Why settle for a simple Scooba to wash your floors when you can get a ReadyBot to clean your entire kitchen? The prototype loads your dishwasher, cleans up the mess on your counter, and even takes care of leftovers. Created by a group of engineers from Silicon Valley, the team hopes to have them on the market in approximately two years. They also say that being made of commonly available parts, the bot will be affordable for us common folk. We say, “Sign us up.”
Read More | ReadyBot
If you really want to wow the neighbors, add a Tempest Gas Torch to your porch or patio. The effect is somewhat magical, for the flame inside the ceramic glass spirals around instead of simply flaring up. Recommended for mounting anywhere outside, Travis Industries is hoping that everyone will want their own Tempest. We dig the cleverness of the design and want to know what it will do with/to marshmallows. Contact them for price and availability.
Read More | Travis Industries
For the hunters in your life that still don’t get it that it is not okay to kill animals for sport or clothing, this prototype collection by designer/robotics teacher French Cadet is the gift for them. Walk in a room and the eleven Hunting Trophies will flash their eyes in red, orange, or green, turn their heads and move them up and down, and open and close their mouths. Here’s where the payback comes in. The closer the visitor gets, the more aggressive the bots become and will growl. Walk past them all and a chain reaction of snarling will occur. Created out of I-Cybie robots and individual programming, they each have an infrared sensor that can detect the amount of people in the room and their movements.
Read More | Trophees
For those who check their e-mail before their first cuppa java (you know who you are,) the Yuno is the perfect answer to allow you to fulfill your quotas in both areas. While you are getting your caffeine fix you can check your e-mail, see a traffic report, or find out how much Google stock is worth now with its touchscreen. It measures 6.25 x 3.75-inches and has a detachable CPU bottom so that you can pop it in the dishwasher. This is a finalist in Microsoft’s Next-Gen PC Design Competition. We like this prototype over most of the others even though we hope that they also make it insulated. Our e-mail takes forever to wade through sometimes. The contest runs through March 15, in case you want to vote for one of the contestants.
Read More | Next-Gen PC Design Competition Finalists
Speaking of MoMA, not only are they exhibiting the likes of AT&T and Nokia at the museum, there is an incredible display online. Combining science with design, there are over 300 concepts in Elastic Mind that are translated into physical objects. The purpose, they say, is to “combine research with attentive consideration of human limitations, habits, and aspirations.”
All we know is that spending a couple of hours on the site may not have the impact of seeing the show itself, but it certainly is worth the time. For example, in Collection for the Lonely Man, it includes the Sheet Thief, which winds up the bed clothes to the other side. Others are Cold Feet, Heavy Breather, Plate Thrower, and Hair Alarm Clock that will run hair across the user to wake him.
Read More | MoMA Elastic Mind
Nokia’s researchers and the University of Cambridge have come up with the “Morph.” On display at MoMA this month through mid-May, the concept is meant to display the flexibility of future mobile devices. Morph’s technology is pliable, self-cleaning, and transparent, and can be ergonomically rearranged. For example, a folded design would fit in a pocket or on a wrist, while an unfolded one could become a handset. In addition, Morphing will less expensive, take up less space on the planet, and be eco-friendly. We are all for any idea that we can wear instead of forget when we are in a rush.
Read More | Nokia
For those who want to stand out in the professional realm, Sony has released a set of 1200 limited editions of their VAIO Graphic Splash Expression Collection. The FZ series notebooks come in three designs of Victorian lace, flora, and leaf, and colors of black, pink, and blue with custom engravings available. All of them feature Windows Vista Home Premium OS, 2GB memory, 120GB HDD, and NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GT graphics. Each has a 15.4-inch widescreen LCD display, Sony’s trademark XBRITE technology, and are Bluetooth enabled. Prices start at $1,279.99
Read More | Sony Style
For someone who is always on the go (or on the run,) the Runner Hub may be your answer. The 4 ports hub will work with either 1.1 or 2.0 USB, has a transfer speed of 480 Mbps, and will work with either Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, or Mac OS 8.6 or above. At a size of 100 x 60 x 123mm and a weight of 71g, the device, with its rotating connection, comes with its own USB cable. Find it at Brando for a mere $12.00.
Read More | Brando
Smartphones are expensive but more desirable all the time, so why not get one that is also eco-friendly? The Chute, created by Industrial Designer Michael Laut, works like any other phone but is made of bamboo, which is not only biodegradable, but lighter and stronger than plastic. It probably won’t dent or crack if you drop it and if a friendly panda comes strolling by and looks hungry, perhaps he/she would appreciate the green gift. Contact Michael Laut for price and availability.
Read More | Yanko Design
If you don’t have enough money for a decent gift, do something nice for the spouse/partner in your life. Send an electronic greeting card, clean her/his monitor and keyboard, toss a few rose petals on the desk, and grab some new wallpaper. There are many links to sites for you to explore and download to your desktop. We particularly admired this simple rabbit and Chinese Summer. Select from calendar art, Apple, Microsoft, and Firefox themes, cartoons, minimalist art, and illustrations.
Read More | Smashing Magazine
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