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The Design blog

Best of 2011: Green car designs

Posted: 16 Dec 2011 10:29 PM PST

Parul Mittal:

Tons of greenhouse gases are emitted by cars per day across the globe. Increasing fuel prices, rise in temperature of the globe are some of its results. To save planet earth, car manufacturers have decided to go for eco friendly ways by designing hybrid cars. Due to continuous global warming, the importance of these cars have increased. Continuous use of these cars will not affect the planet as well as human beings as other cars do. Discussed below are 10 such cars which aim for greener planet, and thus a better future.


Posted: 16 Dec 2011 09:50 PM PST

Soubhik Chakrabarti:

Motorcycle industry has been one with its own innovations suiting the growing consumer needs and the challenging environment. The future of automobiles is expected to bear some of the most unexpected changes in coming days. There were plenty of bikes in every segment in the year 2011, even if the rate of new-bike introduction was a little thin. The world motorcycle production is currently on an all time high at around 80 million, and in fact 27 million of these are used in the recreational market of North America and Western Europe. From the low cost Biona concept bikes to the high speed 1300cc Honda Satellite Slammer Bagger concept bikes are designed to satisfy the needs of both; the middle income group of China and ASEAN region as well as the luxury seeking western countries where concept bikes have become a part of collectibles. Some of the truly loved and successful concept bikes have been reviewed below.

Vita for en-Vironment

Posted: 16 Dec 2011 03:51 PM PST

Christina Pinto:

Usually, recycling bins are not that attractive. They are painted in one solid color with the designated sign on them, but there is nothing outwardly "positive" about them. In fact, they are quite dull looking. Maybe it is one of the reasons why people are not encouraged to separate their solid trash and take the trouble to move towards adopting good recycling habits. Finding a way to instill the ideals of recycling into the public is a good idea; it starts with motivating them to separate trash according to their components to make the recycling process easier.

Vita - Waste collection system
Vita - Waste collection system

Perhaps, the first step is to reboot the entire appearance of the recycling bins. If the bins were more eye-catching, they would be noticed more and people would take the initiative. Mario Ramírez J, a well-known designer, has expanded on the concept to create Vita, a waste collection system, which is suitable for indoors, offices and shopping centers.

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Waste collection system for indoors
The simplicity of the container allows advertising on the front or side to integrate some brand or corporate image.

What makes Maro's Vita stand out is its design. Using iconic systems division, the receptacle is made externally vivid and striking with the right mixture of colors, shapes and textures. The brightness of the colors marks each section of the container: yellow for plastic, green for general waste and blue for paper. The modern contours that form the opening increase the trendy nature of the receptacle.

The inner part of the receptacle is comprised of three containers, for paper, general waste and plastic, to eliminate the need for plastic bags. The waste is collected in the separate containers for trouble-free disposal to their designated recycling plants.Each container is attached individually to the receptacle so they can be removed when it time for them to be emptied without disturbing the whole receptacle.

The Vita is constructed in a manner for easy disassembling and assembling; it has good transport capability. Maro thought ahead in terms of the product's functionality; the sides of Vita are bare to allow for the display of advertisements, a brand or corporate image.

I imagine the Vita will be a product in high demand, whose appearance and practicality will be appreciated for and in the environment.


Acer Providence makes computing easier, simpler and less intimidating for seniors

Posted: 16 Dec 2011 03:04 PM PST

Asmita Prasad:

Computers, the internet, smartphones and iPods may be an integral part of our lives today but for baby boomers, these common bits of technology are still a little intimidating to work with. Since most of these gizmos came into being in the last twenty years, seniors still find it a little hard to interact with them. However, since a majority of the world's population, including the kids and grandkids of folks from this demographic, use these gadgets to interact with each other rather than traditional modes of communication, it becomes quintessential for seniors to familiarize themselves with these technologies. To allow seniors to use computers, tablets and the internet to connect with their children and grandchildren as well as each other in a modern way, designer Timothy Ng has created the Acer Providence all-in-one PC design concept.

Acer Providence
Acer Providence

The Acer Providence is designed to help bring seniors into the world of computing in a non-intimidating fashion. The concept looks at offering a fresh new perspective on familiar technology that can be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere. This particular PC concept addresses the needs of seniors when it comes to everyday computing. Using an unintimidating form and design functions that are geared towards seniors, the concept makes the computing experience an easier and more comfortable one for this target market which comprises of folks in the 65-plus age group who are comfortably settled in life yet are intimidated by modern technology. Since this demographic also has developing physical limitations, they cannot use desktops and laptops the way younger people do.

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Acer Providence
Acer Providence is designed to help senior people.

The Acer Providence looks to cater to people with issues like arthritis, decreasing vision and limited mobility. Thanks to a fully articulating arm, the monitor of this desktop PC can detach from the body of the computer and be used as a tablet as well. This affords the concept a simpler interface to navigate- one that is direct and easy to understand for people who aren't too familiar with computing but want to be able use it nonetheless.

Via: I'm Doodling

Vgo Telepresence Robots make post-op care less traumatic for kids

Posted: 16 Dec 2011 03:00 PM PST

Asmita Prasad:

If you have any recollection of being hospitalized as a child (even for a minor flu), chances are you have a deep-seated hatred for hospitals and medical staff and prefer to delay having to go the hospital even to this very day. Keeping in mind how distressing the entire hospital experience is for children and how uncomfortable it is for them to go through the post-treatment check-ups, the Children’s Hospital Boston has come with a novel way to allow kids to receive their after-care at home with the help of some very friendly telepresence robots.

Telepresence robot
Telepresence robot

Created by Vgo Communications Inc., the 5′4″ robots go home with post-op patients and allow the patient to go through recovery from the familiar comfort of home while offering doctors and medical staff the ease of continuing communication with the patient and maintaining observation and care from afar. The pilot batch of these telepresence robots have been developed by drawing on the experience of similar technology that has been previously used to assist teleworkers and to allow kids to remotely attend school.

Telepresence robotTelepresence robot by Vgo Communications

To maximize the feeling of personal connection, each telepresence robot comes with a video screen for a face and speakers to aid communication. Articulating cameras allow the patient to interact with the robot with a sense of familiarity and audio sensors allow the robot to physically respond to the patient's voice thus eliminating the coldness of the technology to some degree.

The telepresence robots, when used as a medical application, allow doctors and nurses to consult with patients and their parents remotely. Since they are controlled by staff back at the hospital, these robots help in providing clues to the patient’s progress by collecting up-close visual data for the medical staff. The technology can potentially ensure that medical staff is able to detect complications earlier and intervene in time and make necessary adjustments to post-op care if needed.

Using remote presence, the ongoing staff/patient interaction can also receive a great boost since patients wont be required to travel to and from the hospital. To determine the efficacy of the Vgo as a medical companion, the Children’s Hospital Boston is currently working to complete a 40 patient in-home trial with the help of five of these robots.

The prototype robots used in the hospital's trial are synced to the hospital using the 4G LTE network provided by Verizon and do not require wireless internet connectivity. Each of these robots can transfer a lot of data at great speeds via visual and voice connections though they are currently not configured to collect and analyze blood and urine samples.

At $6,000 a pop, these telepresence robots are certainly not cheap to manufacture. However, if the prototype trial succeeds, they could be used as helpful and reassuring tools that could revolutionize post-op care for children as well as the elderly.

Via: Dvice

Make a deep space creature part of your life in the form of this suspended luminaire

Posted: 16 Dec 2011 12:46 PM PST

Ruchika Pahwa:

When Dominique Jakob and Brendan MacFarlane got inspired by the shapes and brightness of deep sea creatures, they thought of turning this inspiration into a suspended luminaire that could spread the glow around itself exactly similar to how these creatures do. This light sculpture has been designed using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and blades. It has specially been created for a Paris-based art and furniture gallery named Moaroom, which has been constantly working with several artists and designers, and owns a large collection of design and visual artwork.

Suspended luminaire
Suspended luminaire

The design for this luminaire is developed to give respect to the natural environment, as well as to explore some unusual design patterns or trends that have been inspired by nature and ecology. This structure is both opaque and transparent at the same time. The fixture has been shaped as if it were a newly discovered deep sea creature that is unnamed and not completely known. There are constantly arriving experiences and lives into the far depth of the sea, and this is what has been depicted by this unique luminaire’s innovative design. This light source has been shaped as a snake that has been organically flowing through space.

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Suspended luminaire
Suspended luminaire inspired by deep space creatures

With dimensions of 160 x 80 x 45cm, this structure appears like a suspended sculpture. LEDs power this sculpture in a very creative way, while the thin aluminum strips are arranged to make it alternately flow through shadow and light. This light sculpture seems to be a moving organism that hovers above the heads of gallery visitors. But, the complete structure is such a special lighting piece that people would love to witness it. A state-of-the-art combination of patterns and color, this suspended luminaire displays an in-depth skill of interior design. You would appreciate the designers for making it a part of your artistic life.

Via: eVolo

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