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The Design blog

7 Sleek glass speakers for crystal-clear sound

Posted: 11 Nov 2011 04:44 AM PST

Grace Kikon:
Sleek glass speakers
Sleek glass speakersSleek glass speakers for crystal-clear sound

There are different types of speakers available in the market for decades but there is a new product that has literally taken the shine out of the rest. It is a new range of glass speakers which has found its niche in the market and is definitely novel and inspiring.

These glass speakers are capable of generating output sound of 360 degrees audio magnitude despite their delicate and fragile appearance. They have been built for producing sound by using glass as the resonator and of course, it gives out a crystal clear clarity in sound which is quite astounding. This is basically possible because of the high glass density which renders the deep lows while the taut hardness of the material gives out the sharp crispy highs. Many designers have used glass as their base to create some unique and wonderful sounds in different variations of designs. Here is a list of some of those creative, aesthetic, and quite possibly durable sound speaker systems available in the market.

1. Aura speakers by Paul Scarfe

AuraAura speakers by Paul Scarfe

The Aura speakers are stylish and discreet using glass to fill up a room with sound. It comes in a cone shape glass with bass speaker located below on the bottom base which amplifies the best sound into the surrounding. By adding the pristine purity of glass, Designer Paul Scarfe has created an equation which he named Aura. It is a sleek conceptual design for delivering clear audio from the resonating glass.

2. Niagara speakers

NiagaraNiagara Speakers

Designed by Waterfall Audio, the speakers are made up of sleek glass case. Apart from its aesthetic appeal, the Niagara was made of diamond glass which prevents unwanted vibrations due to high density. It is a creation using hand stitched Nappa leather and solid aluminum. The woofers measuring 8.26 is situated at the base of the loudspeaker, while the horn tweeter crosses over to the midrange drivers. It has the illusion of glass and water in its clarity and deepness of sound and comes for a whooping $53,000 per pair.

3. Harmon Kardon GLA-55 glass speakers

Harmon Kardon GLA-55 Glass Speakers
Harmon Kardon GLA-55 Glass SpeakersHarmon Kardon GLA-55 Glass Speakers

It is a set of glass crystal speakers created by Harmon Kardon who claims this 2.0 speaker system as the best. It has a 56 watt speaker digital amplifier, Atlas AL drives, woofer and CMMD tweeter, DSP equalization and a 3.5 mm Jake. This is a multimedia speaker for minimalist decor based on great style and quality. It produces high audio quality with clear bass and sound in all direction. It has a touch sensitive volume controls while the speaker emit 110 watts sound with a smooth tweeter sound up to 20 KHz.

4. Greensounds glass speakers

Greensound's glass speakers
Greensound’s glass speakersGreensound’s glass speakers

These speakers uses the glass component to project sound which are like striking the right chords in quality. There is a sound generator at the base of the Greensound which vibrates the glass into projecting sound from both sides. The glass produces different sound frequency according to its structure. High frequency note is produced from the curved area, mid-range sounds from the middle and low frequencies from the area at the bottom near the base. The speakers come in two model series, the Serac Series and the Floe Series with their own distinct designs. Color changing lights are also built in at the base for better variation.

5. Kenwood’s glass speakers with LED stand

Kenwood's Glass Speakers
Kenwood's Glass SpeakersKenwood's Glass Speakers with LED Stand

This pair of glass speakers pimped either with a blue LED or white LED stand has been created by Kenwood Japan. It has an output of 2×10 watts at 80hm and has a 6 cm subwoofer and 2.5 cm tweeters. They are both encased in aluminum cast frame to reduce unnecessary vibrations. In Japan, the speakers are priced at $1,050 and $ 210 each for the stands.

6. Recycled glass loudspeakers

Recycled Glass Loudspeakers
Recycled Glass LoudspeakersRecycled Glass Loudspeakers

Designed by Alex Killeavy, these loudspeakers are built for sustainability both for entertainment and for the environment as well. Using recycled glass the designer has created user friendly woofers and tweeter components which are replaceable. The design is sophisticated and created with sound material choices to last a lifetime. Its aesthetic design is pleasing for home decor as well.

7. Harion glass speaker set

HarionHarion Glass Speaker Set

This speaker set is designed by Japanese firm Harion and is made of heat resistant glass. It has two woofer sets, two tweeters and two mid-range speakers. It is fully hand made and took 23 subcontractors more than three years to design and produce. This custom made design gives out high sound quality as does its price at $168,000.

Top 10 Trendy flask designs to carry your distilled beverages

Posted: 11 Nov 2011 03:59 AM PST

Sai Kiran Kandhari:

Trendy flask designs
Trendy flask designsTrendy flask designs to carry your distilled beverages

Generally flasks are those used to carry beverages hot or cold depending on the drink you carry. The flasks used to store beverages are vacuum flasks, which will keep the contents hot or cold. In our day to day life we see flasks which are normal, there are few designer flasks which have a cool look.

Now let us see a few of the flask designs:

1. NEC Flask Phones

NEC Flask Phones
NEC Flask PhonesNEC flask phones are beautiful transparent phones designed in the shape of a hip flask.

The NEC flask phones are see-through phones which run on liquid fuel and is also a flask phone that looks like a huge cigarette lighter. This flask phone features a transparent design with touch screen on one side where we can monitor the fuel usage, that is, how much fuel is left. The buttons are also transparent in this flask phone. As the fuel inside it finishes the phone stops working. But the colors of this flask phone looks women friendly and are available only in three colors which are light green, blue and pink. The price of this is currently not available.

2. Homer Simpson Flask

Homer Simpson Flask
Homer Simpson FlaskThe Homer Simpson flask is a perfect embodiments of Homer's spirit

The Homer Simpson flask is a stainless flask with a set of four stainless steel glasses, where the glasses have common facial expressions of Homer and also some witty lines written on it. The flask shape is a bit curved so as to keep it comfortable in the back pocket. The top cover comes with a screw and also holder so, one can never lose the cap after opening the cap. The image on the container is just not a sticker image, it is a great art work covered with crystal clear enamel to protect the image for a long time. The Homer Simpsons flask is a great gift for alcohol lovers, and they will surely love it. The price of this flask is $24.

3. Belt buckle flask

Belt buckle flask
Belt buckle flaskThe 2oz belt buckle liquor flask keeps your spirits handy and your pants intact

The name itself says that it is a belt buckle designed to use as a flask. The weight of this buckle flask is 2 oz which is not that heavy to carry, and is just a bit more comfortable to carry it like a belt buckle instead of placing it uncomfortably in the pocket. It can be removed and placed back easily, and it is easy to have a quick sip. And the price of this belt buckle flask is about $24. So if one wants to carry his beverage easily this is a good one.

4. Portside Flask

Portside Flask
Portside FlaskTakes its design cues from the portholes on sea-faring vessels, with a window to see the beverage inside

It is a nautical themed, circle shaped flask looking like the wheel of a ship, and has a window glass enabling to look out for how much beverage is left in it. It also resembles a porthole. This flask is made of stainless steel giving a good bright look and it has a glass window in the middle, which gives the flask a stylish and a cool design. The portside flask can carry beverages up to 4 ounces, which is a good quantity for this small flask. At the top it has a screw to open and close making the flask leak proof and secure. And is easy to use and also to clean. This portside flask will also make a good gift for alcohol lovers, as it impresses with it’s cool design. It is priced at $30.

5. Hammer flask

Hammer Flask
Hammer FlaskThe full-fledged hammer is hollowed out to contain your favorite beverage

The hammer flask is a all in one hammer, flask, bottle opener and also an ice crusher. It is a multi-purpose bar tool with a functional hammer and flask. And the storage capacity of this hammer flask is 5 oz which is quite good. It will be easy for alcohol addicts to pretend as if working while having your drink without the notice of your spouse. And this hammer looks like a real hammer and the claw end of the hammer has the bottle opener, which is made of stainless steel. To have maximum grip the handle is provided with rubber gripping, to make it convenient even while handling a wet drink. But this hammer cannot be used as a real hammer for extensive hammering purposes. The price of this hammer flask is $20.

6. Noir Elegance Flask Set

Noir Elegance Flask Set
Noir Elegance Flask SetComes with typewriter keys that spell the owner's initials.

This flask is created with elegant adventure spirited theme, so the name is given as elegance flask. It is built with real leather and has clockwork bits. The design also comes with the initial of the owner in the model of typewriter keys. And this beautiful design is very much eye catching and it also looks like a women’s purse. The interior of the flask is made of stainless steel, and it is sanitized too. It also has a belt loop attachment, which is removable so that one can place it in his pocket.

7. Digital Camera Flask

Digital Camera Flask
Digital Camera FlaskBev-Cam Camera Flask by Binocktails

Looks like a digital camera, but it is not, it is a 145 ml flask to hide the beverage. As it has a normal size of a camera, it can be easily placed in pocket or a handbag. This camera flask comes with a belt carrying case and also a funnel for easy filling. And this camera flask is one of the best hidden alcohol flask at present. So this camera flask will be a perfect gift for students and also for people who travel and drink. It is priced at $13.

8. Skull And Crossbones Poison Flask

Skull & Crossbones Poison Flask
Skull & Crossbones Poison FlaskSkull & Crossbones Poison flask's design makes it the perfect carrier of your favorite poison

The skull and crossbones flask is a unique flask made of aluminum with a screw on the top and clip attached to make it secure. This flask is named as skull and crossbones because of the design which it has on it. This flask can carry up to 14 oz of your favorite drink. And is available in colors; black, red, green and pink and costs about $10. It is perfect to carry at camps at while adventuring.

9. Nintendo case & Gameboy hip flask

Nintendo case & Gameboy hip flask
Nintendo case & Gameboy hip flaskGame Boy Retro Hip Flask, can hold 6 fluid ounces of drink

The nintendo case is a box to carry business cards easily, and the box has a stylish design. This box is 4 inch long, 2 inch wide and half inch deep. It is good enough to carry the drink. The price of this is $25.

nintendogame boy

This is the nintendo game boy looking like a portable video game and is also a flask, which can hold 6 ounces of the drink. It is easy to place in the pocket and is priced at $32.

10. Binocular double flask

Binocular Double Flask
Binocular Double FlaskThese classic binocular flasks are double-chambered flasks that holds 16 Oz.

Is it a binocular or a beverage flask? Well, it is a binocular and also a flask! It looks like a 2 decade old binocular, where it has double flask to carry your favorite drink. And it can be carried anywhere like to a concert, a horse race, or to any sporting event where you can have your drink easily. The total capacity of this two cylinders is 16 oz where one cylinder can hold 8 oz of the drink where it is filled by unscrewing the eyepiece of the binocular. It also has a neck strap to hold it on the neck. This a perfect gift for a sports enthusiast who also like to drink. The price of this flask is $20.

Giant robots made using recycled Styrofoam

Posted: 11 Nov 2011 03:50 AM PST

Susmita Roy:

CreatureamaRecycled styrofoam robots invade Germany's streets

The ordinary:

Robots, our friendly help has been around for a while. They make life easier for us, helps us in achieving things that are otherwise a bit difficult for us. But when we think of giant robots, we are a bit hesitant. Will these robots have an impact on our environment? Can they do what they are really expected to do? Are they cost effective? Giving an answer to all such questions and more are the latest giant robots moving the streets of Darmstadt, Germany this summer.

The giant robots are absolutely great. Designed by Terraform One, these Archibots are completely eco-friendly and are made from recycled Styrofoam that initially came from the packaging that is used to handle our dear high tech products. The project is known as Creaturama and what it does is to take a fresh look at all objects that are otherwise discarded and act as waste material in the environment.


The concept of building robots out of Styrofoam came from the eco-conscious mind of Terraform team. The team tries to give us a greener world to live in and make what we think as junk more useable for us. The common way to see Styrofoam is a material to keep our tech gadgets safe. However, now it has itself taken the shape of a tech product with huge robots standing in front of us.

The extraordinary:

With the efforts put in by Mitchell Joachim along with his team at Terraform, now these wastes or thrown out material is put to good use. The recycled robots are a proven example that wastes can also be put to use and give some fantastic results. At the beginning it seemed like the project is not going to be successful. However, with repeated tests and a lot of efforts and experimenting, Mitchell Joachim has put together architecturally brilliant robots.

The making

The making of these eco-friendly robots is also interesting. In the workshop of Terreform ONE that was held for the Architektursommer Rhein-Main 2011, the team stated their vision of using what the city of Darmstadt throws away as trash. The city produces a lot of urban e-waste every day. A large section of this e-waste is packing material. Terreform makes use of these rejected elements to design architectural figures and follies. By physically joining these packing materials, the robots come to live. Each robot that is built is made to communicate a set of information regarding the energy and the ecological balance of the site. This is done by a feature of light color coding.

Picture Gallery
Recycled styrofoam robots invade Germany's streets

The target group:

These giant robots are exceptionally strong and even though they are built from Styrofoam, they can crush just about anything under their feet. So, if you are thinking that with a little blow these robots are going to fall apart, then think once more. The giant robots are definitely a piece of art and are a true example of how waste can be converted into something so magnificent.


The main focus is of course to make her environment healthier and a better place to be. To use the junk and to convert it to something useful and strong is what Terraform works on. These giant robots will help in giving a new look to the city and helping the entire community.

Related Trends:

The use of Styrofoam is not limited only to the making of robots. In the different segments of life, many eco-aware artists have come out with fantastic ways of using Styrofoam and making a difference. Whether it is through a garden or a lighting fixture, Styrofoam has definitely moved out of the garbage cans and entered into the world of art. Take a look at these new and wonderful ways of using Styrofoam and in return making our environment a little more green.

1. Vertical garden from recycled Styrofoam

Vertical garden
Vertical gardenVertical garden from recycled Styrofoam and a non-toxic easy-to-apply coating

If you are running short on space then vertical gardens are a great way to go about it. Vertical gardens offer a number of ways of to make the set up of a living wall easier than before. The best thing of the entire concept is that you can now create a garden from Styrofoam that is completely eco-friendly and non-toxic as well. With a bit of effort you can make it yourself. You can become the envy of your neighbors with the eye-catching frames that can be created with vertical gardens.

2. Styrofoam F1 racecar

Styrofoam F1 racecar
Styrofoam F1 racecarA life-size Formula 1 race car made in styrofoam

The next great thing that you can do with Styrofoam is creating F1 race cars. Michael Salter has designed a life size Formula 1 race car fully out of Styrofoam. No doubt it is the latest buzz in town. Sadly, the engine is still not in place for it. Otherwise, it is definitely a good ride. What is better than having a pair of wheels that looks hot and is completely eco-friendly.

3. Pink Styrofoam Hummer

Pink Styrofoam Hummer
Pink Styrofoam HummerPink styrofoam Hummer by artist Aaron Hauck

To use recycled material in a useful way is no less than a creative piece of work. It does the dual work of spreading awareness and also doing something that is important. One innovative way to express this great concept is to make a pink Styrofoam hummer. Designed by the New York based artist Aaron Hauck, a complete exhibit was put together showing paper, painting and sculpture use of Styrofoam. With the making of this hummer, the artists show the new face of modern consumerism. You can see these art pieces in an exhibition in East Central University in Ada and the Red Country Pictures’ Exhibit.

4. Styrofoam Chandelier

Styrofoam Chandelier
Styrofoam ChandelierStyrofoam Chandelier by Eric Lawrence

If we talk about computers then we also see the beautiful Styrofoam packing that comes with it to keep the gadgets safe. But have you ever thought of the different things that you can do with that packing material or it simply ends up in the waste basket? For most of us, it's the waste basket. But the eco-conscious Eric Lawrence has found an innovative way to use this Styrofoam.

Eric has created a fantastic and grand chandelier that has 16 CFLs with 5W each. This unique and grand design has even got him a prize in the Design Within Reach Austin's M+D+F competition. The best part of this chandelier is that it uses low power CFLs and also doesn't give out any heat. So, we can proudly say that we have got one of the most energy efficient chandeliers of the world. The next time you think that garbage can't light our homes, think again.

An Environmentally Smart Home Made from Recycled Plastic Bottles

Posted: 11 Nov 2011 03:30 AM PST

Sunny Goel:

The ordinary

Have you ever imagined what actually happen with a plastic bottle after it is used? Plastic bottles are used in bottling different types of beverages such as beers, alcohol, soft drinks etc. But, a whale amount of bottles is used for bottling the drinking water. Among all the beverages, bottled water is the largest growing area, and in the past few decades the amount is been more than double. This boom in plastic bottled water is absolutely startling and shocking. One reason behind this enormous boom is that the rate of recycling of plastic is quite low in comparison to its production, even though the demand of recyclers is absolutely high. And, if this heap of plastic keeps growing with the same rapid pace then one day it will ultimately surround the entire earth making it a planet of plastic, instead a planet with life.

The journey of plastic bottles is heart breaking, after they are tossed from your hands. If it is tossed into trash in a place where there are no recyclers then it will mix with the food scrap and countless other forms of detritus and ultimately it will end up contaminating the ground water. The second scenario is that if they are tossed into a sewer or left on a beach then they will reach the ocean, and hence will contaminate the ocean water and give birth to various perils which will make the life of creatures living under water worse . Some lucky bottles tossed into trash in areas where the recycling is available are recycled into various useful materials like carpets, clothing and even melted into bottles once again.

But the idea of making an environment loving house with the recycled bottles will definitely make your mind dizzy. You don’t need to pinch/slap yourself as if you are thinking you are watching a dream. Yes, it is quite possible and credible to make a house from recycled bottles as some extra ordinary people have done this miracle come true by using bricks made of ordinary plastic bottles and sand. This miraculous technique can be a revolutionary step to recycle the ever growing heap of plastic bottles into a beautiful house which will be dear to nature for sure.


This idea of making a house out of recycled bottles owes its inspiration from a house which is built in Nigeria. The housing material in general is quite expensive but with the plastic bottles littering streets the expenditure of purchasing ordinary bricks and their transportation can be saved. In Nigeria, an NGO named Development Association for Renewable Energies (DARE) has made a two bedroom set which was earlier suspected by a large group of people. But, now this house not only stands majestically but also mocks at its critics. This bungalow, which is made of thousands of plastic bottles filled with sand and concrete is not only stronger than one made of cinder bricks but also bulletproof, fire resistant and earthquake resistant. This maintains the interior temperature up to 18 degree centigrade. Thus, this project has opened new doors for housing and to make the Earth more clean and clear.

The extraordinary

One ordinary person will see the demerits of plastic like they take thousands of years to get bio degrade and their number keeps on increasing day by day, but in the outlook of an extra ordinary person, these demerits dramatically change into merits. As the plastic bottles do not degrade immediately, this quality makes the houses more durable than those made from conventional bricks. Apart from this, their number keeps on growing. The most horrible problems that Nigeria is facing currently are lack of housing, energy and waste problems. According to experts in Nigeria, around 3 million bottles are thrown away everyday and the country lacks around 16 million housing. In order to get rid of these problems, the group of activists came up with this tremendous idea with the help of a group of foreigner people. The total cost of this project is around $12,500. Thus, these houses are much cheaper than their conventional counterparts and this project can be a major step towards helping the planet earth stay clean.

The making

To train the local people in bottle building technique, the CEO of DARE Yahaya Ahmed brought Andres Froesse to Nigeria, who is the founder of EcoTec Soluciones Ambientales. An engineer named Chris Vassilou donated the land for this project. Thousands of bottles were collected from different parts for this project. The bottles filled with sand (weighing around 3 kg each) are piled up on each other in different layers and hold together by concrete and an intense network of strings holding each bottle from its neck. Finally, a wonderful house with two bedrooms stands covering an area of 624 square feet. The structure is so impressive and a great success that its makers have decided to make a 200 sq. feet school hall after this.

The target group

The most horrifying problems that haunt Nigeria are waste and energy related and of insufficient housing. Around 3 million of bottles are thrown away in Nigeria which gives rise to an ever growing heap of plastic, and secondly Nigeria lacks around 16 million housing. As the houses made of plastic bottles are much cheaper and affordable, they also provide better solutions for cleaning the areas which are severely polluted. These houses demand only 25 percent of the budget required for a conventional brick made house. Thus, the problems of Nigeria which are seeking solution will be solved up to a certain limit.


1. These houses are much cheaper and thus affordable.

2. These houses are more durable than the conventional brick houses.

3. These houses offer qualities such as the durability, fireproofing, bulletproofing, earthquake resistance, while the room temperature remains constant around 18 degree centigrade.

4. In these houses, the emission of carbon is zero.

5. With the right kind of pillars, the structure can be made up to three stories not beyond that.

Related trends

Similar attempts are made by different groups which are also commendable.

1. Santa Cruz has made a magnificent house using plastic bottles.

2. Honduras- based Eco-Tech: a beautiful green colored bottle home.

3. Jasmine Zimmerman has made a round shaped igloo like home.

4. HIG’s (Hug it Forward) bottle house is spectacular as well.

The Futuristic Aurora Transportation concept

Posted: 11 Nov 2011 03:03 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

Aurora Train
Aurora TrainAurora transportation concept

Offering a new, bold look to the drab old railroad, subway, and metro rail, the futuristic Aurora Transportation concept pays homage to the older trains of the 20th century with its innovative colorway while retaining all the form and functionality of the trains we have grown accustomed to. The Aurora Transportation concept comes with a distinct motion graphic created with the help of nature-friendly Organic LEDS (OLEDS) that allows the concept to transform itself into a piece of art that presents a new dimension and a new perspective when it is in motion. From the powerful and sleek movements of the panther to the wavy, lucid and awe-inspiring waves of the aurora phenomenon, the transportation concept merges inspiration with state-of-the art technology seamless and effortlessly.

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Aurora Train
Aurora transportation concept

Utilizing the GenSet GP-38 propulsion platform, the state-of-the-art transportation concept offers valuable information to travelers such as train routes and maps via an innovative window display that use Organic LEDS to provide a unique motion graphic display on the exteriors of the transportation concept. While most current trains are made to disappear in the dark of the night, the Aurora stays illuminated and visible which allows the project to stimulate business and generate revenue by lending its exterior to advertisements.

To suit the needs of its passengers, the Aurora offers a wide variety of configurations with the help of its modular seating system that is composed of a table/bench and a seat. The two simple components allow the interior landscape of the Aurora to be customized to fit larger parties as well as single travelers on a daily basis. Group seating can also be created and reserved by families through online ordering. The interior of the Aurora is created to offer a dynamic environment with its versatile seating configuration.

Perfect for short inner-city commutes as well as longer distance inter-state and continental journeys, the Aurora comes complete with an 86-foot dining car that allows passenger to experience a unique system of ordering, pick-up, and lounging inside the transportation system itself.

Located at the opposite end of the locomotive, the Dining car serves as the main lounge area for the passengers who can browse through the variety of dining options on offer via touch screens located at the front of the car. Circulation through each area of the dining experience is encouraged via a dynamic floor plan which helps the transportation system to provide a luxuriant experience to passengers on-board.

Source: VT

Gocycle readying the G2 to take over the e-bike segment across Europe

Posted: 11 Nov 2011 03:01 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

Gocycle G2 bike
Gocycle G2 bikeGocycle G2 electric bike

Looking to build on the success of the original Gocycle e-bike, the Gocycle G2 electric bike is a real head-turner for sure. Offering the same excellent ride quality and retaining the injection-molded magnesium frame of the just as well thought out original model, the successor to the model first unveiled two years ago comes with fun and chic add ons that enable an increased range. A handlebar ‘dashboard’ allows the G2 to offer the functionality of a fully-mechanized two-wheeler, while optional goodies like torque sensing and electronic shifting take the G2 closer to being more of a full-blown EV than a regular bike with an electric motor option.

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Gocycle G2 bike
Gocycle G2 electric bike

Made by Flextronics of Hungary, who are hailed across Europe as experts in the field of electronics and injection-molding, the new bike follows in the footsteps of the massively popular original bicycle which was launched by Gocycle founder Richard Thorpe as a replacement for traditional commuter bikes. Though the traditional e-bike sector is already jam packed with electric two two-wheelers, Thorpe appears confident that his version of the electric bicycle will prove to be substantially successful throughout Europe over the coming decade thanks to its excellent range, reasonable price and exciting yet safe performance.

The Gocycle G2 is offered in three performance variants- the G2R model, the S models and the L variants. The G2R is the range-topping model that comes complete with electronic security and a unique torque sensor which are offered as extras on the other models. Offering a no-emission commute, the G2 comes fitted with a micro-sized motor that provides on-demand power at the touch of a button with a range of up to 40 miles being offered by its in-frame lightweight battery pack.

A maintenance-free, clean, and seamless design is created via n internal cable routing with four user-defined assistance modes allowing the users to make the best of the optional torque sensing pedal drive. A simple touch of a button activates the optional, programmable, high-tech automatic electronic shifting offered with the G2 while a maintenance-free, fully-enclosed, three-speed patented Cleandrive chain helps you keep your clothes clean. The option fold leg allows the G2 to offer users space-efficient storage making its compactable design even more convenient while battery state of charge, gear selection, speed, and other useful information is provided via an integrated dashboard display.

For sturdy display and parking, the G2 will come packed with an optional robust kickstand while the injection-molded magnesium frame and wheels allow the manufacturing of the ultra-lightweight, durable, and high-tech bicycle to remain as environmentally-friendly as possible.

An ‘Empower’ mode gives the G2 a top speed to 20mph, and the 14.9kg bike cruises at 15.5mph with a range of 40 miles. The G2 is all set for a Europe-wide release in March 2011 with the range-topping G2R model retailing at €2,999.

Via: Bike Radar

Space-maximizing Electrolux eTree Kitchen Concept

Posted: 11 Nov 2011 02:59 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

eTree kitchen concept
eTree kitchen concepteTree kitchen concept By Suzana Popa

A few days ago, the world received its 7 billionth inhabitant. Startling as that number is, scientists have predicted that the world will cross the 10 billion mark in the next few decades which is hardly good news for anyone currently struggling with finding a spacious apartment in our ever-quickly growing urban landscape. Controlling the population explosion requires a mass movement and some very stern steps on part of government agencies which isn't really something ordinary Joes like you and I can accomplish on our own. We can, however, discover and invent new ways to save the space and resources that we have and the Electrolux eTree Kitchen Concept by designer Suzana Popa is a grand new step in the right direction.

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eTree kitchen concept
eTree kitchen concept By Suzana Popa

The designer begins by identifying the single biggest problem that city dwellers across the globe are plagues with- a lack of space in urban apartments which coupled with the global economic slowdown only means that each of us has less space to live in. the designer intends to target this precise problem by creating a domestic functional unit that uses space wisely. Since the kitchen is one of the most important living areas in a city apartment, it becomes quintessential that the space is used wisely to deliver all the functions required of a modern kitchen without users having to forgo any of the technology or luxury afforded to them by modern gadgetry.

The designer uses the form of a tree as a starting point for the project and uses the vertical efficiently of nature's design to inspire key functions and form of the Electrolux eTree Kitchen Concept. The design basically takes the idea of a kitchen being a full room in its own right and transforms that to create a fully functional kitchen in a tall, tree-like structure that can be stood in the middle of any other room as well. With adjustable height, the eTree can be manipulated to best suit the user’s height with its adjustable levels being divided according to the functions that allow users to saves energy and avoid unnecessary movements or wastage.

The vertical positioning of the tree utilizes space that is otherwise wasted in apartments. The Electrolux eTree Kitchen Concept comes with a circular cooking area on the lower level which features an induction hot plate surface that can be directly used. The temperature of the hot plate is indicated by a colored circle that appears underneath the pot or pan placed on top.

The washing area comes pre-fitted with sensors that activate the water flow when something is placed into the sink. The temperature of the water can be set by touching the colored buttons on the washer's edge. A dedicated drying area for washed dishes ensures that users don't need to install a separate dishwasher into the unit.

On level 2, the Electrolux eTree Kitchen Concept comes fitted with different storage modules that allow customization. The storage modules on the level are divided according to purpose with a separate crockery and cutlery module, a bar module for glasses and bottles, a cupboard storage for caldrons as well as a fully-functioning refrigerator module.

The top level of the Electrolux eTree Kitchen Concept comes with a dedicated space for plants that absorb the air and refresh it. A remote control controls the position of levels and also turns the oven the fridge and eh ventilation on and off while a garbage bin placed at the bottom level turns the waste into plant fertilizer through fermentation and osmosis.

Via: Coroflot

Japanese inventors build a robotic dog to guide the visually impaired

Posted: 11 Nov 2011 01:03 AM PST

Arun Shekar:

Robotic guidance Dog
Robotic guidance DogThe robot was created by Japanese developer NSK, along with the University of Electro-Communications.

The Concept

There is no denying the fact that dogs are man’s best friend and for a long time, trained dogs have given a helping hand to humans with certain disabilities. Guide dogs or in other terms seeing-eye dogs are such a kind that are trained to help humans who are visually blind. But one may think about the maintenance and care that comes with adopting a dog. In order to address this, a Japanese company called NSK develops robotic guide dogs that can move around the floor rolling, climb stairs and assist visually impaired people. The idea behind this is to empower visually impaired people, especially who are old, to have a guide dog that makes their life simpler and extend help to them when they need to move around.

The Target

Every year, tens and thousands of people around the world take help of a guide dog for a number of physical disabilities, to navigate and perform many activities indoors and outdoors. People who are affected by vision blindness will find guide dogs as a very valuable companion as they can lead them and help them to navigate and perform simple tasks for them. The robotic guide dogs can fill this void for owners with visual disabilities who do not want to take the responsibility of a real guide dog at home. The robotic guide dogs can be of an important help outdoors for navigation as they can be fitted with GPS that can take their owners to the exact spot where they want to go.

The Need

Any one of us can be affected by blindness, partial or full, one form or the other. It can occur due to natural aging, injury or due to certain disease. The kind of discomfort and hardship it can create is beyond one’s imagination. Blindness can obstruct even the basic functioning of daily chores around the home and navigation. One can only move around the well-known environment around them but are still not safe from injuries. Socially, they can face difficulty in doing activities, duties and perform work outside their regular work environment. All these eventually make them dependent on someone or somebody to get their tasks completed. These problems warrant a solution that can enable the visually challenged people go the extra mile and get their duties done. Robotic guard dog is such an invention that can perform this duty efficiently.

Key Features

The features of the robotic guide dogs, also known as seeing-eye dogs can empower people who are visually challenged. Their core functionality is to become a substitute for the eyes of their owner who are unable to see. They are fitted with high resolution 3-D imaging sensors that can visualize the environment and obstacles around them. They can roll-on flat surfaces on wheels and are equally capable of navigating on uneven surfaces with their hinged legs. They are also fitter with bumper sensors to avoid collision with any obstacles. They are also able to negotiate stairs and climb on uneven surfaces to help visually blind people.

The robotic guide dogs are programmed to react to physical contact and gestures by humans and they respond with a synthetic voice programmed inside them. In future versions, they will be fitted with GPS and will be able to take voice commands.

The Solution

The solution that is imperative to people who are visually challenged are limited, this is where robotic guide dogs come into picture and aim to provide human-friendly help that is much needed. Robotic guide dogs can help a visually challenged person navigate around the known and unknown environment with precision, using their built-in GPS. They can also lend a hand to their owners and bring little things to them, and perform tasks that can make their life a lot easier. But the most important solution that these robots will provide to their owners is their ability to sense and avoid danger to their users.


Let’s look at some of the other robotic guides that aid visually challenged people in navigating one way or the other, and are available in the market.

1. Mygo Cane

Mygo Cane
Mygo CaneThe tip of the cane has a mini wheel with a hub motor, which provides intuitive feedback through the grip, and has a battery life of six hours.

If a full-sized robotic guide dog is not your preference and takes a lot of space in your home, then Mygo Cane is one smart invention that can help visually challenged people navigate around known and unknown environments without much baggage and fuss to carry around. Mygo, a marvelous invention by Sebastian Ritzler, is an interactive guide cane that has smart sensor camera which measures the area of ground in front of it precisely and simultaneously provides audible feedback through a headset to the wearer. A small hub-motor is fitted on the tip of the cane that can provide feedback through the grip, and it can last up to 6 hours. The cane is sturdy and completely waterproof, and its height is adjustable, makes it a great choice for those who wants a device that can help them navigate through streets.

2. “Hitomi” Electric Wheelchair Robot

HitomiIts components include a video camera, obstruction-detection sensor, computer, and speakers.

Not every visually challenged can or would want to walk around, and there are people who cannot see and are limited to their chairs due to some medical conditions, Hitomi electric wheelchair robot is an amazing invention for such people. The electric wheelchair has some regular features that would find on most guide dogs or guide machines, such as video camera sensors that act like eyes, battery powered, obstruction detection system and speakers that give feedback to the owner about the surroundings. But what sets the Hitomi electric wheelchair robot apart is its ability to memorize and recognize sign patterns along its way and then use it to navigate back and forth as it travels along. It has the ability to read and use braille blocks, identify landmarks and pedestrian crossings to navigate to the right destination correctly. Indoors, they can use the edges between the walls and floor to identify objects and navigate.

3. iSonic cane

iSonic cane
iSonic caneiSONIC cane is even capable of detecting the color of a certain object by speaking it out including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white and black.

iSonic Cane is just not any other cane, and it comes with some serious technology packed inside it. With its two ultrasonic sensors mounted on it, it can detect obstacles up to a range of 7 foot radius, which translates to detection of obstacles up to 2 meters, 25 degrees horizontally and 55 degrees vertically. It has a very unique way of telling the user of how close the person is to the obstacle; the harder the can vibrates, the closer the person is to the obstacle, the lighter the vibration is, the further away the person is. The technology doesn’t stop there, it can also detect colors of certain objects and speaks out the color audibly, this can come to use when a visually challenged person wants to avoid a dark, shady area. The battery that it packs gives out a usage of 11 hours continuously if the vibrations were to be used, and 72 hours worth of stand-by time.

Five heat changing mugs to control the temperature of your drink

Posted: 11 Nov 2011 12:56 AM PST

Sucheta Mehra:

Heat changing mugs
Heat changing mugsHeat changing mugs to control the temperature of your drink

What could be a way to get the day moving, than with a cup of hot coffee, changing into magical color shades! Mugs that alter color with heat are making news in the market, with major corporate also in the run, releasing mugs with their logo and name printed on it that takes wonderful hues with changing temperature. Such mugs also are indicators of the temperature of the content that it holds. Scientifically speaking, this is the property of thermochromism, one among the many 'chromisms' that we come across in physics. It is the ability of substances to change color due to temperature variations. Basically there are 2 basic types of materials – liquid crystals and leuco dyes. The heat changing mugs are coated with lueco dyes, to produce the color effect. Given below are five types of heat changing mugs:

1. Pac-Man Heat Changing Mug

Pac-ManPac-Man Heat Changing Mug

Unwind amidst your hectic schedule with Pac Man. This mug comes with the Pac-Man jumble plastered on one side. These mugs are a hit in the market because of its looks and also the color effect added by the Pac-Man picture. Want to see the magic? Take a Pac Man Mug; fill it with your hot beverage. And lo! Pac Man and his army glows in ghostly shades. Whether to savor your drink or to go around with Pac Man is anybody's wish. Kids will definitely find a good past time with this mug and will no doubt demand more and more of the drink, just to explore the world of Pac Man.

2. Dexter Heat Changing Mug

DexterDexter Heat Changing Mug

Coffee with Dexter sounds interesting. But this comes with a difference. True to the 'nerve-chilling' experience, the cup has a splatter of blood when it is chill and as you fill it with hot liquid, the red blood color gives way to milder shade showing Dexter. What a way to reveal Dexter. The idea itself makes this a sure grab. The murderous blood color is very attractive when in the stands that you cannot go past it in the stands. The magical hues created due to temperature changes have been wisely exploited to create an attractive product. A must-have in your crockery shelf.

3. Tea-Qualiser Heat Changing Mug

Tea-QualiserTea-Qualiser Heat Changing Mug

Graphic equalizers blended with tea and that is what this Tea-Qualiser has to offer. At home or at office, this cup is sure to be a smart addition to your shelf of favorite picks. As and when you fill the mug with hot liquids, be it your favorite chocolate drink or coffee, the equalizer graphic responds to the color change. What a magical way to have fun! Watch the equalizer shimmer as you gulp down the 300 ml of your favorite drink. Now what did you relish the most, your drink or the mug? Feel like filling it for another load of fun? The colorful graphics set against the stark black backdrop makes it all the more brilliant.

4. Heat Changing Love Mug

Love Mug
Love MugHeat Changing Love Mug

The name and the picture of the mug tells it all. It is for those who exchange their precious moments across a coffee table. The mug is quite attractive in white, spotted with love symbols in hazy red. When you fill this with a hot drink, the temperature sensitive coating becomes transparent to reveal the red colored tiny hearts saying I love you. Doesn't that make a perfect Valentine Day's gift? From the mouth to the tip, the cup speaks the language of love. The cup has been no doubt created with the lovers in mind and wow what a wonderful idea. With your valentine alongside, reveal your love by slowly filling up the magical cup with her favorite hot chocolate. Now watch her eyes widen with wonder as the cup speaks out to your heart and say, 'I love you'.

5. Heat Changing Tardis Mug

Tardis Mug
Tardis MugHeat Chaning Tardis Mug

This mug is indeed for the fun-loving group. The time traveler and his adventures are best depicted on the mug. No doubt that this will make a good gift for children on their birthday. On one side of the mug is Tardis as seen in the streets of London. As you pour hot liquid into it guess what happens. Tardis disappears all of a sudden? Where you think did Dr.Who deliver him? Turn the cup to see Tardis reappear in a landscape designed like space. An adventurous story alongside your favorite drink is what we relish the most. This cup is packed with sheer entertainment.

Heat changing mugs were earlier used to detect the temperature of the liquid inside. The temperature sensitive indicator pasted on the cup said 'very hot' when we pour piping hot drinks. The concept thought not new, is always an attraction among the shoppers. But take care not to dish wash or micro wave these mugs. The concept of thermochromism has been brilliantly put to use to arrive at an end product that has more fun to offer than a cup of your favorite drink.

Solid Gray Backpack from Lijmbach, Leeuw and Vormgeving

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 09:42 PM PST

Asmita Prasad:

Solid Gray backpack
Solid Gray backpackSolid Gray backpack by Lijmbach,Leeuw & Vormgeving

Around a decade and a half ago, a twenty-something wouldn't risk being caught with a backpack unless it was a full-blown knapsack like the kinds backpackers and campers hurl around. But with technology pervading our lives at an unprecedented speed and gadgets that were previously left at home like computers, music players and phones now having been reinvented to fit in our pockets, it has become almost nearly impossible for an urban youth to leave the house without their iPods, cellphones, tablets or laptops, and a whole host of accessories that go with them.

Picture Gallery
Solid Gray backpack
Solid Gray backpack by Lijmbach,Leeuw & Vormgeving

Though many specialty luggage makers have tried to come up with backpacks and bags that can hold all the gadgets in place but most of them end up bursting at the seams or giving way at the most inopportune times. To counter the problems of backpacks not being sturdy enough to carry all modern tech essentials and not having enough space inside to fit everything a modern urban tech-savvy youth on the go needs, Eindhoven, Netherlands-based design studio Lijmbach, Leeuw & Vormgeving have come up with an ingenuous new backpack design called Solid Gray.

Developed as a design prototype, the Solid Gray Backpack comes with separate compartments to fit every modern essential like earphones, data cables and other accessories, smartphones, portable music players, and even laptops up to 15.6 inches in size.

The Solid Gray Backpack was crafted from a single sheet of extremely durable and lightweight polymer called polypropene block copolymer that can stand up to heavy use while ensuing that the backpack remains as lightweight as possible. The main attraction of the Solid Gray Backpack apart from its specialized compartment system is the fact that its special fabric will not break or tear even after being bent millions of times.

Inspired by the armor shell of the armadillo, innovative folding design of Solid Gray perfectly protects your personal items from scratches and shocks thanks to a durable EPDM foam lining and laptop/tablet straps that ensure safe storage for your laptops and phones.

Multiple items can also be stored simultaneously in the backpack thanks to a conveniently placed multi clip that keeps your documents and loose papers in place and within reach under while smart locks (fashioned from the same strong polypropene as the rest of the backpack is made of) secure your belongings with an audible ’snap’.

The first batch of these backpacks is being offered in a limited-edition of just 90 pieces with each backpack getting its own unique serial number. The Solid Gray Backpack retails for €119, and can be ordered via the studios website.

Via: Behance

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