Zigbee crafts a universal language for smart home devices

As seamless as smart home technology is becoming, the devices still tend to sit in isolated ecosystems. Zigbee-based gadgets don't normally know how to use Nest's Thread protocol, for example. That's where the Zigbee Alliance wants to help. It's laun...

Smart Tech for Mommies and Daddies To-Be


Being pregnant can be overwhelming and even scary… but knowledge is power when it comes to taking care of baby! That’s the idea behind Thread, a smart system of devices that aim to connect and educate parents in the prenatal stages.

The first of 3 devices is wearable tech in the form of a health sensor that analyzes the fetus sleeping state and even emotions based on movement. These metrics can also be shared with health professionals for constant monitoring throughout pregnancy. Additionally, it allows mom can start communicating with baby using her voice.

The next device was designed for working dads who can’t be around all the time or who work abroad for extended periods. It alerts the father when the fetus is awake. In the same manner they might put an ear or cheek up against mom’s belly, they can do the same against the tactile top of the design where movements by the fetus are mimicked.

The third layer of the design is accessible via the user’s smartphone. The Thread app is designed to answer any questions parents-to-be might have and includes a Prenatal Encyclopedia, Prenatal Diary, an explanation of the fetus’ daily growth, doctor’s tips, and more!

Designer: Eirene Sheen & Jiseung Song











Geometric Origami Lamps: Folding Light

Many years ago – it seems like a lifetime – I used to be a theatrical lighting designer. Even though I’m not in the business any more, I’m always on the lookout for cool lighting fixtures. While digging through the recesses of Etsy, I came across a unique series of lamps from artist Roger Gano of Golden Heart Illuminations.

geometric origami lamp 1

My personal favorite is his red and gold Dream Weaver origami table lamp shown here. The fixture has two main components. The globe is handmade from 120 interlocking origami components, constructed from translucent parchment paper held together with shoji paper and Japanese Nori glue. The base of the lamp is constructed from veneered MDF formed into a wavelike shape, and then strung with thread. The spines of the lamp are textured with sand and eight coats of acrylic paint, infused with iridescent mica particles. The finished lamp base is reminiscent of the structural composition of a suspension bridge.

geometric origami lamp 2

It’s really a spectacular design, and definitely something your friends won’t already have in their homes. The lamp shown here is selling for $365(USD), but Golden Heart Illuminations has many other lamps, including ceiling floor and table lamps ranging in price from $55 all the way up to $825.