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The Design blog

The Design blog

Glove-shaped ‘Show and Tell’ to help hearing-impaired send texts

Posted: 17 Dec 2011 02:22 PM PST

Abdul Vahid V:

A team of enthusiastic developers have designed a wonderful wearable communication tool in form of a glove, named 'Show & Tell.' The tool is meant to help hearing-impaired to send texts from their Android phones through some hand gestures. Wearing the glove, users can type what is to be sent as texts or e-mails to their contacts. But some analysts are perplexed of the requirement of a glove-shaped tool to help hearing-impaired people send texts. Actually, those guys can already send texts without the help of any external accessories.

Texting Glove
Texting Glove

Whatever it may be, it is not the time to make a definite conclusion over the innovative design, because it is just in prototype mode now. Its designers Oleg Imanilov, Tomer Daniel and Zvika Markfeld are still working with the Show & Tell project. The tool, as revealed in a video (watch it below) from its designers, works quite fantastically. Users of the glove just need to make some gestures with their hands to get contents typed on an Android phone.

The tool seems to work only with an Android phone as it is built with ADK Board (Android Open Accessory Development Kit). The communication tool further features a Lilypad Arduino, gyroscope sensor, accelerometer and flex sensors on the fingers. You can connect it with a phone using cable. Designers of the tool are about to realize the glove with its full-fledged features. Then, we can clearly see what they really intend with the special communication tool for hearing impaired. The device seems to get much more functionality before it is ready for marketing.

Texting GloveTexting Glove for the hearing impaired

Via: UberGizmo/Dvice

Vending machines to turn intelligent

Posted: 17 Dec 2011 02:10 PM PST

Balakrishnan Ramachandran:

A new generation of vending machines being developed in Japan will have the intelligence to determine if the customer is male or female, young or old and present text, images or animation tailored to the person to sell its wares. The machine is being developed by Sanden, the world leader in vending machines that makes over 2 million machines a year. Sanden is partnering Okaya Electronics and Intel to develop this product.

Vending machine concept with see-through display
Vending machine concept with see-through display

The vending machine front face is a 65-inch see-through HD display screen. When there is no customer in front of the vending machine, the screen shows a clock face and plays product advertisements. As soon as the customer stands in front of the vending machine, a video camera mounted on top scans the customer’s face and compares the data with its database to determine the approximate age and sex of the customer. This is achieved by the use of Intel’s new SandyBridge Core processor that ports the Audience Impression Metric software. The display on the screen is then tailored to the age and sex of the customer. For example, a beverage vending machine may offer older customers a choice of fruit or health drinks ahead of cola drinks. Cigarette vending machines may be programmed to deny access to very young customers. If the vending machine is dispensing cosmetics, it would know that a male customer is unlikely to buy lipstick and a female customer is unlikely to be interested in shaving gel. The HD display will show text messages and touch boxes to help the customer navigate through options until the sale is completed.

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Vending machine concept
Next-generation vending machine concept is developed by Sanden

In locations such as in commercial offices, the machine can also be programmed to remember repeat customers and offer them their regular products instead of the full menu of choices. The display screen can also show maps, emergency escape procedures and exits and such public service information, serving an additional useful purpose.

Vending machines are generally used to sell low cost merchandise such as food or beverage or for simpler transactions such as movie rentals. With intelligent vending machines, that could change with the customer able to see product demos, accessories and usage related information on the vending machine screen. Such professionally made demos would even work better than a sales person who may not be adequately trained or lack the motivation.

Sanden believes that these intelligent vending machines will spawn a host of new applications and is seeking opinions and suggestions from the people who see the demo.

Via: diginfo

Water-powered LUXURY's MIG 675 cruiser

Posted: 17 Dec 2011 01:36 PM PST

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

The concept

Here is a water vehicle that has the capability to produce its own fuel! Don't get shocked as a French company named Quimperié has manufactured the all new MIG 675 cruiser that does exactly what has been mentioned. It will produce fuel by directly harvesting hydrogen from seawater with the help of on-board generators. This means that the need of unstable and risky hydrogen tanks will be deleted from the design as live hydrogen production will take place.

MIG 675 cruiser
MIG 675 cruiser

The cruiser boat measures 6.7 x 2.5-meter or 22 x 8-foot and can touch a top speed of 113 km/h or 70mph. It can seat three people and has a cruising speed of 72.5 km/h or 45 mph. The hydrogen powered board will produce nothing but water vapors. All the electric devices, like a 10-inch touchscreen controller, an electric anchor roller, depth finder, an Alpine audio system, GPS, an LED navigation lighting system, rear-view camera and a bar fridge with an electric retractable table, all are powered by the hydrogen generator.

The MIG 675 cruiser is a true call of luxury and will also feature a sun deck, toilet, leather interior, retractable shower and teak floor. It will make sure that your dream of spending a pollution-free day at the beach soon turns into reality. The environmentally-friendly boat will come stashed with a price tag of $325,000 and is expected to hit the market next year.

The inspiration

Keeping the environment clean and saving precious resources is what stirred the designing of Water-powered LUXURY’s MIG 675 cruiser. Fuel is not only expensive but also produces harmful emissions. The cruiser has been created to deal with both the troubles and help people enjoy an Eco-friendly ride.

Eco credentials

Many designers have come up with boats and ships that are powered by solar and wind energy. But there are many who are trying to exploit other sources of fuel as well and hydrogen is one of them. MIG 675 cruiser is a hydrogen powered boat that will keep the seawater and environment clean by producing hydrogen from seawater. The MIG 675 cruiser will definitely give a new meaning to clean and green boats. It has a super clean engine that won’t pollute the underwater ecosystem.


Hydrogen is being used as a fuel to power many boats, therefore, MIG 675 cruiser's feasibility is not questionable. Keeping in mind that the creation will harvest hydrogen from the water body it will move on, the boat will not require any fuel refills. But the company has not made it clear whether the cruiser boat will run on seawater indefinitely or will it require other kinds of fuels to escalate its hydrogen production. Not much has been revealed about the engine it will come fitted with, so one can’t give a final word on what the result produced by the cruiser will be like.

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MIG 675 draws its power from the water
MIG 675 draws its power from the water

Related trends

1. Hydro Dolphin

Dolphin inspired boat runs on hydrogen for clean seas
Dolphin inspired boat runs on hydrogen for clean seas

Rayka Design Studio has come up with a passenger boat that will be powered with hydrogen fuel and has been named Hydro Dolphin. As the named suggests, the Hydro Dolphin has fetched heavy inspiration from dolphins. It has a length, width and height measuring 22m, 6m and 5.25m, respectively. The design features a wide outer skin that can be exploited depending on the weather condition.

The glass facade will let people enjoy a panoramic view and give them a chance to appreciate the beauty of their surroundings. It lets passengers sit in different positions, while it can also be used in still waters like the Golden Horn. Hydro Dolphin also has a space that can be used to install a small kitchen unit. The Eco-friendly, hydrogen-powered Hydro Dolphin will take people on a fun-filled ride that too without harming the surroundings with any kind of pollutants.

2. Orcageno

Orcageno low emission yacht by Pharos Marine
Orcageno low emission yacht by Pharos Marine

Orcageno is a low-emission super-yacht concept that has been crafted by Pharos Marine, which is a design studio based in Egypt. The attention-grabbing yacht will fetch all the power from a hydrogen diesel electric engine that will fitted in Orcageno. The concept is 60 meters long and will deliver a range of approximately 1800 nautical miles at a speed of 18 knots that too in an environmentally-friendly way.

The yacht manages to deliver an even better fuel-efficiency, thanks to the axe-bow structure of the hull that brings down residence because the entrance is placed at a low angle. The best part is it will also reduce the impact on marine life and shoreline erosion. The operating range of Orcageno is pumped up as hydrogen fuel used produces three times more energy than diesel and that too without producing harmful gases. The design also features a generator that will get power from hydrogen-diesel IC engine.

3. EkranoYacht

Hydrogen powered flying yacht based on the Ekranoplan
Hydrogen powered flying yacht based on the Ekranoplan

EkranoYacht is a hydrogen-powered, flying yacht concept that has been designed by Jaron Dickson. The Australian designer was inspired from the Ekranoplan, which is the legendary Soviet super-vehicle. Hydrogen powered vehicles are quite sustainable and do not produce harmful emissions. These use sustainable fuel that only produces hydrogen in small amounts and water vapor as emissions.

The cool vehicle has been designed for the year 2025 and will be used for permanent residence. It will unfurl a great way to travel by sea while keeping the environment pollution free. EkranoYacht will let you carry your home wherever you go that will surly leave people awestruck. It comes injected with the comfort of a yacht and at the same time will let you savor the convenience that an airplane comes with.

SoundsGood really makes an idea sound good

Posted: 17 Dec 2011 12:56 PM PST

Aravind Balasubramanya:

In what can be considered as a harmonic blend of technology and fashion, the concept design award winner, SoundsGood doubles as a hearing aid and an earring for women! It is shaped like an earring but it collects and amplifies the sound waves to assist listeners. It also converts these waves into graphic signals that can be read by the speaker. The color and frequency of the waves convey different messages. Thus, the speaker can receive the feedback and accordingly change the speed or volume of his/her talk. The different colored and patterned waves also act as nice decorations for the ‘earring’.


A gentle, green wave means that the volume is fine. A red wave indicates high volume while a blue one indicates a low volume. A sharp and jagged yellow indicates that the speaker is talking too fast! There is another advantage of wearing this device. Eye-contact forms an important part of communication. Since the device is very close to the eye, the speaker can ensure that there is not much loss of eye-contact while reading the feedback.

SoundsGood hearing aid
SoundsGood hearing aid

These devices are made very personalized. This means that before it can be used, the doctors or technicians will have to input all the data and information that is specific to the patient. This data will be used to generate the colored wave signals. This also means that the user must be in regular touch with the doctor to tune the device every now and then to match the changed needs. In this way, any changes over time can be easily factored into the device.

Tang Peiqi should be given a thumping pat on his back for such a wonderful, elegant and intelligent gadget.

Via: RedDot

Batting off unhygienic conditions at disaster sites – Disaster Relief Toilet Systems

Posted: 17 Dec 2011 11:24 AM PST

Munmun Goswami:

Disaster sites are often found to be in a sorry state, in almost all factors that play role in making a normal life reasonably decent to lead. While many of these factors, including food, drinking water, sleeping arrangements and protection have been taken into consideration, hygiene is one factor that has still lurked at the backstage. People at disaster sites are subjected to immense inconvenience as far as toilet facilities are concerned, most of the time being forced to get away with their biological waste in the most uncivilized and unhygienic manner. No one has ever thought about what can be seriously done regarding this issue. Till today, the three choices of toilet facilities that people in disaster stricken areas are left with are, filthy chemical toilets, shipping containers that are rendered empty with a shower, thus making it a good bathroom, or empty buckets. Of all these three, the shipping container is the best imaginable option. The remaining two would strike a contradiction to the taste of even the least sensible human being.

D.R Toilet - Disaster Relief Toilet System
D.R Toilet - Disaster Relief Toilet System

However, it seems that there are people who really observe and give results to their observations. Rahim Bhimani is one of them who has come out with a wise and practical solution to the hygiene cry in such areas. Bhimani has designed a toilet that would consist of three different parts, all of them available in flat packs and easy to organize – a tent that is easily transportable, a seating arrangement that is made of highly dense polythene, the top of the toilet exhibiting the use of polystyrene and lastly a cart that is possible to bring in perfect shape just with ten small screws. Along with this, the entire pack also contains degradable polythene bags which are capable of sustaining the weight of 100 to 150 uses.

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D.R Toilet - Disaster Relief Toilet System
The D.R. Toilet is a flat pack toilet system designed to aid individuals following a natural disaster

Apart from hygiene, another factor that presents a nightmare to disaster ridden individuals is that fact that toilet conditions in such areas are grave and lack privacy, which most of us humans value considerably. Here, in the DR toilet arrangement, the privacy issue has been taken into consideration. Hence, the inclusion of the tent. It has a door shaped opening at its rear end, so that the user, after emptying himself can pull off the cart to discard the garbage in a pit. Due to the use of the polythene bags, this process is made easy because the user just has to pull a string and the bag would slide closed. Due to an inner layer that traps the odor inside the bag, unpleasantness is reduced to a zero.

Keeping the present conditions of death and illness in disaster stricken areas in mind, this development is crucial and holds an untold level of importance. It specifically would apply to developing countries, where toilet conditions are very poor. A child death rate of 5000 per day due to waterborne diseases (the water is more than often contaminated with fecal waste), is a stunning figure. Proper action cannot escape a mandated responsibility regarding the hygienic conditions of disaster stricken areas. The DR toilet is the most practical and feasible solution in this regard.

Source: jamesdysonaward

Best of 2011: Sustainable skyscrapers

Posted: 17 Dec 2011 08:57 AM PST

Anindya Nandy:

In the current scenario of rising population and deceasing open land, skyscrapers are the wise options of effective utilization of the available space. The sky rising skyscrapers are based on the concept of vertical utilization of space. But, segregating and identifying the best ones among the numerous high rise buildings and skyscrapers that are commonly found in any highly futuristic urban city is really a difficult task. Here are the five best skyscrapers of 2011 from all over the world:

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