The Shader is literally everything you’d need for a day on the beach. Designed in Australia, the Shader’s skill set makes it by far the most apt item to carry to the beach because this collapsible product serves as a pillow, sun-shade/umbrella, drink-holder, solar charger, and adjustable fan.
The Shader comes with a collapsible design that fits right into Shader’s own beach tote bag. Built with a pillow and a collapsible umbrella, the device makes lazing on the beach an absolute dream as you gather a tan on your body without having the glare in your eyes or the wind blowing sand on your face. The pillow cushions your head, also making sure you don’t get sand in your hair, and even comes with a chill-pack that keeps your neck cool in the harsh heat. Lift the pillow up and you’ve got yourself a nifty drink-holder that can hold as many as 6 bottles or cans for that beach-side hydration.
The Shader’s premium kit also comes with a solar charger that lets you juice your phone, or even plug a USB fan into, so you’ve got every ounce of easy-breezy comfort on the beach. You have to admit, Australians know how to maximize their beach trips!
Measuring at 9 feet wide, 12 feet high, and 16 feet across, the Mono Cabin is literally homely. I mean literally. Shaped like the icon for a home, this pre-fab cabin comes ready to live in, and can be carried and placed literally anywhere your heart desires.
Available in three styles, the Mono comes with an extruded profile and an option of having glass panels on the front and back (after all, it’s the view that adds to the beauty of the cabin), as well as incorporate a glass skylight. The 9ft.x12ft. floor space is ideal for a bed, sofa, and even a small work-table, and there’s even a 4-foot long deck at the entrance, for your early-morning coffee-drinking sunset-watching needs. The cabin comes with 6 pot lights and a plug-point, solid core insulation, and even electric heating, making life easy while you literally retire to the beauty of the nature around you.
Made for extreme outdoor conditions, the Peakboil stove doesn’t only work in the harshest of winds, it actually is optimized to boil your liquids faster than usual. Designed by the students at ETH Zurich, the Peakboil is a 3D printed stove and jug with a specially designed burner and chimney system. A series of Venturi nozzles on the burner use localized pressure differentials to feed the flames inside the combustion chamber, which is protected from wind by high sides and a narrow top chimney. The stylized chimney walls increase the surface area, allowing more heat to be provided to the liquid within the container, increasing its temperature substantially faster than a regular stove and kettle.
The entire jug and burner system are 3D printed, to achieve their specialized design. The complex, single-piece combustion chamber couldn’t be manufactured using conventional techniques, and is only possible via additive manufacturing. Selective laser melting was used to fuse metal powder together in layers just 1/30th of a millimeter thick, and to progressively create 3D details from scratch.
As designers, we have a habit, or rather a responsibility, of challenging the status quo. Be it something as ubiquitous as the credit card, or even the fire-hydrant, an icon that hasn’t seen as much as a redesign in near a century, the designer’s job is always to think of ways to make the product perform better, either for its immediate users, or for prospective users.
The red fire hydrant is literally an icon. When you find something as mundane as a hydrant entering into pop culture because of its design, and its widespread nature, you’ve got yourself an archetype. Changing the archetype can be as tricky as rebranding a company (for the better or for the worse), but if done in a way that helps users rather than just exacting change, the redesign works. Take for instance Dimitri Nassisi’s Drinking Hydrant. Designed to do exactly what the name says, the Drinking Hydrant turns the usually useless fire hydrant into a watering hole, not just for humans, but animals too. Giving the city access to drinking water (and not just firefighting water), the Drinking Hydrant comes with a much longer design, two spouts, and a two-way switch that allows you to either trigger the water-fountain spout for human consumption, or the spout at the other end, which pours water into a bowl for animals to drink through. Designed to fulfill its role as a fire hydrant too, it comes with the standardized firefighting water-hose outlet that firemen can tap into to extinguish flames.
Meant to hydrate in possibly a more holistic sense, the Drinking Hydrant asks an important question in why must a certain product look the way it is, and more importantly, why must its design and function be limited and taken for granted? The new design and function bestowed upon the hydrant don’t take away from the product’s current role (although it does mean losing its iconic design), but rather add to it, allowing civilians to avail of amenities like free drinking water from an already existing water-source… and if that also helps cut down the need to buy those darned plastic bottles, well, let’s just call it a success!
It’s been around for almost half a millennium now, and the pencil is still going strong. Even today, the most commonly used ones come with a graphite nib encased in wood, with the exception of the mechanical pencil, a much more recent innovation that allows you to extrude a graphite lead by clicking a button… but no matter how far we progress as a species, the humble pencil is always our go-to for ideating, sketching, scribbling, doodling, and noting. The Magno Ti turns that humble 500-year-old product into something spectacular, that not only celebrates the ubiquity of the pencil, but gives it a makeover that transforms it into a stunning instrument that will live and enchant for another 500 years. With a titanium build, and an eye-catching magnetic deployment for the graphite nib, the Magno Ti is simple, sophisticated, and sublime.
The Magno Ti (named for its magnetic action and titanium build) comes with a cylindrical design, punctuated by a metallic ring/belt that slides up and down its smooth body. Within the metallic ring lies a magnet that helps push the lead out from within the titanium cylinder. Using the invisible magic of magnetism, the ring slides up and down on the outside, while the graphite lead magically moves outwards and inwards from within the cylinder without any contact. Once you’ve extruded the nib to its desired length, twisting the head of the pencil locks the nib in place, so you can sketch without it retracting inwards. The Magno Ti even comes with a sharpener stored at the back end of the pen, allowing you to keep your nib sharpened at all times.
The Magno Ti builds on the success of the Magno, and revisits the avant-garde design with a titanium build, not just to commemorate the success of the Magno, but to also make their pencil indestructible and last centuries, much like how the original pencil itself has resiliently stood the test of time, and like how the ideas one puts down on paper with these pencils often remain immortal too!
There’s something clearly refreshing about the Znth AR Telescope. Its exterior looks so organic, it feels less like a highly precise piece of stargazing equipment, and more like a beautiful tool the examine the mysteries of the universe. Mounted on its natural-looking noded mount is the lens, with its own mirrored-telephoto attachment that lets you see even further than before.
What’s marvelous about the Znth aside from its stunning design (available in some dazzling colors) is the fact that it isn’t an ordinary telescope. Armed with AR capabilities, the telescope can motion-track its position, and identify cosmic bodies like galaxies, nebulae, planets, satellites, stars, and constellations. It then uses its AR chops to layer meaningful content over what you see, allowing you to observe and study objects in the night sky with the power of information attached to it too. The design also uses Vantablack’s super-black pigment to coat the insides of the scopes, letting your imagery be clearer than ever, uncorrupted by the scattering of light.
Broadly speaking, your current fitness wearable or smartwatch tells you the time… and measures your vitals. But what if it could alter your vitals instead?? The Aircon watch is a wearable that, as its description says, can trick your brain into making you feel cold or warm, based on the temperature of the environment you’re in.
Your body has a natural temperature of 98.7°F, and when you’re feeling hot or cold, it’s, in fact, your nervous system telling your brain to make you feel hot or cold. The Aircon alters that signal. A wearable that straps to your wrist, the Aircon tells you the time, but the fact that it can hack your perception of temperature makes it a product worth noticing. Imagine you’re out in the heat, perspiring up a storm, or you’ve just finished your daily workout and you’re feeling particularly sweaty… or an opposite situation, where you’re in a room with the AC running on full blast and you’re feeling chilly, or maybe it’s just old-fashioned winter. Your skin, which is capable of sensing heat or coldness, sends signals to your brain, making you respond to the stimulus by either perspiring or shivering. The Aircon sits on your wrist, with the watch and interface on the outside of your wrist, and a special component housing Aircon’s ClimaCon technology on the inside of your wrist. Sitting in an area where your nerves are closer to the skin surface, the Aircon can send signals to your nervous system, giving you the effect of feeling warm or cold, as if your wrists were running through a stream of warm or cold water. The simplistic interface below the watch lets you choose whether you want the watch to heat you up or cool you down, as well as pick the intensity.
The technology behind the Aircon is sound, and a version of it is in fact used by the military too, who need to wear heavy anti-ballistic clothing along with large amounts of gear even in areas with soaring temperatures. Probably the first time the tech is finding its application in consumer electronics, Aircon has the same effect on your brain as an optical illusion does… but instead of playing with one’s perception of objects, background, motion, and depth, it alters one’s body temperature, making the wearer instantly feel hot or cold with the press of a button. Call it bio-hacking or the world’s tiniest air-conditioner… the Aircon is pretty darn impressive!
Just like every blade needs a sheath to protect it from the elements, the PyroVault is, as its name suggests, an exoskeleton for your lighter. Designed to let you take your lighter to places you’d carry your EDC, the PyroVault allows your lighter to be weatherproof and even waterproof, making it perfect for inclement weather, or camping outdoors. An incredibly resilient polymer outer body can withstand heat, water, snow, dust, and comes with an O-Ring that seals the lighter when closed, turning it waterproof. The O-Ring seal also prevents vapor leakage, letting your lighter last longer.
Designed and manufactured in USA, the Pyrovault accepts standard Zippo-style lighter inserts including both fluid and butane torch models, turning classy lighters into rugged firestarters that can withstand any sort of conditions you may expect outdoors… and it even comes with a MOLLE/PALS compatible clip that you can use to fasten the Pyrovault to your pocket, jacket, or even backpack.
You’re staring at the map on your phone, searching for the restaurant your friend’s waiting for you at. You see the blip on your phone, and you’re supposed to be right in front of it, but you can’t spot the restaurant as you look around for a signboard with a familiar name on it. The Global Positioning System is incredibly useful, but has some inherent flaws… one of them being that the GPS works on a bird’s eye view, and we don’t… causing a gap in the user experience, as we try to create a bridge between what the map shows us and what we see. The GPS also relies heavily on WiFi, Bluetooth, and cell-phone networks for pin-point accuracy, which means it doesn’t work underground or in areas with no cellular network, where it just might be needed the most.
The interface of the LynQ, designed specifically for tracking and locating, surpasses the hurdles that traditional GPS tracking can’t. A tracking device that pairs with other LynQ devices, the hand-held tracker works anywhere and everywhere, regardless of the availability of cellular service, and more importantly, relooks the interface, making it incredibly intuitive and potentially groundbreaking.
The LynQ’s UI may just be the simplest and most effective one yet. Rather than displaying you and your target as two blips on a bird’s eye view of a map, the LynQ just shows you two variables. Direction, and distance. A circular screen displays the name of the person you’re trying to locate, while a dot on the periphery points at the direction in which they are. The circle expands into an arc as you go closer, visually making the LynQ easy to understand and use, regardless of how tech savvy you are, and even eliminating the risk of a miscommunication. The lack of arrows, logos, messages/notifications allows just about anyone to use the LynQ, while the only pieces of text on the screen are A. the name of the person you’re tracking, and B. the distance in feet/inches.
Using the LynQ involves simply pairing two or more LynQ devices together (with an upper limit of 12 devices). No phones, no maps, no connectivity problems, and more importantly, no subscriptions. Simple and hassle-free, the LynQ devices pair together and a single button allows you to operate the device while the screen displays information in the most straightforward manner. Its design is rugged, allowing it to be used outdoors in harsh conditions, and its battery comes with a life of 3 days until needing a recharge. The LynQ pairs with multiple devices, allowing you to track people as well as set up a safe zone, alerting you when another LynQ device leaves the zone. With a range of up to 3 miles (5 kilometers), the LynQ is perfect for using at music festivals or crowded events, where cellular service is usually iffy and tracking people is near impossible. Its easy to use interface makes it great for parents wanting to keep a check on their children outdoors, and the fact that it comes with a rugged build, a clip for easy fastening, and the ability to work globally, makes it perfect for extreme sports and outdoor adventure traveling.
Smart, safe, and simple, the LynQ reinvents tracking as we know it, by plugging the holes in the GPS experience, and giving us an interface that makes tracking incredibly intuitive and easy.
Reducing tonnes of equipment to just one travel-suitcase, the ST3 is a performer’s best friend. The innovative design packs a built-in amplifier, stage, microphone and stand. Perfect for impromptu performances, jam-sessions, and street performers, the ST3 and self-confidence is pretty much all you’ll need.
The stage, as it is, wraps around a central column that houses the wheels, handle, and a microphone stand. The stage itself opens into a flat platform big enough for even two people. Screw the microphone stand in, and you’re ready to perform. The stage comes with speakers powered by an inbuilt amplifier, and even has ambient lighting to add some drama to the performance. When done, fold the stage back down to its suitcase-worthy size, collect your compliments (tips too, maybe), and make a grand exit!