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2018-01-18T08:04:25.612Z
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Cobb walks past the dining table, to the backyard where his children, obscured from view, are playing with each other. Just as he enters the backyard to greet his children possibly after years, he spins a metal top on the table and walks off into the distance towards his offspring. However, if you’ve seen the movie I’m talking about, you’ll know that once that top starts spinning, your eye doesn’t for one moment shift off it. Even till the very end of the movie, when the top falters for a slight bit, increasing everyone’s tensions, you can’t stop looking at the spinning metal object… and that’s what makes the end to Inception probably one of the most nail-biting curtain calls in movie history. And every bit of credit goes to how Christopher Nolan transfixes your gaze on and makes you obsess over a spinning metal top.

The top you see here is possibly the most iconic top design ever, after the Beyblade. It’s now a symbol of being mature (the top doesn’t look like a child’s toy), while still being in touch with your young, dreamer side. If the top’s design and its presence in pop movie culture wasn’t fascinating enough, the Infinity Levitating Top makes it even more magical!

The Infinity Levitating Top is fascinating to look at, whether it’s spinning or not. The top comes with a levitation base that allows the spinning artifact above it to float magically, a finger’s width above...

Road safety is paramount; there are no negotiations with that. What’s been most impressive the past year is the increased awareness around being seen with spray on reflective materials and various lighting solutions for cyclists, but Marc Sapetti’s Blinkers are by far my favorite concept of them all. The next generation bicycle lights – whatever the angle and the situation, Blinkers can be seen and alert those around you.

The operation of Blinkers is simple, which makes them highly efficient – the rear blinker indicates the direction of the turn, by blinking to the right or the left. The front Blinker is synchronized with the back Blinker, while also incorporating a strong white head light.

Accessibility is also a massive factor with Blinkers, incorporating a magnetic snap-on, snap-off system making them easier to dismount. Quite an elegant design, Blinkers is a gorgeous addition to any bike and is sure to keep the rider safe given any conditions.

Designer: Marc Sapetti

What if, you could create music by just making gestures the way a conductor would? What if you could bend notes on a keyboard the way a violinist creates a tremolo, or if you could dramatically slide from one note to another the way a guitarist slides his/her finger up and down the fretboard?

The Enhancia ring turns any keyboard or MIDI instrument into a theremin-esque one. It sits on your finger, modulating pitch and frequency depending on where your finger is located. Move your hand up and down, and your notes grow more pronounced or muffled, and move it from side to side (in mid-air) to slide between notes and to create complex and beautiful tremolos that touch hearts. Unless your keyboard is the Roli Seaboard, there isn’t much you can do to dramatically modulate your sound, but no worries, because the Enhancia lets your hand weave musical signatures in thin air!

The Enhancia Ring bagged the CES Innovation Award in the Wearables Category for the year 2018.

Designer: Oria

The future of urban air taxi is closer than you think, this is according to Bell Helicopter. Imagine coasting along in the sky while masses of people are stuck in the gridlock of traffic below. This is the proposition by Bell who is showcasing their future air taxi concept at CES right now.

With a full suite of connectivity technologies such as video calling, Wi-Fi, artificial intelligence and wireless charging, passengers of Bell’s Urban Air Taxi will have the option to fully maximize their airtime. The user has the option to finish off those last minute meeting notes, video call that important someone or just bask in the magnificent surrounding view. The design Bell’s Air Taxi looks as though it’s part of a Hyperloop design entry, and it certainly has me excited. Given the taxi quality of this air travel vehicle, I wonder why Bell chose to have four forward facing chairs and not give the back row their own control panel in the rear and face the back row towards the rear. Design choices aside, Bell’s Air Taxi is sure to be swamped at CES, be sure to check them out!

Designer: Bell Helicopter

If you have trouble sleeping, odds are it’s because you openly stared at that small block you carry around in your pocket all day shining a bright light into your eyes just before you nod off. However, if you’re one of the lucky few who doesn’t do that, Philips just came out with a new headband that plays white noise to help your brain get to sleep. Aptly named the SmartSleep, this headband has a funky design, one that definitely makes it distinguishable.

By attaching sensors to the user’s forehead, SmartSleep is able to detect the user’s brain activity, thus recognizing when you’re falling asleep and when you have entered a state of sleep. The band will play a pattern of white noises which should enable the user to reach a state of REM and produce a well rested and better night’s sleep.

Albeit this thing may look a bit funky and is sure to frighten your partner when it’s the first thing they see in the morning, it may be worth it for a sound night’s sleep. Showcased at CES, the SmartSleep is definitely something worth checking out if you’re fortunate enough to be there.

Designer: Philips

Take your social food sharing to the next level with REC, the range hood that goes well beyond simple ventilation. An evolution of Samsung’s smart home product line, it’s designed to both teach and help others be taught.

First and foremost, the wall-mounted unit differs from other bulky hoods with its ultra-slim profile. This flat panel design also makes it possible for a screen to be integrated into the outward facing side. Here, users can follow new recipes with step-by-step video tutorials displayed directly over the stove. The touch-screen interface allows them to easily navigate through the recipe. Furthermore, they can share their own favorite recipes with a built-in camera system that follows their movements throughout the kitchen. Using the dedicated social sharing app called RECipe, they can browse and replicate other people’s secret family recipes or build their own following with how-to videos and yummy tutorials!

Designer: Seong ik Yoo

1980’s kids, prepare to freak out! I’ve never been so excited about the reemergence of a long lost fashion accessory. Designer Yuhei Imai calls it a Wemo for “wearable memo” but some of us know it simply as a snap bracelet!

While we used it as a playful school yard weapon and wacky wardrobe accessory, the Wemo has a more thoughtful purpose. It provides a quick and easy method of relaying information in a variety of situations. During emergency rescues or in hospitals, personal can write a patient’s condition, allergies and other vital info on the bracelet and snap it on to their wrist in seconds. Workers in farms or in warehouses can make notes or write tallies directly on their wrist to save time and help them remember important details. Others, like construction workers or carpenters can use the one with dimensions printed on it for quick measuring. The possibilities are endless!

Better yet, the multicolored bracelets looks great paired with a pair of LA Gear shoes, as an accessory to your neon spandex with a t-shirt, or while you play Oregon Trail!

Designer: Yuhei Imai

Let not its adorable size fool you. These folding knives and multi-tools are powerful and proficient and are sure to get you out of random daily situations. Touted as the world’s smallest folding scalpels, the Crane and Puna pack a punch even though they’re literally the size of your pinky finger.

The Crane, modeled on the format of a straight razor, comes at just over 2 inches when closed, and just short of 4 inches when opened. It easily fits into the ticket pocket on your jeans (yes, that tiny little pocket you see on the front-right side of your hip), and is officially the smallest folding scalpel blade in the world. However, it’s the Puna multi-tool that steals the show. Modeled to look like a rifle, the Puna actually packs functionality in every possible detail. For example, its barrel doubles as a scalpel blade, while the silencer that attaches itself to the front is actually a miniature screw-driver, ideal for small screws you’d find anywhere from on your phones to even your spectacles. Move on to the detachable magazine and you’ve got yourself another interchangeable screwdriver that can be inverted to reveal the screwdriver’s head. Lastly, the stock of the rifle serves the purpose of working as not only a bottle opener, but its hollow design allows it to slip directly into your keychain too!

Both the Crane and Puna are made out of stainless steel, but the Puna takes its avatar a...

Announced back in August of last year, the highly anticipated RX0 has finally been showcased at CES. Combining the best characteristics of basically every camera on the market, the RX0 boasts forty times the normal frame rate, a 1.0-type Exmor RS CMOS sensor, wide-angle 24mm9 ZEISS lens, and a tough, rigid body that is waterproof down to 10m/33ft. Designed to look like an action camera, but to put most flagship cameras to shame, this compact-yet-mighty, Napoleon-esque camera is designed for a new wave of creative and filmmakers with new desires.

Enough about the specs, the RX0 is gorgeous. Weighing in at just 3.9 ounces, this little fella is very much a rugged ‘point-and-shooter’. It even comes with the spattered texture you seen on high-end camera bodies, indicating its premium, professional build. It’s as though a GoPro ate all the other cameras, absorbed the best traits from them and then took a bunch of steroids… I guess? This is definitely a unique addition to the Sony camera lineup, and although it’s not meant for the masses, it certainly has its well-deserved place there.

Designer: Sony

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Everyone is quick to replace the hardware around our homes which is fine until our phones go missing! Whether you’ve left your phone in the car or it’s fallen down the side of the couch, controlling everything from your smartphone might not be the best idea. Estab Han designed a remote control that couldn’t possibly be replaced by a smartphone, the Doki.

Doki follows three principals set out by Estab; the remote must be operational without needing to see it, it needs to be more functional than a simple software interface, and it needs to be quick to find. Manifested from the design language used on a tree ax (also where the product gets its name – Doki being the Korean word for ax), Doki has a protrusion on the rear of the remote, which prevents it from sliding down between the cushions. Not only this, Doki has an LED located on the top of the device which will illuminate every 30 seconds, enabling the user to find the remote in a moment of need.

Designer: Estab Han for weekend-works

Imagine if you could take a part of your travel experiences and preserve them in time in your house… The Whim does just that. Taking inspiration from the undulating rock formations seen at the Wave in Arizona, Whim’s form oscillates between geometric and organic, striking a balance between man-made design and nature’s design.

The Whim’s design makes for a great play of light and shadows, taking cues from how picturesque Arizona’s rock formations look in the daytime. The semi-circular unit houses an LED strip within, which shines on the organic forms at the opposite end of the circle, creating a dramatic, neo-minimalist halo of order and chaos, light and shade. The forms make for a great sculptural lighting unit and can be either wall-mounted, hung from above, or used as a table/floor lamp. Either which way, for people who’ve explored and loved Arizona’s geological wonders, the Whim is a beautiful way to preserve those memories in a format that’s utilitarian, aesthetic, and most importantly, non-traditional!

Designer: Rhea Mehta

It’s the first week of the year – no better time than now to kick your smartphone addiction! If you’re living life through your phone’s camera lens, it’s time to invest in a Substitute Phone – a fidget device designed to help you get back to living in the real world.

The designer put it best: you’re on the metro and grabbing at your phone at the first sight of seeing someone else receive a message. It’s a bizarre and unhealthy inclination feeding our attention deficit and we’re all guilty of it!

Designed with this in mind, the shape of the Substitute Phone replicates an average smartphone, however, its functions are reduced to the movements we make hundreds of times on a daily basis. Stone beads are incorporated in the body and let you scroll, zoom and swipe so to speak. No digital functions – just the simple, familiar motions. It’s the perfect, therapeutic approach to coping with smartphone withdrawal.

Designer: Klemens Schillinger

There’s something innately calming and beautiful about the ATMOS. Not only does it make the brewing process feel easy, it makes the brewing process LOOK easy too. The fact that the entire product is just two bottles and an intermediary filter unit in an hourglass format feels easy on the eyes, and it’s fun to watch the water literally traverse from one bottle, through the coffee grounds, and into the other, tinted with the golden brown color we’ve known to love!

The ATMOS takes the components required in the pour over brewing process and simplifies them separately and as a whole too. The entire apparatus comes with three bottles (only two are needed for brewing) and a threaded interconnecting module made of stainless steel. The procedure of brewing is literally narrowed down to three steps… Fill, Tamp, and Flip. Each bottle is crafted out of borosilicate glass, with a capacity to store up to 5 espresso shots, and comes with a 28mm threaded neck, although the thread pattern is slightly different from the kind used in regular PET bottles. However, this means the bottles can be cleaned with any regular household bottle cleaner. The intermediary stainless steel (316 marine grade) component comes in two parts that fit together to form the core of ATMOS’s brewing unit, and separate for easy cleaning.

What’s beautiful about the ATMOS is its visual and functional simplicity. It separates the three steps into three zones, letting you...

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The helmet, ever since its use by warriors in ancient civilizations, has always been a safety device. The materials have changed through thousands of years, going from metal to leather, to different blends of plastics that help create headgear that’s lightweight and impact resistant… but at its outset, the helmet has always been protective headgear, whether in combat or in sport.

Today, the helmet gets its first true perception makeover as we know it. It retains its properties as protective headgear, but becomes more than just a safety device. It becomes an experience device. The PLY by EcoCell is the world’s first smart helmet designed for the modern day biking experience. Not only is it a resilient and aerodynamic helmet that keeps your head safe, ventilated, and your vision clear, it also integrates into its design a HD dashcam with built in Wi-Fi, and a hands-free bluetooth speaker and microphone set that allows you to communicate with fellow riders.

Click here to Buy Now: $399.00 $570.00

The PLY comes with an HD dashcam built into its design that allows you to capture your ride without having to mount external recording devices. The camera records at a capture angle of 120° at 30fps to ensure you grab everything in your crosshairs. The camera is mounted on the chin, making it more stable than most external mounts that would cantilever...

At once sculptural and organic, Helen Kontouris’ Botanical Planter Screens provide a sense natural visual separation to indoor and outdoor spaces alike. Unlike formal hedges and trendy vertical gardens, each screen in the collection functions much in the same way as a typical potted plant, keeping maintenance to a minimum, even for those without a refined green thumb.

In 5 distinct shapes, there’s an aesthetic for every taste as well as the possibility to mix and match them for an entirely customized look. Once grown in, they make for excellent visual dividers and acoustic dampening panels whether it’s for an open floor plan workspace or outdoor patio that needs spatial defining. Better yet, you can use your own favorite climbing plant including fruiting vines such as passionfruit, snow pea and climbing tomato!

Designer: Helen Kontouris

Love to read but also a tad forgetful? You need this! It’s called the LastWord and it goes beyond the basic functionality of a bookmark. Not only will it save your page, but it will also mark the precise word you on which you left off. Just adjust the placement and metal tab to indicate the right part. Made from stretchy elastic fabric in a variety of funky colors, they can adapt to any size book and give it a cool suspenders-esque look!

Designer: Piero Quintiliani of PQ Design Studio

I’ve seen a lot of concept cars for the future this year, but none has blown my mind half as much as the transparent pods envisioned by Architecture firm Oiio. The Oto concept is quite literally something out of this world. The concept is developed for use in Los Angeles which they claim is “notorious for its private car-based transportation.”

Given the idea that these private car-based transportation methods are wasting valuable seats, boot space and engine utility – the guys down in Oiio asked the question “What if we were able to dissect a working car into working components which could be utilized according to given circumstances?”

A bizarre notion at first was swiftly turned into an exciting outcome. Separating these three elements, Oto gives each LA resident their own cabin and using an AI control circuit – a temporary assembly unit can be constructed, providing the user with the necessary needs on demand. With this, Oiio said, “Los Angeles would then be able to invite its people, and visitors to streets liberated from the old overflow of vehicles and ready to accommodate their “exact” needs, no more, no less.”

Designer: Oiio

Providing rehabilitation to the kneecap, the Kneesup goes the extra mile by also coming with a health tracker in it. The lightweight device comes made of fabric, filled with air inside, not only cushioning the knee area but also making sure it doesn’t add any extra weight to the joint. Its ambidextrous nature allows it to be used on either leg with equal comfort and ease.

Designed to not only protect and prevent the kneecap from early stage degenerative arthritis but to also help wearers monitor their stats, the Kneesup comes with a small tracker that snaps onto the fabric sleeve that sits around your knee. Pairing with an app, the tracker allows you to track workouts and therapy sessions while also making sure you can monitor your health. So as to avoid confusion, the Kneesup comes with two separate easily swappable trackers for left and right knees. Providing physical as well as technical support, the Kneesup uses a software-hardware co-design that creates a smart rehabilitation experience!

The Kneesup is a winner of the Red Dot Design Concept Award for the year 2017.

Designer: Liu Yan-Fu

So far the only caveat with being outdoorsy is the lack of access to power. We’re a generation that loves the outdoors but is addicted to electronics… So, what do you do when you need electric power outdoors? You resort to solar panels… and then suddenly it’s sunset. Solar panels only work for half the day when the sun is out, making them useful only 50% of the time. Blue Freedom opts for something that’s much more consistent. Hydel power.

Designed to be the most portable hydroelectric power plant made by man, the Blue Freedom comes with a turbine and a battery that fit into each other. The turbine can be detached and placed in any river, rivulet, or stream. The rushing water turns the turbine, converting motion into electrical energy which gets stored in the donut-shaped battery unit. The battery’s donut shape solves a double purpose. Not only does it make it easy to store the turbine when not in use, the donut even helps secure the battery unit to a branch or a rock by looping it around.

With the hydroelectric power supply, you’re consistently provided with power that you can use to charge all your devices. The Blue Freedom comes armed with a speed charging as well as a regular charging USB port. The battery on the inside is a 5000mAh lithium polymer battery and can even be charged via microUSB instead of via hydroelectric power.

In its entirety, the Blue...

Lately, we’ve questioned the appearance of a lot of things. Shavers, IoT Devices, Air conditioners… or rather, we’ve asked the question “Why not make it look different?”. This deviation from a product’s ‘category code’ (or the need to homogenize designs of a certain category so users can identify them better) opens up a new world of design where a user’s experience remains unchanged or enhanced by a product that looks radically different in an attempt to break the mold.

Take for instance the Half-Half kitchen scale, which was designed in a way that can be best described as a parallel universe kitchen scale. Made out of glass and marble, the scale is designed to complement the kitchen beautifully (it uses its space and the space’s materials wonderfully as inspiration), rather than standing out as an appliance screaming for attention. Designed to be a perfect square when not in use, an elegant diagonal cut along one face gives the product its character while allowing for the glass receptacle to be moved upwards. Markings on the glass container allow you to gauge the weight of the items you place inside as the glass container lowers itself, the heavier it gets. I for one would love to have a Half Half scale in my kitchen, not because it does its job, but it does so with sheer panache!

Designer: Constantina Sfakianakis