Sleek MagSafe-compatible accessory turns your iPhone into a nifty DSLR camera with precise, tactile controls

A surefire way to absolutely annoy a photography purist is to bring up the DSLR vs. Smartphone debate. If there’s a group of people who absolutely hate smartphone cameras, after celebrities, it’s probably photography enthusiasts. While celebrities hate the fact that they can now randomly be photographed by anyone, anywhere, shutterbugs have a different gripe with smartphones – that they’re just not as precise, powerful, and hands-on as DSLR cameras.

However, it’s safe to say that there’s a certain detachment from reality there, because today, smartphone cameras account for nearly 90% of all photographs ever taken. Even YouTuber Marques Brownlee, who shoots all his videos in 8K on ridiculously expensive RED cameras, alludes to the fact that “the best camera is the one you have on you”, and that’s almost always your smartphone camera. Your smartphone camera’s image processing engine is arguably powerful enough to click photos as well as a DSLR, and the only thing really missing is precision and that hands-on experience… that’s where the Fjorden comes in.

Designers: Frost Produkt & Victor Henning

Click Here to Buy Now: $142 $190 (25% off). Hurry, only 2/530 left!

The world’s first pocketable, professional iPhone camera grip adds professional-quality camera controls.

The Fjorden turns your iPhone into a hybrid DSLR. It physically snaps onto the back of your iPhone, giving you analog camera controls including a two-stage shutter button, a jog dial, a zoom slider, and even an extra multi-function button you can use to do stuff like trigger the flash.

The overall form is comfortably tactile and grippy (and comes with the same texture found on cameras), and orients the buttons in a way that’s intuitive and easy to use (so you don’t have to sprain your thumb to reach the shutter button while holding your phone with the same hand). Moreover, the actual physical buttons allow you to use the camera with gloves on, an understated-yet-impressive upgrade to the iPhone camera experience). Smartphones are sleek and portable, but try using the camera with one hand you risk serious nerve damage (or a broken phone). DSLRs, on the other hand, are ergonomically designed… but they don’t fit in your pocket, don’t have a selfie feature, and they don’t do 99% of the other things your smartphone can do. Fjorden finds the middle-ground between the two experiences, striving to create a no-compromise solution for both audiences. For the smartphone enthusiast, the Fjorden attachment is still portable and sleek (attached to the phone, it’s about as thick as an AirPods case, which means it’s still pocket-sized), and for the DSLR-junkie, it gives you the precise controls you need.

Aside from the tactile buttons, Fjorden’s own camera app is about as feature-laden as a DSLR’s interface, allowing you to manually control your settings, while still relying on the iPhone’s own features like Portrait Mode, HDR/Deep Fusion, and ProRAW. Moreover, the case is even designed to support Moment’s smartphone camera lenses, giving you about as much power, versatility, and control you could ask for… and some more.

The Fjorden device attaches to your phone either via a backplate that sticks to your phone, or its companion iPhone case using a quick-release clip. The clip-detail has a pivot-hinge that allows you to swivel the Fjorden 90°, letting you use it in both landscape and portrait mode, and the Fjorden even angles outwards, doubling as a kickstand for your phone.

The DSLR-controls are powered by a single CR2032 battery that lasts for 12 months, and while the controls work perfectly with Fjorden’s own camera app, they’re compatible with existing apps like Obscura and ProCamera (which notably has its own Night Mode – a feature missing from the Fjorden camera app for now), and the shutter button works with Apple’s native camera app.

The MagSafe-compatible case that comes as an optional add-on with your Fjorden allows you to easily pop the DSLR control panel out when you need to wirelessly charge your phone, and since the controls communicate with your iPhone via Bluetooth, they can be used remotely too (without being attached to your phone) for those perfect ‘Shot On iPhone’ moments. Each Fjorden device also comes with a 2-year warranty, which really hits the sweet spot because you can easily upgrade your iPhone to the newer model and still use the Fjorden with the new phone!

Click Here to Buy Now: $142 $190 (25% off). Hurry, only 2/530 left! Raised over $350,000.

The Polestar ‘Trambus’ concept is a road/rail hybrid designed to make public transport modular

Just like a train adds extra carriages when it’s running on high-capacity, the Polestar Trambus can expand in length to allow more passengers during an exceptionally busy day.

The idea for the Trambus comes from Seoul-based transportation design student Junghyun Kim, who developed the design as an entry into the 2021 Polestar Design Contest. Instead of putting more buses on the road during rush hour, Kim envisioned a modular bus system that could just allow you to expand a single existing bus by joining more buses to it, creating a road-rail hybrid that allowed you to transport people in an organized manner.

The buses operate autonomously, which makes them perfect for creating a modular system. The Trambus operates either as independent buses that house 25 passengers or as an interconnected set of 2 or 3 buses with a capacity of 50 or 75 passengers respectively. Each module is connected to another using a flexible bellow-shaped channel – quite like the one found on trains, although it’s unclear if passengers can move between carriages. The carriages are designed to be different on the insides too, with seated layouts for regular customers, table-layouts for long commutes or first-class customers, and empty carriages for people on wheelchairs or commuters with bicycles.

Designer: Junghyun Kim

BlackBerry Passport 2 concept images emerge, sporting iconic physical QWERTY keyboard + a dual-lens main camera

It seems like the ‘berry still has some juice left in it! The Passport 2 concept builds on the successful 2014 BlackBerry Passport, and does what BlackBerry does best… provide a uniquely different smartphone experience that’s characterized by that beautiful QWERTY keyboard.

For everyone who thought BlackBerry was done and dusted, 2020’s been a pretty interesting year for the company. Chinese giant TCL no longer holds the rights to manufacture BlackBerry phones, and since August of last year, the Canadian smartphone company has been partnering with American brand OnwardMobility to keep the BlackBerry name alive. While both companies have been pretty mum about what’s in the pipeline, Ts Designer and LetsGoDigital have been cooking up some concepts based on the fragments of news they’ve gathered from press releases and company statements. Meet the Passport 2, a conceptual Android-running BlackBerry phone with a 4.5-inch touchscreen display, a physical keyboard, and a 5G chip on the inside.

I have to admit that seeing a new BlackBerry does give me a bit of nostalgia. I’ve never been a fan of touchscreen keyboards, and that’s a complaint that BlackBerry and I have always had in common; although BlackBerry phones have an archetype, and it’s safe to say that the archetype isn’t really popular anymore. However, there are still probably some people who would prefer a BlackBerry in 2021, and I’d venture a guess that the Passport 2 concept is targeted firmly towards them. LetsGoDigital reports that the Passport 2 is envisioned as BlackBerry’s first 5G-ready phone, with a waterproof exterior and Android OS interior. The overall aesthetic of the phone hasn’t deviated too much from BlackBerry’s signature style, and it looks every bit like the Passport from 2014, although with a slicker design featuring a slimmer upper bezel, gold accents around the sides and the keyboard, and a nifty dual-lens camera on the back… you know, to keep the customer happy!

Sadly though, the Passport 2, as exciting as it may look, is just a fan-made concept for now. OnwardMobility and BlackBerry are definitely working on a 5G Android phone according to reports, and I’ll be pretty happy if it looks even half as good as this!

Designer: Ts Designer for LetsGoDigital

Images via LetsGoDigital

These Bauhaus-inspired chandeliers and wall-lamps add a touch of modernism to your interiors!

Titled the Moonrise collection, these lighting designs are a Bauhaus-inspired interpretation of the different phases of the moon. Designed by Lara Bohinc for Brooklyn-based design outfit Roll & Hill, the Moonrise comes in 3 styles – two wall sconces, and one chandelier, available in either brushed brass or black anodized aluminum.

The collection makes use of straight lines intermingled with circles and half-round shapes, creating different stages of the moon ranging from a full to a half and even a crescent moon. The lighting elements sit within artistically detailed aluminum frames that end up looking like sculptural pieces when the lights are off. Switch the lights on, however, and they attract the eye even more!

The Moonrise’s playfully geometric design manages to stay true to its lunar inspiration in a beautifully abstract way. The design manages to be bold yet light, geometric yet fluid, and echoes the moon’s feminine qualities wonderfully through its almost jewel-like design.

“Lighting is like jewelry for the room – it brings sparkle, life, and joy to any space. Lights are accents that determine the mood. The room is never complete without lighting,” says Lara Bohinc, the designer behind the collection.

Designer: Lara Bohinc for Roll & Hill

This “Lava lamp on steroids” can light up your space in any color or gradient you can imagine!

It might look like a glow-stick, but the Moonside lamp is capable of producing colors and gradients that no glow-stick can ever match up to. Underneath its translucent outer body sits a matrix of RGB LEDs that can be custom-programmed to light up in a variety of patterns… like a psychedelic lava lamp that fills your room with an absolute ocean of hues.

Designer: Akai Zi

Click Here to Buy Now: $63 $99 (36% off). Hurry, only 3 left!

Hundreds of Dynamic Lighting Effects from Moonside App

Quite aptly called the Moonside Neon Lighthouse, this cylindrical little baton of light has about 90 RGB LEDs on the inside that can reproduce 16 million colors each. That’s more gradients/combinations than my mind can even come up with. Its vertical cylindrical shape pays homage to its long-time ancestor, the candle, and comes with similar proportions and a frosted, waxy-white exterior that, however, instead of lighting from the top (like a candle), lights up from the inside instead.

Sort of like a multi-color standalone tubelight, the Moonside Lighthouse can be used in a whole variety of ways. Pre-program it to light up your room in your favorite colors, or sync it to the colors of your favorite team when there’s a match on. Alternatively, you could connect it to your music app and turn your home into a makeshift discotheque, or even use the Moonside as a lighting prop for your photography projects.

The LEDs cover the entire body of the lamp, shining light in 360° with up to 800 lumens of brightness (which means you can use the Moonside as a portable flashlight too). The lamp is supplied power via a USB-C port, and can either be controlled via a smart controller remote, via the Moonside app, or even your smart home assistant.

You can build your own integrations via IFTTT too (creating custom themes to suit each Spotify playlist, or doing odd things like programming the light to go green when the price of Bitcoin goes up, or red when it drops).

Easily the sleekest, smartest, most vibrant little lamp ever, the Moonside comes in 4 variants (where you get to choose the color of the lamp’s metal base) and begins shipping this month (August 2021).

Click Here to Buy Now: $63 $99 (36% off). Hurry, only 3 left! Raised over $70,000.

Circular ‘Apple Watch Air’ concept adds a budget-friendly option to Apple’s smartwatch catalog

Titled the Apple Watch Loop, this concept by Felipe Duarte does two things – it brings variety to Apple’s smartwatch offering and adds a beautifully-basic ‘Air’ variant in Apple’s watch lineup, just like with their other products like the iPhone Mini, iPad Air, and MacBook Air.

Apple’s always fervently stuck to the square-shaped watch. They debuted the Apple Watch and spoke heavily of how much they were influenced by classic watches, they even added a rotating crown to the design, but unlike the circular Samsung Gear watch and Moto 360, Apple went for what was considered the logical, ‘safe’ option and outfitted their Watch with a square screen, instead of the classic watch-inspired circle display. It’s been some 7 years to the day, and Apple hasn’t really rocked the boat with the watch design – although the watch’s core functions have definitely changed over time, going from a fashionable gadget to a life-saving medical fitness tracker on your wrist. Industrial Designer Felipe Duarte decided to have some fun with the Apple Watch’s design, experimenting with a few radically different details while retaining the Apple Watch’s core essence. The result was the Apple Watch Loop, a fun, friendly, circular concept that’s funky, resistant to damage, and provides Apple’s most important Watch features, in a circular form.

The Apple Watch Loop’s three drastic changes include A. its circular body, and B. the concave screen, and C. the watch strap, which forms a bumper around the smartwatch’s main hardware. Designed to provide a compact-yet-robust experience, Duarte outfitted the watch with a concave screen that’s extremely user-friendly, yet is impossible to damage when you accidentally bump your hand on a surface. Similarly, the large rubber bumper around the watch’s hardware component provides similar shock-absorbing features (although it does result in an unavoidably large physical bezel around the display).

The Watch Loop is still rather unapologetically an Apple smartwatch. It comes with the rotating crown, the familiar interface (although probably slightly modified for the circular layout), sports the heart-rate tracker and magnetic wireless charging zone on the base, and has an interchangeable watch-strap system that’s available in a host of colors. Notably, its speakers hide behind the rubber bumper of the watch strap, its concave screen sinks into the design, helping somewhat reduce mass, and the watch’s circular design can be popped out of its strap and used sort of like a pocket-watch or even a handheld stopwatch. Duarte’s concept aims at bending some of the rules that Apple’s set for its Smartwatch while adhering to the others. At the end of the day, it’s still a memorable design that looks like a part of Apple’s ecosystem. It comes in a fun display case too (which is slightly bulkier than the Watch’s slimmer vertical cases). What do you think?

Designer: Felipe Duarte

Minimalist hanging leather chair is the hammock-alternative that’s perfect for lounging indoor spaces

Perfect for that break between attending Zoom meetings and responding to work emails, Studio Stirling’s Sling Hanging Chair gives you that stress-melting effect you get from a hammock, but indoors. The hanging chair comprises a metal hoop suspended from the ceiling, on which lies draped a piece of thick leather that you sit on. Quite like how a hammock adjusts to your shape and posture when you sit on it, Studio Stirling’s Sling adjusts to your frame too, letting you hang out for a bit… quite literally!

The Sling hanging chair is an exercise in form, function, and minimalism. Stripped away from anything excess, it reduces the chair to its most abstract form, even ditching the legs in the process! The circular frame and leather sheet do two jobs – the more obvious one of allowing a human to sit comfortably, as well as creating an iconic silhouette that makes the Sling chair instantly recognizable and incredibly inviting. Tell me you DON’T want to sit on that beauty!

Each Sling is handmade with care by craftsmen, with a powder-coated mild-steel circular frame upon which sits the thick oil-tanned leather sheet that comes in a variety of colors including the traditional brown and black, or the more unusual bronze, silver or gold upholstery leather, lined with South African shwe-shwe fabric, and capped off with a comfortable head-bolster that can be removed, unrolled, and used as a blanket!

Designers: Joanina Pastoll & David Pastoll (Studio Stirling)

This LEGO PACMAN kinetic sculpture actually opens and closes its mouth when you crank the lever!

With over 1,000 supporters, the Pac-Man kinetic sculpture is on the path to being picked up by the LEGO team and turned into a buyable/buildable kit.

The LEGO IDEAS forum is perhaps one of the most outstanding examples of a well-functioning meritocracy. The forum exists for LEGO master-builders to upload and showcase their custom-made design ideas, while the collective LEGO community votes for their favorite designs. As the votes collect over time, the highest-ranking designs get a chance to be produced into actual on-shelf kits that everyone can buy. Today’s design comes courtesy master-builder and retro-gaming-fan LiteBricks. Titled the “Pac-Man Moving Display”, LiteBricks’ little kinetic sculpture is more than just a standalone static toy… it actually moves! With a rotating crank-lever on the side (sort of like a jack-in-the-box) the Pac-Man Moving Display is a fun little interactive toy that features the familiar pill-munching spherical character along with 4 ghosts. Rotate the lever on the side and the ghosts bob up and down, while Pac-Man’s mouth moves vertically too, just like in the videogame!

Designer: LiteBricks

LiteBricks’ design-idea comprises a total 1,603 LEGO pieces, which include the Pac-Man figure, the red/pink/blue/orange ghosts, 4 blue ghosts, 4 ghost eyes, 3 pellets, 1 power pellet, the display stand, the crank-turning mechanism, and 5 figure supports. The manual crank on the side of the stand moves Pac-Man’s mouth and alternates the up and down movement for any 4 adjacent figures – which means you can build out your display in a variety of styles and formats, using any of the characters. Scroll below to see GIFs of LiteBricks’ concept in action and I dare you to not make the WOCKA-WOCKA sound as you see them move!

You can click here to vote for the “Pac-Man Moving Display” idea on the LEGO IDEAS forum. It needs a total of 10,000 votes to go from concept to reality, and the voting is free and open to all.

A Honda-incubated startup designed this genius in-shoe GPS navigation system that can guide the visually impaired

Designed to integrate right into the wearer’s shoe, the Ashirase uses a series of haptic ‘tickles’ to help guide the visually impaired as they walk, providing a much more intuitive and effective alternative to using a smartphone.

The Ashirase has a rather heartbreaking backstory. Honda EV-engineer Wataru Chino began working on the concept following the death of a slightly visually impaired relative under circumstances he deemed avoidable. Determined to come up with a much more effective solution to help the blind navigate roads freely and safely, Chino saw no alternative but to craft together a design solution. Honda even helped incubate the design and build the startup through its new-business incubation initiative, IGNITION.

Armed with one less sense, visually impaired pedestrians find it incredibly difficult to navigate to unknown destinations. With their limited senses occupied in concentrating on directions, they can often forget to pay attention to their surroundings or the roads, putting them in danger. The inverse is problematic too, because when they pay more attention to their immediate surroundings, they could in the process forget to follow the directions correctly and get lost. Chino’s solution helps the impaired concentrate on the road while also being able to intuitively receive directions in a less-distracting way. The wearable sits sandwiched between the foot and the wearer’s sneaker. This frees up the user’s hand to hold onto their walking cane (as opposed to their smartphone), and allows them to use their ears to sense their surroundings (instead of listening to audio directions).

The name Ashirase comes from the Japanese word ‘oshirase’, for notice/notification, as the in-shoe wearable helps notify the wearer while they walk, effectively guiding them through a series of vibrations. The in-shoe wearable comes in two parts – a silicone band that wraps around the foot, and an electronic ‘compass’ that provides the haptic feedback. Wearables on each foot help guide the user in any direction, guiding the wearer to their end-destination that’s fed into Ashirase’s smartphone app (which also decides the most optimal path for the wearer to take). The app currently runs on the Google Maps API, which provides a few limitations like needing the internet to work, and not being able to provide effective navigation indoors, although the company is already working on overcoming those drawbacks.

Chino’s startup plans on releasing a beta version of the Ashirase system in Japan in October or November of this year, where users will be provided with free versions of the wearable and the app for testing purposes. Following the public beta, Ashirase is gunning for a commercial-ready product by October 2022, with a subscription-based payment system that should cost somewhere between $18 to $27 (or 2000-3000 Yen).

Designer: Ashirase LLC (Wataru Chino)

The ‘MagEasy’ wallet comes with magnetic modules that let you easily organize your belongings

Titled the MagEasy Badge, this nifty little number upgrades the oh-so-boring lanyard into something that’s much more functional, versatile, and easy-to-access. Instead of shoving all your cards and cash into a bifold that sits firmly pressed against your behind, the MagEasy Badge brings everything front-and-center by suspending your belongings around your neck. Ultimately, it still looks like a lanyard, although it contains much more… and if you’re the kind of person who works at a place that requires RFID tap-to-access employee cards, this might just be the most perfect little thing for you.

Designers: LHiDS Creative & Ergomi Design

Click Here to Buy Now: MagEasy Badge & MagBoard Set for $59 $94 (37% off). Hurry, only 66/150 left!

MagEasy Hybrid workstation consists of an ID badge holder and a desktop organizer.

Overcome workplace challenges with readiness, orderliness and calmness.

The system declutters your life and clears the way for creativity.

Traditionally, a lanyard has just been a fancy way of strapping an ID or an access card around your neck. It’s an easy way to have people identify you, or systems recognize you and allow you to access parts of a building. The lanyard hasn’t really changed in the couple of decades (or centuries, if you look up Wikipedia) that it’s existed, but LHiDS has a clever idea. Instead of carrying a lanyard with a card around your neck, and a wallet with your other cards in your back pocket, why not merge the two into some sort of super-lanyard that carries everything you need right where you can access it (and potentially prevent a pickpocket from quietly stealing it too).

The MagEasy Badge, envisioned by LHiDS Creative and designed by Ergomi Design, sits suspended from your neck, and features a bifold design that’s about as spacious as a wallet. Outwardly, it looks like a lanyard with a card, but to the wearer, it’s much more. It has a dedicated windowed slot for your ID card, as well as additional slots for your payment cards, membership cards, and even a couple of banknotes. It also comes equipped with one of those retractable tether systems, which means you can use your lanyard to tap on RFID machines at work, and can be worn/carried around your neck, by your pant’s belt loop, or even strapped to your bag.

Things get really interesting when you start looking at the ‘MagEasy’ part of the equation. The wallet/lanyard comes with 8 internal magnets that allow it to snap shut, but they additionally also let you easily attach modules to your wallet, expanding its abilities. Among LHiDS’s ecosystem of magnetic modules exists a phone-stand, a notepad, and even a tiny pocket mirror that you can easily snap on or snap off. The MagEasy Badge’s modules allow you to build your own ‘super-lanyard’ that acts as a mini organizer, holding your cash and cards while also acting as your notepad or mirror (going well above and beyond what your average wallet can do). At the same time, it ensures all your stuff is well within reach – either around your neck or by your waist… or better still, on your desk!

The magnetic feature plays a large role in ‘organizing’ your belongings, not just around your neck, but on your desk too. MagEasy’s organizing system lets you easily snap all your magnetic modules to a vertical board on your desk, almost like you’d attach notes to a softboard or whiteboard. The organizing system is MagEasy’s way of de-cluttering your desk too (aside from your wallet) and putting everything in an organized, easy-to-access format. Aside from being able to snap your wallet/lanyard to the organizing system, you’ve even got stationery-holders, cable-ties, and card-holders, that bring the magic of modular, magnetic design to your life, whether it’s around your neck or at your desk… so you’re 100% productive and organized all the time!

Click Here to Buy Now: MagEasy Badge & MagBoard Set for $59 $94 (37% off). Hurry, only 66/150 left!