This Walkman-inspired gadget is a personal server to keep your online life safe

As a digital native (meaning I live and breathe online), I have not been very conscious of all my data that is uploaded to various websites and all the cloud-based applications out there. There have been a lot of horror stories about people whose identity have been hacked or compromised because of their data on the cloud but so far, I have been lucky enough to not experience any of this. But if you’re the type of person that is very careful about these kinds of things, this new product may be something worth having.

Designers: Wenkai Li and Yu Dan

ZimaBlade is a x86 personal server that will let you have control over most things even while you’re connected to the world wide web. It will basically remove your files from the cloud and let you have control over things like file sharing, media playback, key management, and even encrypted P2P transmission. It also has a lot of expansion ports and slots including for storage, high-speed networking, PCIe slots, a USB port, and other ports that you may need as you use this server.

The design of the server is more old-school Sony Walkman than actual server or it may also look like a small robot that will transform anytime. It is around the same size as the Raspberry Pi devices but it does not have the usual GPIO pins found in devices like this. It seems to not be that heavy so it can be portable and is made with low-power and modularity in mind. It has an aluminum alloy heatsink so it will not overheat in case you’re a heavy user.

It is pre-installed with the open source CasaOS operating system that has more than 50 Docker apps. The early reviews seem to be positive for those who are in need of portable, personal servers. I don’t have any need for it right now because I am still basically unconcerned with clouds but if one day I do realize that everything I send to the Internet is a risk, then this is something that can be useful for someone like me.

The post This Walkman-inspired gadget is a personal server to keep your online life safe first appeared on Yanko Design.

Logitech G Cloud handheld device puts a different spin on mobile gaming

For gamers, being able to play anywhere at any time is a bit of a dream come true. Of course, that has always been possible with certain game systems, like the Nintendo Game Boy, the Sony PlayStation Portable, or even smartphones, but a single device that is able to do all of these is still an unreachable goal. Thanks to advancements in technology, particularly in cloud computing, that dream is slowly becoming a reality. And it’s that kind of reality that Logitech’s latest device is trying to achieve with a gaming handheld that lets you play almost any game available, at least any game that’s available on smartphones or through the cloud.

Designer: Logitech

Logitech is best known for its line of computer accessories ranging from keyboards and mice to webcams. It doesn’t make nor sell computers, and this Logitech G Cloud handheld would be one of, if not its first, computing device. It’s a device aimed at a rather niche market that straddles the line between smartphone and gaming console, and it’s a market that it might have difficulty winning unless it plays its cards right.

This isn’t the first handheld gaming device to come in this form, after all, with the Nintendo Switch and Valve’s Steam Deck leading the market in terms of popularity. It isn’t even the first dedicated Android-powered gaming handheld to make its way to the market. And as those other attempts might have proven, it’s not an easy market to conquer. Then again, they might have just been ahead of their time.

In terms of design, the Logitech G Cloud aims for comfort and convenience to set it apart from both smartphones as well as other gaming handhelds. It’s relatively light, thanks to having nearly the same specs as a 7-inch mid-range Android tablet. Compared to a smartphone or tablet, however, it has dedicated physical controls that make playing many games easier. Logitech has even set its sights beyond just technical performance, boasting of the device’s carbon neutrality and sustainable packaging.

In terms of user experience, the gaming handheld is pretty much an Android tablet with a few built-in features related to gaming. In addition to a game launcher that takes a page out of the Nintendo Switch, it also has built-in support for cloud gaming services like Xbox Cloud Game Pass and NVIDIA GeForce Now. Additionally, it can also stream games running on an Xbox console or Steam PC at home, thanks to remote play functionality available on these platforms. In other words, the device can practically run any game from any platform except the PlayStation, presuming those services and features are available in the owner’s region, of course.

While it sounds like heaven for gamers, it’s still uncertain whether it will be a commercial success for Logitech. Many of these features can also be enjoyed on a large smartphone these days, so the Logitech G Cloud doesn’t really sound too unique. It does have the convenience of having a single device for gaming with built-in controls, but almost everyone has that kind of device in their pockets these days; they just need a good controller to go along with it.

The post Logitech G Cloud handheld device puts a different spin on mobile gaming first appeared on Yanko Design.

Naver 1784 demonstrates how robots can change the workplace landscape

The idea of robots replacing human workers is both the stuff of science fiction and, in some industries, an unavoidable reality. Fiction and media love to create drama and tension when it comes to advancements in robotics and AI that seem to be trained to mimic even the most artistic aspects of human creativity. Reality, however, is far less dramatic, and robots have a long way to go in putting office workers out of employment. Instead, robotics can actually help improve the quality of life of people in workplaces, and Naver’s new 1784 “technology convergence” building tries to serve as the blueprint for this harmonious kind of human and robot interaction.

Designer: Naver x SAMOO Architects & Engineers

Robot Helpers, not Usurpers

From the outside, Naver’s 1784 HQ looks like any other high-rise building. Located at 178-4 Jeongja-dong, where it partially gets its name, the online platform giant’s second and so far biggest HQ stands over a 165,000 sq. m. area and over 28 floors with eight underground floors. As they say, looks can be deceiving, and the 1784 is touted as the world’s first robot-friendly building while also being very human-friendly.


The building houses the company’s latest and greatest R&D on robotics, AI, and the cloud, while also serving as sort of the testbed and showcase of these very technologies. Alongside thousands of humans, the 1784 also has around 100 robots under its employ, primarily designed to deliver packages to people inside the building, at least for now. While that purpose may sound trivial, the technology and infrastructure built to support this function are quite novel and still unique.

For example, the building houses what is perhaps the world’s first elevator built especially for robots, which means that the building’s architecture was designed with this in mind. And unlike the technology-loaded pizza or package delivery robots featured in the news, Naver’s little helpers are “brainless,” with a central control system named ARC (short for AI, Robot, Cloud) that is able to pinpoint the exact location of each robot and the path it needs to take inside the building.

Rather than the cold overlords that our imaginations think them to be, these robots are designed and programmed to make life more convenient for humans inside the workplace. There are even character robots inspired by LINE’s mascots that try to study how the presence of more familiar places can help boost morale or offer emotional support for humans that may be a little stressed over work.

New Normal

The Naver 1784 building isn’t just a convergence of technology due to being robot-friendly, though that’s definitely the highlight of its existence. Almost everywhere you go, you’ll find new and old technologies at work to improve the lives of people working inside, especially in a world forever changed by the recent pandemic. The Rookie delivery robots, for example, tries to reduce the risk of contamination by minimizing human contact when handing over packages.

The building is also equipped with CLOVA FaceSign technology that can recognize faces even while wearing masks. This simplifies authentication without having to require employees to touch surfaces with IDs or tags. Meeting rooms also have built-in AI and voice recognition, so you no longer have to worry about separate recording devices that you may forget to turn on at the start of a meeting.

Although construction started back in 2016, Naver and SAMOO had the foresight to design an advanced HVAC system that would have a critical impact in a post-pandemic world. As with any closed space with a single air handling unit, the chances of circulating contaminated air go higher. The 1784 has an independent outdoor air handling unit on each floor to minimize that risk, promising a disease control system almost on the same level as hospitals.

Going Green

Naver’s newest building isn’t just forward-looking because of the advanced technologies operating inside but also because of its attention to sustainability. With a hi-tech office that uses plenty of robots and computers to run the place, you’d presume that it consumes more power and has a higher carbon emission. Normally that would be the case, but the 1784 also employs several technologies to reduce its negative impact on the environment that goes beyond using solar panels and recycling rainwater water.

The building has a double skin wall, where a layer of glass windows is added to the outer wall. This creates a path for wind to flow and more effectively dissipate heat from sunlight. It is also the first high-rise building in the country to use radiant cooling, letting cold water flow through pipes inside floors and ceilings. All in all, these designs help cool the building without using more electricity.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of work forever, making virtual meetings a staple in any business, big or small. At the same time, new sanitation practices are being implemented to avoid repeating the same mistakes of the pre-pandemic era. The Naver 1784 building takes these lessons to heart and uses a variety of technologies to create a conducive and healthy working environment. With robots, AI, and eco-friendly strategies, the building tries to show the way toward the human-centric, robot-friendly office of the future.

The post Naver 1784 demonstrates how robots can change the workplace landscape first appeared on Yanko Design.

Suspended Sofa makes you feel like you’re precariously sitting on cloud nine

Couches and sofas are primarily designed to provide comfortable sitting for a group of people or even lounging and sleeping for just one person. Over time, however, they have also developed a new purpose, considering the amount of space they occupy in an area. Their size automatically makes them the first visual point for anyone entering an area, making them the perfect way to make a good first impression on visitors. Sofas have, in a way, also become decorative pieces of furniture, an expression of an owner’s style, or simply an instrument to create a visual impact. This sofa definitely makes a lasting impression, though people might be wondering whether they should be dreamy or wary of sinking into its cloud-inspired embrace.

Designer: Mark Mitchell

We’ve seen our fair share of memorable sofa designs that range from the elegant to the eccentric. Some take their inspiration from various art movements throughout the decades, while others bring mundane objects to the living room. There’s even one that’s designed to look like scrumptious bread rolls that are good enough to nibble on. It’s a delightfully wacky way to be a couch potato, but one that might be inviting trouble when toddlers mistake it for the real thing.

And then there are the artistic interpretations of those everyday objects, like crumpled paper or fluffy clouds. The Suspended Sofa is like a little bit of both, but it also provokes the mind to make a suspension of belief that you won’t fall down on this cozy seat.

The sofa clearly takes after the soft, white clouds hanging above our heads that we often take for granted every day. Unlike other cloud-inspired sofas, this one tries to faithfully recreate the uneven forms of clouds. Real clouds aren’t uniform and smooth, and neither is the surface of the Suspended Sofa. There is even an uneven piece of crumpled fabric hanging over one side down to its base, covering the lone leg of the couch. The base is covered with a white carpet reminiscent of feathery cirrus clouds intermingling with cottony cumulus.

What makes the Suspended Sofa really striking, however, is how it looks like it actually floats above the ground. Of course, it’s all just an illusion because it has a leg that supports lifts the seat; it just happens to be draped with a white fabric that makes it look like it’s part of the cloud. That’s just on one side, though, which makes you wonder how it manages to stay stable, especially when you have people sitting on it.

The Suspended Sofa makes a splendid accent in any space, especially in rooms with bright lights or themes that will make you feel like you’re lounging in the heavens. Its design is meant to evoke feelings of peace and calm, isolated from the stresses of life that weigh us down. Ironically, it might also induce emotions of fear and uncertainty of “falling through the clouds” with what looks like a precarious structure for a seat made to hold many people all at once.

The post Suspended Sofa makes you feel like you’re precariously sitting on cloud nine first appeared on Yanko Design.

Microsoft hopes its cloud expertise can modernize nonprofits

After debuting its new Industry Cloud service with a suite of tools for the healthcare sector last year and unveiling a Retail-specific version in January, Microsoft is ready to introduce more areas of focus. The company is announcing today three new...

Microsoft teams up with Cruise and GM on self-driving cars

Cruise and GM have enlisted an important ally in their quest to make self-driving cars a practical reality. The two have entered a “long-term strategic relationship” with Microsoft to speed up the commercialization of autonomous vehicles. Cruise will...

This ergonomic shower system uses modularity to help healthcare workers provide care in a handsfree manner!

Healthcare workers always have a lot on their plate and, above all else, the year 2020 has revealed that innovative design is essential to keep up with ever-evolving healthcare standards. Cloud, a modular shower system, was designed by Dongje Park for just that, specifically for caregivers who help the elderly population. Providing baths and showers for elderly patients is the responsibility of many healthcare workers and formed the primary inspiration for Cloud, the complete shower system that you can use with one hand. Cloud is a modular, ergonomic shower system constructed using mostly stainless steel, thermoplastic, and silicone, which can be integrated into either your own bathroom at home or community care sites, like nursing homes or hospitals.

Designed with the user in mind, Cloud is built to be intuitive and easy to understand so that anyone can feel confident when using it. The handheld showerhead comes equipped with a treaded, silicone grip that allows users to easily slip their hand through the handle with open access to the shower head’s interface where the control buttons are located. In order to give healthcare workers plenty of hands-free options for providing baths and other hygienic routines, Cloud comes with three different modules. The first module, a nylon-bristle brush, can be used for heavy scalp washing or for the tough skin that lines the bottoms of our feet. The even rows of silicone bristles on the second module could supply the means for harder-to-reach deep back or scalp massages. The third module, made from sponge or loofa-like material, delivers a cotton-soft deep cleaning for an all-over, gentle cleaning.

In addition to the shower head’s changeable modules, Park incorporated an LED, color-coded temperature control valve, which indicates when the water flow’s temperature changes from hot to cold, vice versa, or anywhere in between. Situated just above the temperature control valve, bottle stations dispense either body wash or hair products with the touch of a button. Park’s integrated soap dispenser only requires users to press a button on the showerhead, which prompts soap to flow down to the user’s chosen module to meet with water and reach the desired amount of suds and foaminess. They say love is in the details and Park kept even the smallest of details in mind with Cloud. When designing his shower system, Park prioritized the user’s intuition in Cloud’s ergonomic handles and seamless product assembly and incorporated modularity into a household product that’s known for predictability and rigidity, ultimately delivering a shower system that even those outside of the healthcare industry can appreciate.

Designer: Dongje Park