A Foldable Wheel that Can’t Puncture

What’s more frustrating, your bicycle tire being stolen or being punctured? I’d have to say they’re pretty much equal. What’s worse is if it’s punctured then stolen…nightmare. There’s been many a time I wish I could just carry my tire around with me but it’s quite the cumbersome task that, given the option to leave it, I will.

Due to the ingenious design by Andrea Mocellin, the Revolve Wheel, this is a thing of the past. Revolve is an airless, puncture-proof and foldable wheel that is compatible with most bicycles and wheelchairs. The unique hexagonal structure folds down to a compact pod, allowing for an effortless pack up – perfect for biking excursions or city adventures.

This new tire eliminates the needs for a pump, puncture repair kit or any additional tomfoolery when it comes to replacing a tire. Not to mention these tires look so damn cool, if you were given the choice of these tires or some normal road bike tires, I think we can both agree this one gets the win – hands down.

Designer: Andrea Mocellin of Revolve

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Mask to make you a deeper sleeper

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It seems as though getting a good night’s sleep is somewhat of a dream these days, which is ironic. I find myself tossing and turning, trying app after product after app to “track” my sleep pattern in an effort to enhance it – but to no avail. Maybe Dreamlight’s Rechargeable Sleep Mask could be the answer to my troubles. Using light technology, Dreamlight helps you sleep and experience optimal rest.

Like all good sleep tech, this sleep mask tracks your sleep patterns each time you use it. Considering it’s a sleep mask, it really does prevent any interference both visually and auditorily. That being said, the user has the option to play their own music through the embedded speakers, or they can use the preinstalled playlists that are in the accompanying app. Like any good app, this guy can learn from your pattern to find the optimal time to wake you up and to use the same lights to put you into a deep sleep, can be used to softly wake you up at the right time. Albeit the claims being made by Dreamlight seem somewhat perfect, you are wrapping a pillow around your head before you go to sleep, so I do wonder how that feels.

Designer: Dreamlight

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Smart Speaker + So much more

Amazon Alexa is inside EVERYTHING. It’s starting to become somewhat of a prison in your home, walking through the house talking to yourself and then having an inanimate object respond with “I didn’t quite catch that.” As of late, I’ve become a huge fan of companies trying to push the boundaries themselves and challenge the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant products, and nobody has done it better than the ever-creative Teenage Engineering with their release, H.

Taken from their site, Teenage Engineering has said “In Silicon Valley, they would call a device like the ‘H’ a ‘smart speaker.’ Our friends in Beijing, who asked us to collaborate on the H, rather talk about it in terms of ‘a colorful device for splendid moments’ and ‘flexible operations for life guidance.’ We think that’s a quite humble way for them to talk about their world-leading AI technology.”

The integrated battery enables the user to remove the top level of this friendly AI device and keep it close to your body, so you don’t need to shout or pop your head around the door to ask H a question. Not only is this little guy incredibly smart, the limitless functionality of its microphone and touch sensitivity working simultaneously is really exciting. The interaction and feedback with H are second to none, and it’s due to this that H is easily becoming my favorite product of this year so far.

Designer: Teenage Engineering

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There’s something different about this KTM

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“What’s a transportation designer if he doesn’t mess with and personalize his bikes and cars!” – spoken like a true designer, Don Cammorata made some adjustments to the KTM 950 that can only be described as beautiful. Everything Cammorata has done here is outstanding – from the oversized dual exhausts and satin body finish to the cut-off nose, and orange accents dotted all over the KTM 950.

This bike shows us a little bit more of what’s going on under the seat, drawing our attention to that powerful rear suspension in the form of the electric orange coil. The adjustments to the overall body size itself are what turn this already sporty design language of the KTM 950 into a fierce, edgy, force of a bike to be reckoned with. The nose has been cut short, while the rear looks as though it has been squeezed in, bowing the seat a little further – appearing more compact and ready to go! With the removal of the front mud-guard, the vent is a lot more visible behind that mesmerizing headlight. A job well done Don Cammorata, let’s hope we get to see more.

Designer: Don Cammorata

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Imagine having a fitbit in your ear

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CES brings out the best in us all, and when I say that, I mean it showcases products that could probably make us better individuals. Take Soul Electronics, for example, debuting two in-ear headphones (the Run Free Pro-Bio and Blade) at CES with built-in gait analysis specifically for runners. Soul Electronics boasts having built-in sensors and a kickass accompanying app that can you tell you, while you’re running if your strides/form is off and how to correct it.

Being a long distance runner myself, these nifty headphones could have prevented a long list of injuries. Tracking a mixture of data sets such as; cadence, step length, step width, vertical oscillation (the up and down bounce of your body), head tilt angle, stance/flight time, shock, maximum leg force, balance, and consistency – the Run Free Pro-Bio and Blade have the potential to be a real game changer. And of course, it goes without saying that these guys are sweatproof given their application.

Designer: Soul Electronics

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Life Inside a Pipe Doesn’t Sound Too Shabby

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There are various iterations of how urban dwellers will live in times to come, and of course, this is edged on by sci-fi films and various other architectural cityscape concepts. Above all, the vision of the future whether it be utopian or dystopian in your eyes is seemingly micro. One example of this is the OPod Tube Housing by Hong Kong studio James Law Cybertecture.

The OPod Tube Housing is low-cost, stackable micro-homes manufactured from concrete pipes. These pipes would be slotted in between building gaps rather similar to a game of Tetris. These concrete pipes are of course that of water pipes, transformed into a gorgeous 9.29 square meter home.

“OPod Tube Housing is an experimental, low-cost, micro-living housing unit to ease Hong Kong’s affordable housing problems,” James Law said, envisioning that these adorable homes be aimed at “young people who can’t afford private housing.” Albeit this ‘apartment’ is somewhat of an underground water pipe at heart, it’s hard to knock the fun-loving industrial interior. Compiling everything a young city-dweller needs, the OPod Tubes comes complete with a fold out bed, shower, toilet, fridge, microwave, cooker, microwave, and more neat add-ons.

Designer: James Law Cybertecture

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The most special children’s toy ever made

CES is full to the brim of awe-inspiring and excitable tech; it’s easy to lose sight of the lesser brands and the underdog products that get less attention. However, the feeling is most certainly mutual across all design articles and reporters of CES when I say my favorite product of the whole convention is My Special Aflac Duck – a robotic toy duck designed to help children diagnosed with cancer cope through their treatments.

This duck is no ordinary duck, accompanied by an array of RFID tags; this guy can relay the emotions of the child by having them place an emoji disc to the chest of the duck. Depending on the disc chosen, the duck will communicate the feeling with a positive or negative chirp/groan.

What’s truly remarkable is that My Special Aflac Duck comes with its own IV kit, allowing the child to administer meds to the duck, similar to that of chemotherapy, lessening the fear and anxiety around it.

When the duck is in IV mode, it’s head will vibrate and pulse in a heartbeat-like pattern – alleviating stress and focusing the child on a steady breathing pattern. On top of this, the duck’s fur can be removed and washed to ensure optimal cleanliness throughout hospital trips.

What’s really special about all of My Special Aflac Duck’s accessories, is the rocket ship. Using the accompanying app, the child can pick their happy place (whether it be the jungle, the sea, a rollercoaster) and once the rocket ship is placed against the duck’s chest, like the RFID disks, it will play a sound from this scene – transforming the hospital room into that special place within seconds.

As if it couldn’t get any better, it does. My Special Aflac Duck isn’t available in the shops, not now, not ever. Aflac plans to give My Special Aflac Duck for free to kids diagnosed with cancer across the US, with the hopes of getting this special guy to thousands of kids by the end of this year.

Designer: Aflac & Sproutel

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The ‘turning point’ of bag design!

Cycling at night is a risk in itself, not to mention cycling in poor visibility. Having a high visibility jacket and various illuminating products are useful, but many of them fall below eye line from the driver of the car. This might be the reason why many cyclists have a habit of retrofitting their backpacks with lighting systems or high-vis strips for maximum visibility. Thankfully Uncommon Goods have developed a stylish and rugged backpack ideal for any cyclist in any condition.

The Turn Signal Commuter Backpack does exactly what you’d think it does – enables the driver behind you to see your actions. They’ll see a flashing, left-pointing LED arrow right in front of them. You control it with a wireless remote unit on your handlebar: Left, Right, Stop. And sometimes, it thinks on its own: a sudden, big change in your velocity will make it blink red, thanks to the integrated brake sensor. This backpack isn’t just brains; it’s tough too. Lightweight and water-repellent the 20L backpack’s straps and back material are
reinforced for good support; the back is also padded for comfort. It’s loaded with just the right features—everything you need, and nothing you don’t.

Designer: Uncommon Goods

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An Insight into the Transport of 2030

So Mercedes-Benz brings their Smart Vision EQ Concept to CES, and they shut down part of the Las Vegas Strip for it…if you haven’t seen it already, then you’ll understand why this was completely acceptable. An all-electric, completely autonomous car, built for personalization without actual ownership – the Smart Vision EQ Concept lacks both a steering wheel and pedals.

Albeit this little guy is aimed at the year 2030 when ride-sharing is expected to be the main form of transport, when it’s not being used to shuttle around those of you lucky enough, the Smart Vision EQ can be used as a rolling informational display.

The entire dashboard is an attention-stealing screen that relays information regarding social media goings on, news updates, sports scores and whatever you wish considering it’s hooked up to the rider’s smartphone. However, if you can look away from this for one minute, you’ll find yourself staring out the windscreen which stretches all the way from front to back above the riders’ heads. Filled with small details that can be seen upon closer inspection, the Smart Vision EQ may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it, without doubt, can create excitement around the future of autonomous transport.

Designer: Mercedes-Benz

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This Camera Looks Away When You Get Home

Crowdfunded back in 2015, Angee, the smart camera for your home, was tackling issues we didn’t know we had already – privacy. With the ability to rotate a full 360 degrees, Angee faces away when it realizes that you’re home. This is a fantastic solution to the paranoia of constantly being watched. Even unplugging a smart camera at home isn’t enough – the lens just glaring away, staring at you…no thanks.

As many would agree, Angee doesn’t exactly do much more than other home security cameras outside of that. But honestly, it’s a much bigger issue being addressed and the fact it was addressed in 2015 means that the folks behind Angee are moving in the right direction. Angee does require an additional device be attached to the front door to determine when it should be actively recording. Probably not the most practical alert system considering Nest and various other home cameras will detect movement automatically. However, that being said, that’s a small price to pay for the luxury of privacy.

Designer: Angee

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