The future of flexible displays lies in Laptops… The ‘Flexbook’ concept shows why.

Daehnert’s Flexbook concept appeared on my Instagram feed suddenly one fine morning, and I’ll admit, I paused to completely take it in. I didn’t just like the design, I loved it, because it felt almost like a eureka moment for me, because we’ve been struggling with finding a good use for flexible displays. Companies have tried them out in smartphones and failed miserably… but the Flexbook provides a refreshingly different use-case for the flexible display; and more importantly, it makes sense.

The Flexbook is like a laptop met a sandwich. Unlike most laptops, which have a two-part design connected via a hinge, the Flexbook has three parts. A main body, comprising your motherboard, electronics, ports, and keyboard… and around it, a two-part flexible screen that sandwiches the keyboard in the middle. The Flexbook can be traditionally used as a laptop with a 3:2 12.6-inch display, simply by opening it and using one half of the screen, or as a massive Wacom Cintiq-style tablet PC with a neat 4:3 17.8-inch touchscreen. This interchangeability is what makes the Flexbook such a unique laptop, because it can alternate between being a laptop and a tablet, much like the Microsoft Surface, but with the advantage of a massive 17.8 inch screen in the form factor of a 13 inch laptop.

Another win for the Flexbook is in the way Daehnert cleverly designed it. With an inward folding screen, like the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the Flexbook tends to leave a gap in its center, so as to protect the screen from breaking. That gap is reinforced by the Flexbook’s keyboard, which helps give the screen something to fold around, preventing it from creasing or damaging with overuse. Designed to look less as a limitation and more of a design feature, the Flexbook’s flexible display has a unique way of wrapping around the keyboard. It even packs a Microsoft Surface Pro-style hinge to open and close at any desired angle.

Daehnert’s Flexbook may be a concept, but it does illustrate an interesting possibility for laptops. Armed with a stylus, USB-C ports on both sides, and 4 speaker units arranged around the bezel of the screen, Daehnert’s Flexbook is a render I secretly wish was a leaked image. My only concern is the slight offset when you fold the keyboard backwards and try to rest the Flexbook on a flat surface like a table… but other than that, this might be just the best place to fit a flexible display. If anything, it should last longer too, because the average person opens their laptop less than 10 times a day, but looks at their smartphone more than 80 times a day. I should know… I’m that person.

Designer: Jonas Daehnert

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Creature from the Black Lagoon Tiki Mug Is Perfect for Swamp Water Punch

If you’ve never seen The Creature from the Black Lagoon, you owe it to yourself to check out this classic monster movie. I like to think of the fish creature in Jack Arnold’s 1954 popcorn flick as the progenitor for the amphibian man in Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of WaterSure, it was for all practical purposes a B-movie, but the monster costume was a classic, and is still recognized to this day, some 65 years later.

Fans of the swamp creature who also enjoy tiki drinks will want to check out this awesome ceramic tiki mug.

Designed by Doug P’Gosh and Matthew Black for Tiki Farm, the hefty ceramic mug offers up a great likeness of the monster that came out of the swamp to steal away his love. It holds 16 oz., and measures 6.5″ tall, and is glazed in yellow and Gillman green. Despite the movie being shot in black and white, we’ve always assumed that the creature was this color too, but for all we know, he could have been shades of pink and purple. Not so scary now, are you?

The The Creature from the Black Lagoon mug is heading to Mondo in spring 2020, but you should be able to pre-order it soon. Keep an eye out on their website for order details – and be sure to check out all of the other awesome stuff they sell while you’re at it! And if you’re looking for a recipe for something to serve in your creature mugs, try some swamp water punch.

Twitter rolls out filter for potentially offensive DMs

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This smart-cane uses Google Maps, Alexa, and Obstacle Detection to guide the visually impaired

A pretty great way to integrate smart tech and voice assistants into the lives of people who need them the most, WeWALK is a smart cane that takes today’s tech and makes it more accessible. Designed to be more than just a walking stick for the visually impaired, WeWALK is a smart-cane that detects obstacles, pairs with smartphones, and responds to voice commands.

The collapsible smart-cane looks a tad bit different than most regular walking sticks, but that’s because it absolutely is. A massive win for inclusive design, the smart-cane comes with an ultrasonic sensor that helps detect obstacles and notify the user to avoid a collision. It also pairs with your smartphone via Bluetooth, integrating with features on your smartphone that make navigation easier. Its compatibility with voice assistants, and ability to read map-data helps the walking stick turn into a wayfinder that you can talk to. Touch-sensitive controls on the WeWALK help you toggle its functions, and an in-built microphone help you talk right into it, asking your phone’s voice assistant to guide you to the nearest café, grocer, bus-stop, or even to your house. The stick then becomes your seeing-eye-dog, helping you by telling you when to turn, where to stop, and if you should avoid a lamppost, a tree, or any other obstacle.

Eliminating the need to take your phone out for navigation, or the need to ask a nearby person to help you get to where you want to go, WeWALK aims at liberating the visually impaired through technology that’s meant for everyone. Easy to use, and more importantly portable, WeWALK helps get people seamlessly from point A to point B with a sense of freedom and confidence that’s absolutely liberating!

Designers: YGA & Vestel

The Adesse Watch showcases minimalism achieved through ‘design-by-subtraction’

Minimalism is much more than just sleek lines, simple forms, or the liberal use of the color white. To Jansen Che, minimalism means looking at a product and identifying what’s unnecessary, what’s expendable. The Adesse Watch (shown here in renders, although Jansen says a real watch is coming soon) literally has a watch strap and face. It strips away the watch of everything Jansen believes can be removed, but still retains the watch’s functionality. The watch has absolutely no hands, a plain, unbranded face, and even uses minimal markings around the rim of the inside of the case, rather than on the dial itself. This results in the watch’s dial being an absolute empty canvas. Taking inspiration from an hourglass’s ability to use shadows to tell time, Adesse comes with an offset on the surface of its watch-dial. The offset casts a slight shadow, making it visible as a hand, which points to the time. The offset works as an hour hand, but also does a pretty good job of telling the time by minutes. As the hand progresses from one hour to the next, slight indentations help the user read the time in 15 minute increments. While this isn’t exactly a watch for someone who needs absolutely accurate timekeeping, it’s perfect for someone with a more zen-like spirit, or someone who doesn’t want a computer or a fancy chronograph on their wrist, but just a watch that lets you empty your mind and breathe a little.

The Adesse Watch is a winner of the Red Dot Design Concept Award for the year 2019.

Designer: Jansen Che

US sanctions two Russians for meddling in 2018 midterm elections

Today, the US Treasury sanctioned two Russian nationals accused of working for the Internet Research Agency (IRA) and attempting to meddle in the 2018 US midterm elections. The US has already sanction the IRA and a handful of its members. Now, Igor N...