Category: Industrial design

Design

The Nomad Key is an incredibly-designed minimalist charging cable

Nomad Goods has got a very impressive portfolio of top-notch smartphone accessories featuring everything from leather wallets to iPhone cases. And their philosophy of "owning fewer things, being resourceful and working hard together," really shines through with the Nomad Key for iPhone & Android. Crafted out of ultra-rugged polycarbonate and rubber, this space-saving little thing replaces that tangle-prone charging cable you've got lugging around. Thread in your keys into the provided keychain and you're good! Now, I was skeptical about the Key's durability at first - considering some awful past experiences - but this has held up surprisingly well in the last month. The rubberized USB to smartphone connection lets the Key bend at 180-degrees without issue and thanks to some clever design choices, the smartphone end points away from the keys. This is my go-to charging cable now! In the future, I'd like Nomad to create an extendable...
Architecture

Breathtaking architecture of the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg

The Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg is going to be officially open in January 2017. Since the Elphirhamonie have been finished; there are lines of people waiting to get inside and see at least it's halls and the balcony. The Elbphilharmonie has three concert halls, a hotel, apartments, and a public square with a total height of 110 meters. This building is certainly the most interesting architectural novelty in Germany this year. For more detailed information and upcoming concerts check the official website. ...
Design

Extinguish any kind of fire by simply throwing a ball

Fire hazards are always a possibility that everyone should be prepared for. Traditional extinguishers are heavy and require certain dexterity and locate yourself near the fire in order to be used effectively and properly.  ELIDE FIRE is a very friendly option, designed as a regular ball, it can be thrown from a distance, reducing the hazard for the thrower. It can even be placed in strategical places, with increased risk of fire, so in case it occurs, no intervention will be necessary. The company that produces this revolutionary ball has found a creative way to combat fires, while doing away with unsightly traditional fire extinguishers. To see more info about it, you can visit their website, or  YouTube channel to see some more of the tests.     ...
Design

Designers in Taipei used discarded lamp posts to create this playground

Instead of using discarded objects for the mere purposes of art, why not use them to redesign a public space? Taipei seems to have done just that with unwanted lamp posts by reshaping them for use in a public park in the middle of the city. The public playground project, "Swings Park," came about as a joint project between Taipei-based design studio City Yeast and Spanish art collective Basurma. The design was a result of Design Capital 2016, which aims to use public design as a catalyst for urban evolution. The Swings Park is here to stay through 2017 and you can learn more on their website. ...
Art

Philanthropist honored with life-sized sculpture by artist he never met

Saige Baxter is an artist - a painter, sculptor, and welder. But even more than that, she is an advocate for many positive things in life. Much of her work stems from goodness and charity. So it was not a huge surprise when she created a sculpture in honor of Jennings Womack, a philanthropist from Greensburg. Baxter spent almost a whole year preparing and crafting the sculpture to honor the late Womack. Although they never knew each other in real life, Baxter felt as if she already met him by talking to those close to him. The sculpture was officially unveiled outside the Jennings Womack Fitness Center. It was the final touch that closed the recent renovation done to the facility. It is located at Greensburg Salem High School. Before Womack died, renovations were already underway. And although the sculpture came as a posthumous honor, it definitely encapsulated what the community felt for the philanthropist. The artist made the sculpture so that it evokes the image of...
Design

Kinsa’s Smart Stick is the world’s smartest thermometer and it’s crazy fast!

Tech savvy parents, this one is for you. The Smart Stick by Kinsa Health is a thermometer that hooks up to your iOS (or Android!) device's headphone jack to provide accurate temperature readings. The device carries a slim form factor is made out of a soft, rubbery material so that it stays put. It can be used orally, rectally, and of course, underarm. Simply fire up the fun-looking app, choose how you want to take the reading, and there you go! Floating bubbles that the app makes you pop while you wait is a nice touch. I was amazed at how fast the readings are! When you're done, it tells you if you have a fever and lets you log any symptoms you may exhibit. Record-keeping of your past readings is big here and the fact that it's all integrated via Apple's Healthkit makes glancing at your past symptoms a cinch. Now, considering the now-diminishing headphone jack, I'm sure a wireless, Bluetooth-enabled version is on its way! The Smart Stick joins Kinsa's amazing line...
Design

This LED bulb lets you set the perfect ambiance at the flick of a switch

Dimmable lights may not be quite as important as light temperature, according to international survey data from Ipsos, which says that 55% of people want the right light for each task. Philips has the answer to that with the innovative SceneSwitch, an LED bulb that combines three light scenes into one. Simply install and flick the light switch on/off to cycle through different temperatures including bright light (blue), natural light (soft white), and warm light (a calm, orange hue) perfect for bedtime reading. Luckily, yours truly has had some hands-on time with it and thinks it's a phenomenal step forward for traditional, non-connected lighting. The bulb remembers your last setting to save you the inconvenience of having to cycle through each time. And it's stupendously bright! Check out the video below to see it in action. The SceneSwitch is available pretty much everywhere now! ...
Design

Spire tracks mindfulness, activity, and is the most elegant wearable ever!

Spire is perhaps the most elegant wearable I've ever seen and it actively tracks your breath. Coated with a luxurious sandstone texture, the Spire comes in the form of a small pebble. Pair it to your phone via bluetooth, clip it onto an article of clothing closest to your stomach or chest, and now you're able to view your respiratory rate in real-time through a gorgeous app. The device charges wirelessly when sitting atop an included, beautiful, metal plate. You can even charge your phone through that same charging base. I was floored when I saw it in action. It really is a complete package for someone who is into meditation, yoga, or anyone looking for an activity tracker that isn't wrist-worn. The free app comes with a number of mindfulness exercises that help you achieve a state of calm during a streak of tense minutes. One caveat, though, is that the Spire does not track sleep. This is something I'd like to see in a future iteration given that you...
Design

Philips’ Hue Go makes colored smart-lighting portable and affordable

Philips has been in the smart lighting game for a while now and the Hue Go is a just another brilliant way they're working to solidify their place in the market. The Hue Go is a portable lamp that carries the power of Philips's 16-million-color connected, vibrant-as-heck, LED light bulbs within its bowl-shaped form. There's a groove at the bottom that lets you set the lamp up at 45-degrees. And since the on/off switch is located underneath, keeping it tilted is the better option. That same button is used to cycle through colors and scenes, so it can be problematic at times. To compensate for that, you have the option of pairing the Go with a Hue Bridge. This lets you play around with Philips' awesome scenes with your phone. You can go wireless, but for some reason the Go only lasts three hours on a charge, leaving that Netflix binge session in the dark, unless of course, you're not big on portability. Now, I will say that for $79.99, this...
Design

Healthy Home Coach is an air-quality monitor that’ll make you a good parent

An Internet of Things-infused home isn't incomplete without a smart air quality monitor. And Netatmo's Home Coach is my favorite. We've covered Netatmo before (previously) and now they're out with the Home Coach, a Homekit-compatible air-care device that actually tells you how to improve it. It sophisticatedly monitors temperature, noise levels, air quality (measured in CO2 ppm), and humidity. You can even dial back in time to see how your environment has changed via a nice, clean app. In addition, you can set different profiles, so if you've got one installed in a baby's room, the device will adjust its metrics. A space-saving design makes it an elegant showpiece of sorts. For now, it's only available in rose-gold and that's the only gripe I have. I'd love to see a space gray or silver version! At $99.99, the Netatmo Home Coach pays for itself within days with its intelligence, elegance, and relevance for today's smart-home builders. Check it...
Architecture

Before Google: the lost art of real estate maps

Remember when everything was much simpler? There was a time when we did not rely on technology or the internet. There was no Google to give us instant results for every single thing that we need. This included maps. These days, you can simply take your phone and type in a place and you'll get an instant map on your screen. It's impossible to get lost as long as you have cellular coverage. This is a nice moment to look back at the simplicity of the past. Even though it was a lot less convenient, it can't be helped to feel nostalgic and eerily proud of how talented manual labor is. Men and women actually drew maps using their bare hands. Just ink on paper. No fancy software and digital tools to help them out. Minneapolis is a great case in point. Its nice aerial views of buildings, streets, and highways are best appreciated when seen through these old school real estate maps. It's no bluff that these, in their own humble ways, are real pieces of art. ...
Design

Eero blankets your home in speedy, reliable WiFi through an elegant form factor

Considering the many WiFi range-extending devices out there, Eero takes the effort out of the equation and replaces it with simplicity and reliability. The Eero WiFi system can be placed throughout a large apartment or multi-story house to ensure internet access inat every corner. An intuitive companion also lets you set up, update, and manage all Eero units easily. Personally, I'm not only impressed by how effective it has been during my last few weeks of usage but more so how unobtrusive it is from an aesthetic point of view. From no angle does it look like a modem, thanks to a slick form factor. I will say, however, that Eero is most effective when it replaces your current system completely. This is critical for smart-home enthusiasts because you don't want your smart lights not responding because of internet-issues. All in all, the designers behind this system have thought of it all and have reached a WiFi solution that caters to all and not just the tech-savvy....
Digital

Nanoleaf’s “Ivy” lights offer unique design and controls for connected homes

Smart lighting is an essential part of a connected home and with a plethora of them in the market, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. I stumbled upon startup Nanoleaf's Smart Ivy connected light bulbs recently, and their unique aesthetic immediately caught my eye. They look like puzzles fit together with LEDs protruding from each pentagonal surface. The lights easily pair with the provided 'smarter hub,' which is compatible with Apple's HomeKit platform. This means you can control the lights via Siri and the 'Home' app. Each bulb is not only dimmable but amazingly bright at 100% with a life of approx. 27 years. I've been using these for a couple of weeks now and they've turned me into a believer in the connected home movement. If you're looking for smart lights with an extra 'oomph!', this is it! [caption id="attachment_72768" align="alignnone" width="950"] The Nanoleaf app lets you easily set up the 'smarter hub' and pair additional...
Design

Gamevice turns your phone into a sleek handheld gaming console

Mobile gaming is huge and with Nintendo revealing their latest console, Switch, it's obvious that portability is key. Another player has just been introduced to the game of handhelds with Gamevice! There are lots of gamepads out there for mobile devices but Gamevice stands out from the crowd thanks to its phenomenal design choices. It's compatible with iPhone/iPad and snaps into the devices' lightning port. The two halves simply snap and lock onto each side. It's lightweight, sturdy, and feels great in the hand. The only apparent design flaw that I can see is it feeling uncomfortable after a few hours of continuous play since there's little to no curvature at the bottom. Aside from that minor hang-up, the device features an array of sleek features such as shoulder and action buttons, triggers, analog sticks, a handy D-pad, and of course, a pause button! Also, there's a built-in battery, so if your phone's plugged in, both devices charge simultaneously!...
Industrial design

Netatmo’s AI security camera combines brains and beauty

Netatmo is establishing itself as a brand-name in the connected world and their latest  AI-powered surveillance camera cleverly called, ‘Presence,’ is phenomenal. In a market saturated by connected security equipment, the Presence stands out as an all-in-one package that is both affordable and has a few neat tricks up its sleeve. With a weatherproof build, Presence boasts a 120-degree field of view and is able to identify just about anything in its view including animals, people, cars etc. in real-time and in full 1080p HD. There’s even a floodlight that turns on when something suspicious moves in close. Its expandable storage is always being overwritten by recorded footage and can also be used to create a one-minute time-lapse of recordings in the last 24 hours. Head on over to here to learn more!    ...
Creativity

The ride of the future: A bicycle

The bicycle as we know it is is not, and probably will never be a finished product. Since it's invention it has continuously evolved, with constant contributions and alterations to its basic design from all around the world, always looking to make improvements on it. Cyclotron has taken the humble bicycle one more step into the future. To learn more about the added features and implemented technology, visit their website, Kickstarter, or YouTube. ...
Creativity

Beleaf in a greener future

The team behind Leaf Republic has developed an eco-friendly water-resistant packaging made with leaves. Leaves have been used for generations in different cultures to wrap food, for example, tamales in Mexico or Zongzi in China. They are renewable materials obtained without  sacrificing any trees. This German company repurposed this concept and modernized it - resulting in plates, plastic bowls and lids that are biodegradable in only 28 days. Learn more about their procedure, product and philosophy visiting their website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Kickstarter, or YouTube. ...
Design

Med students design sleek hydration monitoring wearable

If you thought monitoring your heart rate was the most important part of fitness, LVL gives you a reason to think again. Medical student, Dustin Freckleton, MD, over at the University of Texas is trying to highlight the importance of staying hydrated with LVL, the first wearable that provides instant, real-time insight into the user's hydration levels. The wrist-worn device also triples as an activity, sleep, and mood tracker. Apart from its health benefits, LVL boasts a gorgeously-designed display that boils down health insights into perceptible icons bolstered by animations. Watch LVL in action below and back it on Kickstarter if you'd like!  ...
Design

Globe Garden chair inspired by our tree-dwelling ancestors

Globe Garden chair is 1.7 meters high and was created 29 years ago by Norwegian industrial designer Peter Opsvic. The purpose of this impressive chair is explained through the idea of active sitting. When the chair was designed back in 1985 its intention was to break stereotypical norms of sitting which are usually harmful to our spine and back. The new version of the chair looks like a tree with roots and a treetop. All these elements support the upper body and leave more space for moving. The first designed Globe Garden chair was more suitable for the public places. New versions are more adapted to the everyday situations at home or work.  If you want to order one just for you, check this website. ...
Creativity

Tile redefines bluetooth trackers by introducing thinnest one ever

Most everyone these days is a sucker for small but well-designed objects that can do big things. Tile's latest offering is just that! The San Mateo, California-based company defined what personal Bluetooth trackers can do for people who constantly lose things. And now they're at it again with the Tile Slim, which is "as thin as 2 credit cards," the company touts. The Slim connects to your phone via a handy app that will not only locate the tracker for you but also help you find your phone, should you happen to lose it, thanks to a pushable button in the center. The battery lasts up to a full year and replacements can easily be ordered through their useful reTile program. Check it out! ...
Design

Google enters AI market with gorgeously-designed ‘Home’

Artificial intelligence is undoubtably the highlight of 2016's final quarter, all thanks to Google. Google Home was announced recently by the California-based tech giant to applause from IoT (Internet of Things) enthusiasts. The smart-home assistant was big news in that it's first in a line of Google-designed tech introduced this year. With Google-themed animated lights on the top and a touch-sensitive surface, the demo showed off real-world scenarios to prove just how intelligent it is. The hub is set to compete with the critically-acclaimed Amazon Echo. Google's offering, however, is not only more aesthetically-pleasing, it has the world's most advanced search engine built right into it. Your move, Apple. Home hit shelves for $130 on November 4th, 2016. Check it out! ...
Creativity

Amazing modular bookshelf transforms to fit nearly any purpose.

A bookshelf that can be reconfigured? Take my money! If you find yourself often moving around your furniture only to get stumped by that one shelf in the corner, this fold-up bookshelf by Laurindo Marta for WeWood might interest you. The shelf, called, X2 Bookshelf, is crafted out of 100% solid oak and features a modular design that allows its user to customize its shape and size any way they want thanks to 48 wooden slats that work together. Check out the shelf in action below and click here to learn more. ...
Architecture

10,000 solar panels in Nevada captured brilliantly in sunset photos

Solar panels make for some serious eye candy when arranged so neatly. Conserving energy never looked so beautiful. Chicago-based photographer Reuben Wu photographed the Nevada SolarReserve, which groups together over 10,000 mirrors and serves to power nearly 75,000 homes day and night. The brilliant colors during sunset are made so much better with the reflective panels in view. Wu recently won a grand prize in Photo District News’ The Great Outdoors Photo Contest for "Lux Noctis." Check out some of his latest photos below and find more on Instagram and Facebook. ...
Design

You can actually sit on these 2D chairs

Ever wish you could pull 2D objects from a wall and use them? Korean designer Jongha Choi makes that possible. Our perception of two-dimensional images are challenged when watching Choi turn one of his 2D chairs, suspended on a wall, into a 3D object that you can actually sit on. The designs were conceptualized as part of his thesis at Eindhoven Design Academy in The Netherlands as part of a collection titled, De-Dimension. Watch the video below, and head on over to his website to learn more. ...
Digital

Videochat with your four-pawed friends

PetChatz is a two-way interactive videophone. It is meant for people who love their pets, and don’t want to let hem feel lonely during their absence.  You could be out for regular work, staying away for the weekend, or going away for the holidays. Even if you have someone to take care their basic needs, few things could release their anxiety (and yours) like this. You can see each other, they get to hear your voice, and you can even release a treat to make them feel your love. Connect with your pets any time you miss them, using your smartphone, tablet or computer. See more details on YouTube, Facebook, website, or store. ...
Industrial design

Waverly Labs’ Pilot: a real-life Babel Fish

Waverly Labs has created a piece of technology straight out of science-fiction. If you’ve ever read or seen Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, then you probably remember the Babel Fish, a fish that swims in your brain and translates languages for you. As of May 2017, that piece of fiction will become a reality. They’re introducing the Pilot, a smart earpiece that can translate language. Using speech recognition technologies and a lot of engineering, language is no longer a barrier. The Pilot comes in three colors and when purchased, includes two ear pieces and an app. The second earpiece allows for music streaming and other Bluetooth functions, and can used by the person you are trying to communicate with. Currently, the Pilot is able to translate English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese, and will be able to run for four to six hours. Check out more details here and here. ...
Furniture

Origami becomes lighting in these birds made from folded paper

Made of folded paper and brass, the Perch Light is a sculptural light form made by London-based architect and designer Umut Yamac. Lit from within, the perching bird is perfectly balanced on the post, and just the slightest breeze has it rocking back and forth on its post. The series began in 2014 as a floor lamp in an edition of 20, and the concept has since been expanded to a family of six sculptural lamps that hang in a chandelier style. This new series for Moooi was launched at Salone del Mobile in Milan. ...
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