The Non-lens Camera Lens!

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Although most of the earliest cameras didn’t have glass lenses. They relied solely on pinholes (that provided a point source of light) for a focused image to be captured on film. The results were beautifully eerie and vintage and looked like Instagram filters WAY before Instagram was even a word.

Contemporary cameras use state-of-the-art lenses, mirrors, mounts, AF/MF techniques to deliver amazing images, but those images are too life-like. There’s always a charm to vintage filters, with the way their colors are de-saturated/different, with the vignette around the borders. Rather than relying on software, the Pinhole Pro lens allows you to harness the vintage style of photography using your go-to camera. Available in a series of mounts that allow it to fit onto most popular camera brands, the Pinhole Pro employs a series of pinholes of varying apertures that can be adjusted, not just to achieve different styles of photography, but to also intimately understand the intertwined relationship between light and photography.

The Pinhole Pro comes with a completely machined metal construction. The absence of a glass lens makes it more resilient and impervious to damages like scratches, smudges, etc. What’s the most interesting is that the Pinhole Pro features a variable aperture, with pinhole sizes going all the way from 0.1mm to 0.8mm in diameter. The pinhole diameter is adjustable by the dial around the lens, allowing you to play with multiple pinhole diameters, allowing for real-time experimentation and manipulation, a feature that doesn’t exist in any model so far. Smaller pinholes provide crisp details but require a lot of light, while larger pinholes are great for shooting vintage, Hitchcock-esque videos!

What’s more, is that the Thingyfy Pinhole Pro brings professional vintage-style photography at a reasonable price. Rather than shelling out more than $1000 for a pinhole lens, the Pinhole Pro comes with the same precision, but at a fraction of the price. Based on tour camera make, you can get yourself a Pinhole Pro custom made for your camera’s mount. Thingyfy currently works with Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony A, Sony E, Fuji X, Micro 4/3 (MFT) and Pentax K style mounts. Early buyers can even get their name laser-engraved on the lens! Definitely worth a ‘shot’ I say!

Designer: Chenchen

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Nikon D750 + Pinhole Pro (by Searing)

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Nikon D800 + Pinhole Pro (by kkcat)

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A New Spin on the Fan

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Ceiling fans do a great job of circulating cool air during the summer and moving hot air that has risen during the winter. However, they’re not practical in compact spaces with low ceilings and… well… they’re just plain ugly. Torus was designed with this two factors in mind and brings the same fan circulating functionality to places where a ceiling fan won’t fit logistically or aesthetically!

The blade-less design sits high with its circulating unit placed at the very top where it can either circulate cool air below or move hot air above. To do this, the multidirectional fan is capable of spinning both ways. As a bonus, it features integrated LED lights making it double as a floor lamp!

Designer: Byeongjun Kim

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Literally your ‘Utility Belt!’

There’s a subtle socio-cultural reason why the SOG Sync II is such a wonderful piece of industrial tool design. Aside from the “utility belt” reference that just works, because the SOG Sync II puts 12 tools into one small 2 inch X 6 inch belt buckle, the reason it fits socio-culturally is because (and I’m sure you’ve noticed this) belts have a strangely synonymous relationship with any sort of tool-work. Whenever the plumber comes over, or a carpenter gets to work, there’s always that action where they pull their pants up by the belt, before they get to the dirty-work. Even when they’re done, there’s always a need to rest your hands on your belt (in an akimbo fashion) and examine/admire your work.

The SOG Sync II is a rather interestingly designed multi-tool that doesn’t try to be as compact as possible, but rather as conveniently compact as possible. Designed to fold into a small rectangle that can then be retro-snapped onto your belt buckle, the SOG Sync II comes with 12 tools (pliers, scissors, screw-drivers and blades to name a few), a solid Stainless Steel construction, and a lifetime warranty. It comes with a base that can be fitted onto most existing belts or even onto backpacks, with the multi-tool snapping perfectly into place and releasing at the press of a button, just when you need to look like an absolute DIY pro!

Designer: SOG Specialty Knives

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A Penguin Meant for Flying

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This tuxedoed carry-on luggage set takes animalistic inspiration, ironically, from everyone’s favorite flightless bird – the penguin! In stark white with black detailing, this handsome bag is at once minimalistic and playful. Because we have a tendency to carry additional belongings on our rolling luggage, the top is slightly larger (and kinda beak-like!) to make it easier. Here, a larger handle is ergonomically adapted to make lifting and opening more comfortable and stable.

Designers: hs2 studio, Seungeop Lim & Kim Hyunsoec

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50 Shades of Day

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Whether you’re aware of it or not, you are constantly aware of the time in large part due to the position of the sun and the brightness outside… not just because you can look down at your phone or watch! This minimalistic clock takes inspiration from this concept and reinforces hour and minute hand time-telling with a shade changing face.

As it grows darker outside, so does the saturation of the clock face. Simultaneously, the hands transition to the opposite, becoming lighter so they maintain visibility. Its clean, monochromatic aesthetic is soothing and easy on the eyes while the arms cast a shadow on the clock face complimenting the ambient light.

Designer: Yicong Lu

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Become a Multitasking Mastermind!

From a very technical standpoint, two screens should mean double the productivity, right? Either which way, with the Mountie, you can convert two gadgets into one, by allowing your tablet or phone to become a secondary screen for your laptop!

The humble Mountie is a small contraption that fits securely to the side of your laptop screen. With two clips facing in opposite direction, while one clip holds the Mountie in place on your laptop, the other clip allows you to fit in a tablet or a phone, effectively making your workspace larger and putting a secondary screen in your periphery. This secondary screen can either be an extension of your laptop screen (Apple users could use the AirPlay feature), or better still, the side screen could be running a conference call or hold up some Excel sheet or PDF, or you could just use it to watch yourself some YouTube while working (you didn’t get that advice from us!). It allows you to double your productivity only because with the secondary screen mounted right beside your primary screen, you don’t really have to look away. Everything sits right within your peripheral vision. Besides, the Mountie even tilts your secondary screen at a slight angle so that it faces you.

Absolutely ideal for the developer who wants to code and test apps at the same time, or for the office goer who wants to work and facetime/conference together, or just the serial multitasker, the Mountie lets you easily expand your screen estate just by simply clipping your tablet or phone conveniently near your screen. Want to push things a step further? Use two Mounties on either side and go full-on panoramic!

Designer: Ten One Design

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Video via Unbox Therapy

Behold the tires of the future!

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What we’re seeing here is the future of tire design. With companies like Bridgestone and Michelin investing efforts in airless-tubeless tires that absorb shock beautifully, we may one day see conventional tires become completely obsolete.

The Soft Creeper is a conceptual bicycle tire designed by a team from the Dalian Minzu University in China. It features a wheel that’s split into multiple identical pieces with the spokes being designed specifically for shock absorption. Upon encountering an obstacle, the spokes just simply bend inward, allowing the tire to deform in the shape of the obstacle, and the bike to ride right across like cutting through air. The same would work for potholes. If and when a wheel gets damaged, just simply replace the damaged components rather than the entire wheel itself!

The Soft Creeper is a winner of the Red Dot Award for the year 2016.

Designers: Su Hengchang, Zhang Dianming, Qiao Song, Zhang Mengbo, Cao Xinyu, Wu Jiahao, Xu Zhe & Ran Xuyang.

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When Architecture met Footwear

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If you ever thought one design discipline couldn’t inspire another, you’re wrong. Product designs can often take inspiration from typography designers, graphic designers can occasionally look to fashion designers, and the occasional shoe designer can often see wonderful design cues in architecture.

Drawing inspiration from Herzog & de Meuron’s 2008 Beijing Olympics stadium, these Adidas Ultraboost sneakers feature a dizzying array of lace-like anti-abrasive polyurethane line-patterns that resemble the iconic ‘Bird’s Nest’ stadium. The lacing system consists of two continuous laces that loop around support points along the upper and around the heel of the shoe in a seemingly random manner, but giving it a distinct flavor synonymous with Herzog and de Meuron’s iconic building. A 3D printed double-loop cinch locks the laces in place.

It’s a shame these shoes are conceptual works of design. I for one, would pay good money to own them!

Designer: KXIV

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A Vape That Doesn’t Look Lame

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Hydrology9 looks and functions like no other vaporizer you’ve used before. Crafted from spacegrade aluminum alloy and borosilicate glass and fitted with LED lights, this futuristic vape almost looks as if it might double as a lightsaber!

As sick as it looks, what sets it apart is unparalleled water filtration technology. Vaping is all about smoothness, and the addition of water enhanced the sensation even more. Hydrology9’s patent pending “tunnel-tube” system allows an unobstructed flow while keeping it leakproof and aesthetically seamless.

Designer: Richard Huang of Cloudious9

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“Creating a truly unique vaporizer required us to think completely outside the scope of existing vaporizers on the market. This meant solving new challenges and having no prior reference resolution for a new problem that others have never tackled. The results are a brand new approach to dealing with liquid filtration, and thus the birth of our patent pending “tunnel tube” liquid filtration design and even heat distribution stir,” designer Richard Huang told YD.

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“Vaporizers with any liquid filtration capability usually implement it as an add-on, and the entire device is not specifically optimized for liquid filtration. The results are inconveniences from numerous moving parts and a lack of a truly portable solution. After identifying this void, Cloudious9 was set on a mission to create a disruptive product for an industry that longed for innovation.”

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“Creating a new vaporizer solution without anything similar on the market also prevented our product design team from being clouded by others’ design concepts, since we have no identical competitor. This allows our design team to unleash our creativity and bring to the world our widely acclaimed exterior design.”

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Mouthpiece:

We designed the mouthpiece using 1/4 inch thick Borosilicate glass, which provides the best combination of strength and clarity. It was designed to curve at the perfect angle to provide the most exceptional comfort and ease of cleaning. Completing the Hydrology9 portable liquid filtration experience is a perfectly positioned ball valve built inside the mouthpiece, which allows the Hydrology9 to be carried and turned in any direction without the fear of spillage.

Glass Chamber:

Nothing comes close to the familiarity of a crystal-clear glass piece when liquid filtration is involved. After numerous revisions and considerations, we were set on a minimalist cylinder design precisely shaped to prevent any liquid spillage while conforming to a grip easily.

Chamber:

We implemented a patent-pending solution to a typical problem we see in today’s vaporizers: a built-in device that allows you to evenly and efficiently distribute heat. The stir was integrated with the bottom chamber cover, with the cover made of spacecraft-grade aluminum alloy and the stir itself made of heat resistant stainless steel.

Water Filtration:

Allowing unobstructed flow of vapor while keeping the Hydrology9 leakproof is inherently a conflicting concept. Accomplishing both goals in a seamlessly integrated design was truly challenging. The ability to fuse all three requirements aesthetically into the Hydrology9 design is the heart of Hydrology9’s innovation. The results are a brand-new approach to liquid filtration, and the birth of our patent-pending “tunnel tube” liquid filtration design.

Alexa’s Smaller, Cooler Cousin!

Even though there’s barely anything to the HiddenRadio2 Speaker, I can’t get enough of it. Designed with true minimalist spirit, this metal blob looks unsuspecting at first. Then you place your finger on the top and open a Pandora’s box of opportunities!

Designed with virtually no buttons (or any visible speaker at first), the HiddenRadio2 looks like a metal version of the Pokemon Diglett. To power it on, just place your finger on the capacitive touch enabled top and the metal housing dramatically lifts upwards to reveal a tiny yet versatile and powerful 360° speaker below. The touch surface on the top of the speaker takes care of pretty much everything and paired with the HiddenRadio app on your phone, you have yourself a tiny and powerful audio-device/AI-assistant. The touch surface on the speaker can be tapped, swiped, and swirled, allowing you to control playback and volume. It can even activate Siri, allowing you to connect to the internet and even to your smart-home. The speaker can also be used as a speakerphone for around-the-table conference calls, and what’s most interesting is that it can be paired with multiple HiddenRadio2 speakers to simultaneously fill your room or entire home with audio. And when you’re done, just tap on the speaker again and the metal hood lowers, concealing the speaker, almost like magic!

Designers: John Van Den Nieuwenhuizen & Vitor Santa Maria

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