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The Design blog

Philips Sustainable Toaster runs on batteries recharged via a static bike

Posted: 16 May 2012 05:49 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

For people who want to reduce energy consumption through the course of their daily lives without giving up modern conveniences, Spanish designer Miren Arrieta-Odria has created the Sustainable Toaster for Delft University of Technology. A second runner up at the the 2009 Domestic Appliances Design Award organized by Philip-TUDelft, the toaster is designed to use up to 34 percent less energy than a regular unit thanks to four insulated compartments.

Sustainable toaster
Sustainable toaster

As opposed to regular toasters that are created to toast several slices of bread at a time and use the same amount of power even when you're toasting a single slice, the Sustainable Toaster allows users to toast single slices which reduces energy consumption immediately. Instead of popping the toast out when the timer is up, the innovative toaster keeps the toaster inside and keeps it warm till the user opens it to fetch the toasted slice of bread.

Four separate parts fit into the base allowing many slice of bread to be toasted at a time. Each compartment comes with an easy to open door that makes it easy to clean the unit while hidden heating elements make it safe for use by families with young kids.

What makes the Sustainable Toaster truly remarkable is the fact that it runs on batteries which are recharged by the power generated via a static bike pedaled by a person. Not only does this promote healthy living among families, it also helps kids understand how human power can be easily harvested for daily use. The unit is also geared to tell users how much electricity the unit is used and how much pedaling would produce the kind of energy needed to recharge the batteries used in the toaster.

Via: Cargo Collective

Informer on your wrist for what you should resist

Posted: 16 May 2012 05:48 AM PDT

Shallu Sharma:

Various concerns like unbalanced diet, food contamination, subsidized farming, poor circulation, GMOcrops, etc. can prove hazardous to our existence. The need of the hour is to design a product that would provide crucial information regarding food and enhance the grocery shopping experience. The aim of the design was to create a physical device that would allow physical interaction with all food items. Earlier the design of the "Food Informer" was proposed in form of a tablet but it did not consider ergonomics therefore, a band-shaped design was finalized taking all factors into consideration.

Food Informer
Food Informer

Various test models were made in order to enhance the shopping experience and user testing helped to focus on every important aspect of the Food Informer. It has SMA i.e. Shape Memory Alloy that auto forms around the user's wrist for adjustable fitting, enabling the user to manually adjust the fitting to desired tightness. Fin logs onto user's profile and synchronize for shopping details like preferences, shopping lists, food allergies, etc. It also has a high accuracy local positioning system that allows the user to locate the desired product. Route is calculated to suit the user's shopping habits.

Once the user is within the reach of the desired product, the food informer switches to the product information mode where it actively tracks the user's eye movement and retina scan. It then configures location with LPS and reads the information off the internet with RFID code obtained on the product. Since each item is tracked and recorded by the Food Informer, an automatic payment system could be set up to reduce waiting in queues. Thus, development of the Food Informer would solve a lot many problems that we encounter in day-to-day grocery shopping.

[Cheers Thomas]

Honda’s Uni Cub Personal Mobility Device is a ripped off Segway for indoor use

Posted: 16 May 2012 05:44 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

Escalators and elevators are somewhat necessary for mass mobility in high rise buildings and motorized wheelchairs are certainly helpful in enabling the disabled to carry on with their routine functions without spending all their physical strength on towing themselves around. However, inventions like the Segway have just made us a lazier race and even though we're thankful that it didn't catch on as a means of personal mobility on a wide scale, it did put "ideas" into the minds of many auto brands as a way of making a quick buck by creating a motor-operated vehicle for each and every one of us that would make walking redundant and unnecessary.

Honda Uni-Cub personal mobility device
Honda Uni-Cub personal mobility device

Take the “personal mobility device” called the Uni-Cub developed by Honda for example. The things is basically a stool with motorized wheels that can ensure that no human being ever needs to stretch a muscle when they have to move around in their offices, museums, schools and homes. With a top speed of 6km/h, the Uni-Cub won't exactly be used in drag races though its lithium-ion battery pack would certainly suck enough grid power to enlarge your personal carbon footprint by the day.

The device comes fitted with the Omni Traction Drive System which ensures navigation and balancing its two wheels is as easy as child's play with zero-point turns and a touchscreen-based app driving interface. The Uni-Cub will begin its trials at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Japan starting next month though there's no word yet on whether it will be made commercially available or not.

Via: The Verge

Yasher, portable solar electric generator inspired by military equipments

Posted: 16 May 2012 05:41 AM PDT

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

A generator proves to be nothing less than a blessing when it comes to providing electricity to power various gadgets/tools or simply lighting up an area where the electricity supply has been cut or absent due to some reasons. This back up power source comes wrapped with a lot of usefulness, but what happens when it is needed in difficult to reach areas? Treacherous terrain, bumpy grounds or rubble can prove to be a great hurdle and crossing all this gracefully will be Yasher, which has been designed by Jorge Eduardo Armendariz. The generator can be tagged as a true outdoor portable device as it will work well in non prepared environments, field encampments as well as emergencies.


Yasher is a heavy duty solar electric generator, which is portable in nature. It will harness solar energy for various needs that may arise. The industrial designer fetched a lot of inspiration from military tanks, equipments and armored transportation to come up with a generator that is not only portable but quite sturdy as well. It will work well in the toughest of terrains and will be of utmost help in emergency situations, where access to various things becomes very difficult and lack of electricity further acts as a hurdle during the rescue operation.

The outer device high ranks on the functionality graph, apart from being aesthetically appealing. The solar electric generator can provide a 12V DC power supply for a good four hours. This time can vary according to the number of devices the generator is connected to. It further has an overall charging capacity of 90ah, thanks to the presence of two 45Ah gel batteries.

The portable outdoor device can be easily transported from one place to the other, without the fear of bumpy grounds or rough terrain taking over your senses. Yasher is definitely tough and pretty reliable, but that doesn't mean it has no right to look good. The designer left no stone unturned to make the solar electric generator eye appealing and injected it with lot prettiness. The device will show its true ability and what it's worth once it touches muddy surfaces or is introduced to a heavy tropical rain. The case has been designed in such a way, which will prove to be a great way of protecting the device when being transported through rough conditions.

Once Yasher reaches the desired destination, it can be removed and used again only when needed. The same case will double as the main supportive structure for the mounting of the solar cell surface while installed. This also ensures that all the components are used well and not left to rot around. Yasher, with its good looks, will make sure that life doesn't come to a haul be it any situation or condition due to the lack of electricity at least.

[Thanks Jorge]

Tangle is a colorful headphone to enjoy clutter free music

Posted: 16 May 2012 05:38 AM PDT

Radhicka S Saxena:

This listening device is a two tone earphone and its dazzling colors will definitely make a lot of heads turn. Most headphones have dull colors like white and black. But this one dares to be different and sports full blown jazzy hues like cyan and magenta. The two threads have been daubed in different colors. Quite quirky, what say? One is covered in cyan while the other flaunts a deep magenta. And the spiral pattern created by the dots on the flat end of the earpiece is simply smashing.

tangle earphones
tangle earphones

But, apart from the colors, the outline and layout of the device is neat, clean and streamlined. Thus, the piece is a unique mix of dapper and flashy colors. The headphones can be used with all Apple devices as a compatible remote has been slotted into the cyan wire. Maneuvering the remote is easy as it is stretchy and bendable just like the wire on which it is embedded. A microphone, volume settings as well as buttons for navigating through tracks and switching on the loudspeaker have been implanted on the wire.

The wires of the piece with a 3.5mm plug won't entangle ever. A very neat trick has been employed to implement this useful feature. The reason why the wires won't snare is because they have already been tangled up. They are twisted around each other, just like little girls do their braid, from the base to the point where they separate ways. Furthermore, the Tangle logo has been cleverly imprinted on this braid.

Additionally, these headphones will enhance the getup of anything you are wearing and thus are very much like a cool clothing accessory. Just plug them on and see how stylish you look. They are nothing like the unsightly and messy wires of other ordinary headphones. Their saturated and jazzy colors stand out and could even pep up your downbeat mood. The smashing and utilitarian piece has been designed by Evangelos 'Lee' Gicas.

Via: Egicas

Make calls and chat over the webcam with WAT’UB family phone

Posted: 16 May 2012 05:34 AM PDT

Radhicka S Saxena:

This outgoing design will make your family phone appear a lot more affable. Its fluid curves and neat layout are a treat to the eyes. The handset has a sleek outline and rests neatly on the machine. This new age design has been drafted by a France based industrial designer Guillaume Faure. Apart from making phone calls, you can do many more things with this phone. Let's take a brief look at its features.

WAT'UB - Home Phone
WAT’UB - Home Phone

An embedded web cam makes video chatting possible. On top, the piece looks just like an ordinary phone, but turn it over, and you will see a screen slotted in for conversations over the webcam. Its touch screen also aids in interaction while a microphone has been slotted near one of the edges. All operational buttons have been slotted on the handset of the phone.

Moreover, the design encourages you to pick up the piece and use it freely. Getting a firm grip on the colored surface of the phone will be a snap. Hold it in your hand and move around while you are chatting or viewing someone's webcam. Additionally, you will be able to toss it from one side to another using just one finger as weight is charged on the bottom of the phone.

This cool phone is available in five different colors, so finding one that blends with your home will not be difficult. It comes in a red, blue, green, mustard and also a gray hue. The phone looks good resting on a corner table inside your pad. Hopefully, it's fun and easygoing design will make family conversations enjoyable. Also, the designer hopes that the new and friendly design will bring back the trend of keeping a family phone inside the house.

[Cheers Guillaume]

Audio Faucet overcomplicates the bathroom sink faucet

Posted: 16 May 2012 05:31 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

If you thought stand up comedians experiencing writers' block were the only people who were obsessed with things found in a bathroom, you might want to try conversing with a sanitary ware designer. Not only have big sanitary ware brands invested gazillions of dollars into coming up with "new and improved" designs to make the plain of bathroom sink faucet more interesting (and thus expensive) for users, they also seem to be trying their level best to complicate the usage of a sink faucet for the average person.

Audio Faucet
Audio Faucet

In an attempt to make using a bathroom sink more interactive and interesting to users (who might only spend less than 5 minutes a day interacting with a bathroom sink faucet), sanitary ware giant's Kohler asked designer Tim Wymore Byrne of Western Design Team to create a faucet that would remind people of the days when record players were in vogue.

The design mimics the action of pulling the needle of a record player onto the record to play music and makes the rotatable tap and the flick up faucet look a whole lot simpler and desirable. Dubbed the Audio Faucet, the design comes with many unexplainable elements like the over thought hot and cold water taps heads and the elongated faucet pipe that could splash water all over the bathroom floor that can cause people to slip, fall, break their necks and die.

Via: TimWymoreByrne

Air Conditioned Flak Jackets will help cops beat the heat this summer

Posted: 16 May 2012 05:26 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

Cops aren't known to be the coolest, calmest public officers in the world and a cop who's patrolling the streets in the skin-frying summer time is likely to lose his cool. However, a Swiss materials company called Empa has come up with a way to keep police officers cool through the summer using Coolpad technology-based bulletproof vest that can be described as an air-conditioned jacket at best. For officers risking their lives in high-risk areas, wearing a bullet-proof vest is mandatory which may save their lives but creates a sauna like effect around their chests which is unimaginably uncomfortable for the wearer.

Air-Conditioned Flak Jacket
Air-Conditioned Flak Jacket

To ensure that police personnel are not left feeling uneasy due to the heat created by their uniforms, these Air-Conditioned Flak Jackets comes with the regulation bullet-proof dense Kevlar flak jacket with water-filled pads built into them to bring the skin temperature of the wearers down. Tiny fans fitted behind the pads add ventilation to the jacket and create a natural cooling effect that mimics the process of cool air hitting sweating skin and bringing the body's temperature down.

To keep the material flexible, diode lasers were used to weld the pads to the vests to keep them sturdy enough to be bullet repellent while remaining lightweight and functional enough to keep cops cool. The Air-Conditioned Flak Jackets has been tested by the police department of Zurich who has provided quite positive feedback on the system though it might be sometime before the cooking vests become a part of the standard uniform for cops around the globe.

Via: Gizmodo

Little Sun, solar powered LED lamp to illuminate the third world

Posted: 16 May 2012 05:23 AM PDT

Ritu Mathur:

For millions of people in the developing and underdeveloped countries the only source of light is the Sun and once the Sun sets in the west their lives become dark. Inspired by the Sun and it’s never ending desire to give light to people, Iceland based light installation artist Olafur Eliasson has come up with a very innovative idea wherein he has developed solar powered lights in the shape of little sun. Eliassan presented these little suns in the World Economic Forum at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia recently. Olafur collaborated with engineer Frederik Ottesen to create Little Sun and illuminate lives of people who live off grid.

Little Sun: Solar powered light
Little Sun: Solar powered light

The lights have been designed in bright yellow color and in the shape of a sunflower and Eliasson has very aptly named them 'Little Sun'. The lights uses LED technology and uses sunlight through a 6 x 6 cm mono-crystalline solar module. The little suns are capable of providing light for full five hours after charging them for four hours. The strength of these solar lights lies in their design as they can be used as torch, table lamp and a lantern or even as a front light on a bicycle. The lights can be hung in the house easily and can perfectly fit into the role of bulbs and CFL lights. The lights are quite sturdy and are expected to work without any problems for as long as three years.

Olafur describes his new innovation as a piece of art which is not restricted to poor people and can also be used by normal users for its artistic value and sustainable approach. The solar powered light will be launched shortly at the Tate Modern Museum in London during the festival preceding Olympics in July, 2012.

Via: Gizmag

Loop shower system to unfurl an emotional, multisensory experience

Posted: 16 May 2012 05:08 AM PDT

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

Shower time can turn to be one boring daily activity with the same shower gels and bath equipment around. Adding some fun to the task of keeping yourself clean and in a hygienic state is a multi-sensory shower that has been skillfully from Idiha Design. Christened Loop, the shower has been designed by Diego Granese. It comes sprinkled with a lot of style and will win hearts with the elegance it oozes.

LOOP Polyethylene Outdoor showe
LOOP Polyethylene Outdoor showe

Loop, as is suggestive from the name, has been shaped like a ring. It will come wrapped in a lot of style and will make shower time the most relaxing part of the day. The shower unit has fetched a lot inspiration from waves. The practical design can be used both outdoors as well as indoors. This means you can even wedge it near the pool area, the garden and spas. Loop comes complete with sensors that will work as per the whims and fancies of a user, which means activate or deactivate whenever you want.

If you are in a hurry someday, then opt for a normal shower. But, the day you have all the time to pamper yourself and wish like soothing those frazzled nerves, the connected sensors will drench you with an oh-so-amazing experience as water from all sides fall on your body. Loop is available in a array of colors, which will give you a lot of flexibility to pick one according to your taste. The clean and curvy design will caress you senses and leave you charged for a challenging day ahead.

Via: CriaDesignBlog

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