorbing stuff! With an amazingly high resolution of 1280 x 1024, the camera is a real super-buy at $33! With its CMOS sensor, it will provide you good video and photo quality too.

Five innovative devices to alert hearing impaired in emergencies

Posted: 28 Oct 2011 05:14 AM PDT

Shahnawaz Naaz:

alert hearing impaired devices
alert hearing impaired devicesDevices to alert hearing impaired in emergencies.

Alerting deaf people in the time of emergencies is a big challenge and we need to have devices to alert hearing impaired in emergencies in order to save them from danger which could even claim their lives. These days many innovative devices are available in the market, which alert the deaf people during emergencies. We should thank the designers for coming up with these innovative devices.

Here is the list of five innovative devices to alert hearing impaired in emergencies

1. Soft touch

Soft Touch
Soft TouchSoft Touch by Stuart Winkless

The advancement in science and technology has no doubt made the life of special users easier and comfortable but it has its shares of challenges as well. The modern science has allowed many designers to come up with innovative devices for deaf people and Soft touch is one such innovative device for the hearing impaired. The credit for designing Soft touch goes to a group of designers from the University of Derby, United Kingdom. Designed to help the hearing impaired during emergencies, the Soft touch is an alarm clock integrated with sensors, which help the user know about the upcoming danger in advance. This device is actually an inflatable wristband fitted with a micro pump. The base unit sends wireless signals, which are received by the micro pump. At the time of emergency, the Soft touch squeezes around the user's wrist. The Soft touch can be connected to different gadgets including telephone, smoke alarms, fire alarms, doorbell, etc.

2. Acoustic poetry concept

Acoustic Poetry
Acoustic PoetryAcoustic Poetry concept by Michail Vanis.

British designer Michail Vanis deserves credit for designing an innovative concept gadget for the hearing impaired named the “Acoustic Poetry” project. Vanis has created this gadget keeping in mind the people who can hear and who cannot. A deaf person can get familiarize with surroundings with the help of this innovative gadget. The hearing impaired person can use this gadget to send a sound sample to an interpreter whenever he gets curious. The interpreter can create a poetic description of the happenings after receiving the sound sample sent by the deaf person. When the interpreter will send the poetic description, it appears on the object. Vanis deserves kudos for coming up with this gadget because it will help to broaden the views of the deaf person about surroundings.

3. Emergency alerting for the deaf

Emergency deaf alert
Emergency deaf alertEmergency alert for deaf by Sergej Kuckir.

Hearing impaired people often find it tough to sense emergencies and are more prone to suffer in urgent situations. British designer Sergej Kuckir has realized this problem and he has used his brilliance to come up with a device that will help the deaf people during emergencies and natural disasters. This device has a radio receiver like appearance and it uses both heavy vibrations and light signals to alert the hearing impaired people about the upcoming urgent situation. The design of this egg-inspired device is sleek and stylish. It has a charging cradle which can be used as an alarm clock as well. This charger is helpful because it keeps the batteries charged during emergencies.

4. Deaf alarm table

Alarm table for deaf
Alarm table for deafAlarm table for deaf by Jianjian Gao.

Voices play an important role in helping us understand our surroundings but think about hearing impaired people who are unable to hear sounds and find it impossible to hear the signals of upcoming dangers. But many innovative designers across the globe are working to create gadgets that can help the hearing impaired people know about the upcoming danger and save them from any major loss. Chinese designer Jianjian Gao is also one among such designers who has designed an alarm named “Deaf alarm table” to alert hearing impaired in emergencies. Jianjian has used the mechanism of vibration in his innovative gadget to help the hearing impaired as it emits signal at the time of emergency. The device also vibrates sensing upcoming emergency situations.

5. Aria, Tactile Bracelet

Tactile Bracelet
Tactile BraceletTactile Bracelet by May Wilson.

The credit for designing Aria, Tactile bracelet goes to Edinburgh-based designer, May Wilson. The innovative designer has created this gadget keeping in mind the needs of the hearing impaired people because the Aria helps the deaf in interacting with their surroundings comfortably. Aria is worn on the wrist and it is an alert system. The alert sounds are relayed to the hearing-impaired person and their skin feels the tactile sensations. The Aria also emits identifying light with the tactile sensation. This innovative device has been programmed to identify six different sounds like telephone, smoke alarm, alarm clock, baby monitor, doorbell and the sirens of the emergency vehicles. The device tickles the wrist of the wearer after sensing any one of these sounds.

How to make your own arduino binary clock

Posted: 28 Oct 2011 05:12 AM PDT

Sukrat Gupta:

arduino binary clock
arduino binary clockMaking your own arduino binary clock.

Making a digital, binary clock is not very difficult. All one needs is basic knowledge of electronics. Let us see how to make an Arduino binary clock. This clock is based on Arduino, which is an open-source micro-controller meant to make electronic processes more accessible.

Difficulty Level

This project is moderate in terms of difficulty, as one has to have some knowledge of using software and dealing with electronic circuits.

Time required

There is no fixed time for completion of this project. This project deals with numerous processes, such as soldering, itching and programming, which may take different time for different people.

Resources required

1. IKEA frame called “Ribba” 13×18 cm

2. LEDs of 5 mm to mark hours and minutes:

  • n.8 green
  • n.3 red
  • n.2 yellow

3. LEDs of 5 mm to light up the words “Hours” and “Minutes”

  • n.7 white

4. LEDs of 5 mm to light up the numbers 1, 2, 4 and 8

  • n.4 pink

5. LEDs of 3 mm to light up the words “binary clock”

  • n.4 pink

6. n.24 Resistor 220 ohm (for 5mm led)

7. n.4 Resistor 150 ohm (for 3mm led)

8. Cartonboard thicker to make LED holder

9. Some acetate (4-5) sheets to create the mask

10. A flat wire 26 wire

11. 3 micro button to set hours and minutes and on/off

12. A small piece of prototyping PCB to make the shield

13. Some double strip

14. Arduino Uno/2009 or clone or self made

15. Power supply 6V 500ma or other Arduino compatible.


1. Understanding the project

The first two columns correspond to the hours, the third and fourth to the minutes.

For each column we must add the corresponding value (displayed on the right with the numbers 1-2-4-8) and reading the following you have the time in 24 hour format.

We take the example of the first photo you see above:


  • first yellow spot= 10
  • 3 green spot= 7 (4+2+1)


  • first and third red spot= 50 (40+10)
  • 2 green spot= 5 (4+1)

So we have to create a set of LEDs to display the time in this way, the circuit and the program will be managed by Arduino.

The remaining lights (Hours, Minutes, 1/ 2/ 3/ 4, binary clock) are embellishment for the clock but still managed by Arduino. They also improve the general understanding

2. Gathering the components

After planning and understanding the project, it is time to get all the components. Try to buy these components from a single vendor, as it will increase the chance of getting added discount or benefit. Check the components in the shop itself, using a multimeter or another concerned circuit, or ask the shopkeeper to show a demonstration of his/ her product.

3. Creating a schematic

This is the pattern that we must achieve.

All LEDs are connected by a digital pin to Arduino.

All micro buttons are connected by an analog pin to Arduino.

All LEDs that rule the time are connected with the cathode (negative -short leg) and a 220 ohm resistor to digital pin, all the anodes (positive-long leg) are connected together with 5v by Arduino. (see photos in the next step)

All LEDs embellishment (words “Hours / Minutes / Binary Clock”) are connected in parallel and that all the anodes are connected together with a resistor and goes to the PIN 0 (see photos in the next step), all the cathodes are connected together and go to the GND

The micro buttons are connected to one side to the analog pin and the other side to GND.

More precisely (see the schematic picture):


Units of Minutes


tens of Minutes


units on Hours


tens of Hours


to ARDUINO DIGITAL PIN 0 (all together)


As you read above we will have 3 micro button.

1th Button will change minutes, adding one for each time you press it. ANALOG PIN 0

2th Button will change hours, adding one for each time you press it. ANALOG PIN 5

3th Button (optional) will turn ON/OFF the clock LEDs, but keep counting the time. ANALOG PIN 4

4. Construction:

  • Cut the cardboard exactly the same size of the interior of the frame.
  • Printed on a sheet of paper the positive mask (as does the attached file), this will help you make the holes in exactly the desired position.
  • Attach the sheet printed in a positive view at the center of the frame considering the white passepartout of the IKEA frame.
  • Make a hole for each LED you need to install. It is advisable to make a drill of 5mm for all LED except those that make up the word “BINARY CLOCK” which should have 3 mm drill-bit.

Soldering position of the LEDs that rule the clock:

  • Bend down the anode and up/bended left the cathode.
  • Trip leaving 2-3 mm the cathodes and the 220 ohm resistor and sold it together.

Soldering position of the secondary LEDs:

  • For these LEDs you can find the layout you like best, the important thing, as explained in a previous step, is to cut a portion of the anodes and solder one 220 or 150 ohm (depends the led size) resistor, the goal is to have all the LEDs in parallel connection, all the anodes soldered together, and all the cathodes soldered together.
  • All the secondary lights are switched on simultaneously.
  • Write on the cardboard the number of each pin and the words, it will help to sold the wires later
  • Add some buffles to prevent the light from bleeding between words and number.
  • Cut the buffles about 1 cm hight, the goal is to have enough space for the wires and the back of the frame.

5. Connecting the wires:

You need 23 wires for this project. Be careful to count in sequence to connect the wires on the right LED, wire 1 on LED1 to Pin 1, wire 2 on LED2 to Pin 2 and so on.

Let the last wire (6) to connect the micro buttons on the left.

Add some separators with rubber adhesives, cutting them (adjust the height) so that the back of the frame is perfectly suited to the edge.

6. Inserting a mask:

Print the attached picture (negative) on a lucid (acetate) paper with a Laser print (better) or Ink Jet printer .

Cut out the attached picture (negative) leaving 0.5 mm for side and place on the passepartout of the frame with some piece of adhesive tape.

Make the first tests of illuminating LEDs to get the perfect alignment with the mask.

For a better spread of light and have a solid black, three layers of overlapped acetate can be used, with a layer of gray and a white matt for better light diffusion.

7. Creating a layout

Once the construction is done, it is time to create a layout of the output. Using the figure above, arrange the holes to be drilled. These holes will later on be occupied by the LEDs to display binary time.

8. Creating the Arduino shield

If you want you can buy a card that is already ready, but it is very simple and useful to make it at home.

Cut a piece of prototyping PCB exactly the width of the pins on the card.

Sold only the strips those that correspond exactly to the pins we’re going to use: Pin0 to Pin13- Analog 0-4-5- 5v- GND

The position of the pins can change, depending on the card we’re going to use, Arduino, Luigino and so on, but the goal is clear.

Once you have made the shield, you will have more space to sold each wire on the corresponding pin.

Will also be much more convenient to leave the Arduino connected on the back (see later) only by detaching the shield if you do the maintenance in.

9. Connecting the micro buttons

As you already know, the micro buttons are:

  • set hours
  • set minutes
  • set on/off light (but the clock goes on) (optional)

Choose the location of the buttons, personally I preferred the one you see in the picture for a better use and arrangement of internal wires.

The buttons are of 6 mm square, draw a picture in trackbacks for precise positioning.

Drilled in the center with a 4 mm tip of the squares drawn.

Use a little square file and patience, it is better to close that hole too wide, go step by step and try the size.

When the buttons are positioned solder the wires as explained in the previous step

Cover with hot glue the buttons to prevent from leaving the site and protect the solder joints.

10. Placing the microcontroller:

Make four holes on the back of the frame pannel to match up the card, and fastened with screws and little bolts under the frame stand. The clock is done.

Quick tips

  1. Use various LED combinations to make the system even more attractive. Do not add too much color to it, though, as it will become difficult to make the correct time out.
  2. Use more microcontrollers as well, if you know how to work with them. ARM processor is very good, and can be used in such cases. It will provide better performance.
  3. If you know how to create a PCB, you can save wiring by creating veins in the board using a software. However, this requires more care and expertise.

Things to watch out for

  1. Choose LEDs of a trusted company. Always test them before using them for the circuit.
  2. Be careful while drilling and soldering. Not only will they cost time when handled recklessly, but may also cause injuries.
  3. Try not to use too many wires. Too many wires will make the circuit complicated, and increase the chances of shorting.

Frequently asked questions

Q. Can I use any other microcontroller?

A. Yes, you can. However, to do that, you must have detailed knowledge about the particular microcontroller.

Q. I have LEDs of one color only. Will that do?

A. Only if you want a plain binary clock.

Q. Are there other ways to make the schematic?

A. Yes, there are other ways. However, the logic for it remains the same.

Q. I forgot to add the GND wire. What should I do?

A. Make a hole in the board away from the circuit, and using wires, add GND to the system. It is a complex process, so it is advisable to be very careful while designing.

10 Creative bamboo gadgets for green geeks

Posted: 28 Oct 2011 05:10 AM PDT

Sandeep Sangwan:

USB bamboo speaker
USB bamboo speakerThe USB Bamboo portable speaker

The gadgets are what we really love to have in plenty of number but some of these gadgets are so beautiful and adorable that it is really hard to take eyes off them. Gadgets adorning wooden shells on the outside are always a special thing for their aesthetic value, plus their ability to do better with heat. Here is a list of some cool and creative bamboo gadgets for green geeks. Have a look!

1. Bamboo slider

Bamboo Slider
Bamboo SliderThe Bamboo Slider case developed by Incase is made from bamboo pulp made from recycled bamboo

iPhone case made from recycled bamboo. What good are worn-out chopsticks and broken bamboo scaffoldings? The bamboo slider case developed by Incase is made from bamboo pulp made from recycled bamboo that was actually used in chopsticks and scaffoldings. Being light in weight, the case ensures that your beloved Apple gear doesn't get bulky and is neither scratched. The company claims that 40% of the case is made from reclaimed bamboo and the rest is made from unused bamboo. The cases can be purchased from the Incase store for $34.95.

2. Bambouse

BambouseBamboo mouse

Gadgets adorning wooden shells on the outside are always a special thing for their aesthetic value, plus their ability to do better with heat. The pic you see atop shows a mouse that has been designed using bamboo as an active material. A design especially intended to woo the ecologists; this rare doodad doesn't run short of tactility as the pure feel of the material is lush. You would have already understood the nomenclature scheme behind the mouse, needless to say then, why they call it the Bambouse. The design also highlights the proficiency of the Taiwanese with the bamboo art.

3. Bamboo made laptop coolers

Bamboo made laptop coolers
Bamboo made laptop coolersLaptop cooler made from sustainable materials

Laptop cooler made from sustainable materials. With the market already flooding with notebook coolers of different makes, designs and features, Macally has launched a new range of notebook coolers that are made from sustainable bamboo. Launched in two versions, ECOFAN and ECOFANPRO, the notebook coolers are equipped with a built-in USB fan and can support any notebook computer up to 17". The only difference between the two variants is that the height of the ECOFANPRO can be adjusted, while the ECOFAN features a fixed-position stand.

4. Chikuno cube

Chikuno Cube
Chikuno CubeBamboo charcoal-based air purifier

Bamboo charcoal-based air purifier. If you're looking for an eco friendly way to keep your car or your closet free from bad odors, then the Chikuno cube might just be the perfect product for you. The cube-shaped air purifier is made from an ultra fine powder of bamboo, charcoal and clay. Charcoal has a high capacity for absorbing odors, and the Chikuno cube utilizes the material to perfection. Packed in a micro-honeycomb structure, a 2-inch cube has the same surface area as four football pitches, which enables the purifier to work for about a year without any refill. The Chikuno cube is priced at $28.50 at the Delight Store.

5. Bamboo notebook holder

Bamboo notebook holder
Bamboo notebook holderLapdesk made from sustainable materials

Lapdesk made from sustainable materials. Korean manufacturer Macally has presented its eco friendly notebook holder the EcoFad that has been created from bamboo. Dubbed "EcoFad," the notebook holder also includes a bamboo mouse pad. The environment friendly holder includes several grooves that are designed to circulate hot air and keep the notebook from cooking.

6. Bamboo walet mount for iPad

Bamboo Walet Mount for iPad
Bamboo Walet Mount for iPadThe Bamboo iPad wall mounts

iPad wall mount created using renewable bamboo plywood. There seems to be no dearth of third party products for Apple's goodies and the iPad is no exception either. With millions of iPads already sold, the markets are flooded with stands for the gadget. Among hundreds of other choices, the walet mount helps add a touch of green to the device. Designed by Jonathan Danforth from North Carolina, the Walet Mount has been created from plyboo, which is plywood made out of sustainable bamboo. The neatly crafted stand includes keyhole slots for direct-to-wall mounts, as well as VESA-complaint standard holes for articulating monitor arms.

7. Bamboo torch

Bamboo Torch
Bamboo TorchThe Bamboo Torch

Plastic, with its durability and light weight, has become an integral part of modern gadgets and thus lifestyle, but being non-biodegradable it puts adverse affects on the environment as well. Reducing the incessant use of plastic in household consumer electronics, British designer Thomas Mascall has come up with an innovative torch that replaces the plastic with bamboo for its case. The bamboo casing not only gives a unique look to the torch but also helps in improving the atmosphere. Generating power from a battery, the bamboo torch makes use of light emitting diodes (LEDs), ensuring lower energy consumption, longer lifetime and compactness.

8. Satori fan

Satori fan
Satori fanThe Haiku Satori ceiling fan offers high energy efficiency

Designed to address the environmental challenges, the Haiku Satori ceiling fan offers high energy efficiency. The blades of this fan are made of solid Moso bamboo. The ceiling fan is styled to complement any traditional or contemporary environ using natural materials. The salient features of the Satori eco-friendly fan include an advanced aerodynamic 3D blade design, infrared remote control (seven speeds, sleep mode, off timer and the Whoosh mode that simulates natural airflow by gently modulating fan speed), digital inverter electronic controller and advanced safety features, such as entirely enclosed motor design, electronic shutdown protection and auto-reset thermal switch.

9. USB bamboo speaker

USB bamboo speaker
USB bamboo speakerThe USB Bamboo portable speaker

If price tag is the benchmark of the quality of a product, we may simply rule out some of the most unique products with low price tags, even without measuring their actual worth. The USB bamboo portable speaker, priced at $30 is an inexpensive but effective amplifier for your mobile phones and PMPs. The bamboo finish lends not just a unique look to the speaker system but also provides a more extensive and improved sound range (300-10,000 Hz frequency response) than other speakers of the same size. Finished with highly resistant bamboo, the portable USB speaker system also stands tall in supporting the ecology and allowing the users to support the green drive going worldwide.

10. Bamboo keyboard and mouse

Bamboo keyboard and mouse
Bamboo keyboard and mouseBamboo Keyboard and Mouse Combo

The sustainable computer accessories look as trendy as any other gadget available on the market. Featuring laser engraved bamboo keys to absorb sweat, the bamboo keyboard also includes four shortcut keys to allow easy access to internet, e-mail, mute and calculator. The sustainable keyboard and mouse, measuring 460×161x22 mm and 108×55x35mm (LWH), respectively, are compatible with Windows 98/2000/ME/XP/NT/Vista /Win7 and so on. The new accessories are easy to use, for they don't require any driver installation and just needs to be connected to the USB ports of your PC, laptop or Mac to start your work. Priced at $33.44, the Bamboo Keyboard and Mouse are made in natural bamboo (100%) to leave minimum rather no waste behind them.

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