This edible tape is here to revise how we wrap our food, minus all the wasted packaging

As much as I enjoy eating, there are certain kinds of food that may taste great but are just too messy to consume. These include thick burgers, wraps, sandwiches, and especially burritos. I mean, I like eating them, but the fact that the ingredients fall off while I’m eating, most of the time on my dress, causes a lot of stress. There must be a way to keep all of it in and prevent them from bursting at the seams, especially if you’re trying to keep your outfit pristine while eating.

Designers: Tyler Guarino, Marie Eric, Rachel Nie, and Erin Walsh

A group of students from the John Hopkins University Engineering department faced this problem when consuming burritos. So they came up with a solution to this problem, bringing a prototype of something called Tastee Tape to help you keep all the ingredients in when consuming a burrito or a wrap. Basically, it’s an adhesive that you can wrap around your food to keep things like beans, rice, vegetables, etc., from dripping onto your clothes. I would have loved to help them test out these different prototypes on all kinds of food as they seemed to enjoy this part of the process.

To come up with this solution, they first studied how different kinds of adhesives work and the science behind it. After that, they looked for how they could make something edible since, of course, you don’t want to put something on food that can be harmful. They came up with something made from food-grade fibrous scaffold and then an edible organic adhesive that can melt in your mouth once you consume it. The result is something edible, safe, and strong enough that can be used on things like burritos, gyros, wraps, tacos, sandwiches, and other similar food.

The students are still in the process of applying for a patent for the Tastee Tape, so we won’t get details yet as to the actual components and “ingredients” that go into this edible tape. But we do get instructions on how to use it. After you tear off a strip from the sheet, you need to wet it completely before applying it to the food that you need to lock into the wrap. It seems to come in clear and blue colors, although the latter doesn’t look aesthetic when put on your food.

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Folding mobile chair concept brings accessibility to shared mobility

Shared mobility has been on the rise for the past years, and even though the pandemic kind of paused its growth, we’re still seeing a lot of different modes and services come out of the woodwork. But most of these are meant for people who are generally mobile and not for those that may have some difficulty moving around. For those that are elderly and may have some sort of physical disability, the current shared mobility services may not be applicable to them.

Designer: Yeeun Son

A Korean designer thought about this gap in the shared mobility market and came up with a concept product called ANYON. Think of it as a moving chair or wheelchair that can be used like you would the shared bikes and electric scooters that you see around the city. The inspiration for the design is a folding chair, and when it is not in use, it folds into itself so it can be stored in a smaller space than the usual mobile chairs.

ANYON uses the omniwheel technology, which allows for movement on the horizontal axis and for forward and backward movement as well. There are also headlights on the footrest so that even at night, users will be able to ride this moving chair. The product renders seem to show a pretty small mobility device, but it should be able to fit a fully-grown adult and at the same time not be too bulky that it will be hard to create a station for it.

The chair also comes with buttons and displays on the armrest to help you control and navigate to where you’re going. An app will help you see where’s the nearest station where you can rent the chair. Payments and key codes are also through the app, just like any shared mobility service. We also assume that you will be able to leave it when the battery runs out or the rental ends, just like with bicycles and scooters.

If this product does come to life, it can revolutionize the shared mobility market in terms of accessibility. There are still a lot of logistics and technology to probably figure this out but at least this concept is a step in the right direction.

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Smart collar lets you protect your mental health in public

If you’ve ever suffered a panic or anxiety attack while in public, you know how hard it is to be able to find a “safe space”. Sometimes all you need is a place to get away to breathe and ground yourself. But if you can’t find such a space, you’d want to crawl inside your shirt or something, which you really can’t literally do. This concept product will let you do that, crawl inside the cowl or high-neck collar and give you the privacy you need at the moment.

Designer: Maria Rybina

VOL. is a smart high-neck collar that you can wear every day or when needed and gives you personal space and privacy even in a public setting. When not needed, it can just be worn as a simple collar or cowl. It is described as “comfortable, stylish, and easy to use” and based on the photo renders, it seems to be that. The moment you need a bit of privacy, or you need to evaluate your current mental health status, you can zip it up and get a temporary respite inside of it.

It’s not a magic collar, but it comes with a microphone to help you communicate with someone at the moment, dynamics, so you’ll be able to listen, and a control center that lets you do things like turn the Bluetooth connection on and off, connect to your smartphone, or adjust the volume of what you’re listening to or who you’re talking to. You get some privacy as the insulating properties of the collar can lower sound up to 12 decibels so people up to 3 feet cannot hear what you’re saying or listening to.

VOL. is made from V-Lap Fabric which is non-woven material with vertically oriented polyester fabrics. It enables the collar to absorb speech when you need some alone time in talking to your therapist, friend, or whoever it is you need to talk to. It also has a heat-saving function which will be useful during winter and months of extreme weather. You can connect it to your smartphone so you can do things like listening to music, taking calls, and monitoring your mental health.

The last one mentioned is measured through a connected app. It will measure what your voice and tone sound like and give you a report on how your mood seems to be based on those factors. How accurate that will be remains to be seen but even for its privacy features, VOL. seems to be a useful, safe space for those who may need it. Those who also find it hard to be in public spaces with other people can also benefit from it.

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This ingenious suitcase doubles up as a bedside table and lamp

While I do love traveling, and I’ve missed doing so for the past two years, one thing I don’t like about it is packing and unpacking. It’s a necessary pain unless you just use disposable clothes or toiletries, which isn’t really sustainable. So concept products that try to lessen the hassle of rummaging through a suitcase in your hotel room are always something to look out for. And if it helps you have an extra bit of storage in your cramped hotel room, then that’s a bonus.

Designer: Mark Mitchell

A British designer came up with a concept suitcase that will make it easier for travelers to pack and unpack, especially if they have a tiny hotel room or Air BnB space. It’s carry-on luggage that can also function as a bedside table in case the room doesn’t have one. The product is designed so that you don’t have to unpack everything when you arrive and then repack them when it’s time to leave. It will be especially useful for cramped spaces and if you’re traveling from one place to another.

Aside from the ease of setting it up beside your bed, the suitcase/bedside table can also serve as a lamp. If you plug in an external battery pack, the handle would light up and serve as your bedside lamp. The luggage function of this is also quite different as instead of the traditional narrow zipped compartments, the storage is designed as drawers that will make it easier for you to access the items that you need at the moment.

I’m not really sure about the security of your items when you put it in the overhead compartment of the plane. But design-wise, this seems to be a pretty interesting one to add to your traveling list, if it ever becomes an actual product. It is something that will definitely make the packing and unpacking process a bit more bearable for me, at least when I’ll be traveling to different places and staying in smaller rooms.

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Vinyl player uses electric vehicle motor design for industrial look

While it’s been more convenient to listen to music on Spotify or Apple Music the past decade, there is still something lost in the compression of the songs that true-blue audiophiles regrettably notice. That’s why over the past few years, we’re seeing the re-emergence of “retro” music formats like CDs and vinyl. The latter in particular has become a must-have for those who are serious about listening to music in its uncompressed format. More often than not, these players are also vintage in design, harking back to music listening in the 60s and beyond.

Designer: William Fairington

But what if the record player gets a futuristic and industrial design instead, bringing a different kind of aesthetic to what we’re used to. That’s the idea behind the conceptual design of a record player called Rotor. The designer is inspired by the mechanical forms of the internal motors of modern electric vehicles. So if you’re the demographic that likes both cars and music, then you’d want this concept to become an actual product eventually.

The design features 6 copper coil-inspired speaker modules that support the center shaft and radiates the sound from the inside wall. It actually looks like it is floating within the outer shell as it doesn’t touch the table or the wall where you’ll place the player. To show off the motor design, the vinyl mat has a condensed belt but there is also a threaded cap and spindle to keep the vinyl in place no matter what position your player is placed in since this is a “conceptual dual orientational record player”.

The overall look of the Rotor is that of a motorized car part with a bare metal finish, linear form repetition as well as highlights on its fasteners and jointure. In order to create an actual product like this, the manufacturer would need to use Machining, Casting, and Forging. There are also a lot of complex components for such a device so if this does go into production, expect it to cost something fierce. But if you’re a fan of both EVs and vinyls, you probably will not mind.

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Oasis lets you grow and store vegetables in your home, creating a beautiful indoor garden

One of the things that helped people cope with the pandemic for the past couple of years is gardening or at the very least, taking care of green things. It has helped people to destress and take care of their mental health. But not all homes are built to have gardens, but that doesn’t mean you can’t run your own mini farm where you are. This concept for a hydroponic smart farm is something that can fit in whatever space you may be staying in.

Designer: Hyeona Cho

The Oasis is a smart farm that’s meant for home, and it can grow your vegetables and store them before you consume them. The design is inspired by both mountains and desert oasis, hence the name. Some of the items that were used to create a concept design for it include blenders, coffee makers, smart speakers, etc. What the designer came up with is something that looks like a mini-greenhouse with a transparent cover. It kind of reminds me of a bread container, except we get plants and vegetables inside.

The main feature of course, is the space where you take care of your plants. It’s hydroponic so there’s no need for a big space to raise whatever vegetable you’d want to raise on your own. But there’s also a part here called Fresh Keeper where you can store the vegetables once you’ve harvested them without needing to move them to the refrigerator. This means your veggies don’t lose nutrients and you can record the storage date and set the right temperature to keep them.

The Oasis has a touch display with icons that can be easily understood, like the on/off button, temperature, light source, etc. And since this is a smart farm, there’s an app that you can use to monitor your plants and your water levels. You get a notification in both the app and the display when there is not enough water in the tank. The app tells you when things are good or need adjustments, as well as the other stats that you need.

For someone that can’t seem to keep plants alive, maybe a hydroponic smart farm like this is the answer. It would be difficult to kill vegetables in something like this, right? Right?

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Forest lets students create interactive bubble to help them focus

If you’ve ever dealt with someone with neurodivergent issues, specifically ADHD and other related developmental issues, concentration is a hard thing to practice. It is important to give them the tools that can help them focus on the task at hand, especially while they’re still young and studying in school. But it’s also crucial that they are able to not be too isolated from their classmates and learn to work with them while dealing with their own issues.

Designer: Shion Ito

A Japanese designer thought about this problem and decided to come up with a concept that would let students with ADHD create their own physical bubble to help them with their concentration issues. At the same time, it will not totally isolate them from their classmates and even get them to participate in creating this bubble if they wish to do so. What he came up with is something called Forest, a set of desk partitions and slot profiles to attach to the student’s table.

Basically, the partition can be created using cut-outs of things like animals, plants, and trees, hence the Forest name. Students will be able to choose what kind of forest they want to create for their bubble and how high or how low this bubble will be. During the prototyping and testing phase of this concept, other students also found the building of this “fortress” to be something they’d like to participate in, therefore eliminating the isolation that the student with ADHD may feel.

Some of the existing partitions for students with concentration issues are too big and too isolated. Forest has small partitions and cut-outs so that it will not be too intimidating both for the ADHD student and his neurotypical classmates. These cutouts are made from wood and painted with soft colors like yellow, green, and turquoise blue, which help the students focus on their studies by calming their eyes.

Hopefully, the Forest will be something that schools with students with ADHD will be able to test this out. Anything that can help them focus and concentrate and also get their classmates to participate will be a welcome tool.

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Krado Plant Sensor will help you get information about your plant babies

Over the past couple of years, my social media feed has been filled with friends becoming plant mommies and daddies during the pandemic. Of course, I tried to do a bit of greening my apartment but very minimally since I knew my capability or, rather, lack of capability of taking care of plants. Sure enough, a couple of weeks later, both plants died. Now, if I had some physical and digital tools to help me out, I probably may have done better.

Designer: Hatch Duo

If something like the Krado Plant Sensor actually exists, then maybe my poor two plants had a better chance of survival. It’s the hardware component of the Leaflet Plant Care System, whose main purpose is to help people grow healthy plants. The sensor is something you put in the soil with your plants, and it will be able to transmit information to the mobile app so you will be able to adjust how you’re taking care of them.

The plant sensor is able to monitor things like soil moisture, ambient temperature, humidity, and light. These are critical factors that will affect the health of your plants, and if you’re like me, that’s pretty clueless about these things, then it might give me helpful information. The app connected to it will also give you actionable guidance based on these factors like buying and shipping fertilizer, potting soil, pesticides, etc.

The sensor itself looks like a thermometer but with a leaf at the top. There are different colored lights that may indicate specific conditions that will alert you (well if you’ve memorized what the colors stand for). In terms of sustainability, it is 100% 3D printed and it also uses the latest additive manufacturing practices. Another added bonus to this is that all the information collected through the sensor will contribute to botanical research. The research will tell us what’s the best environment for specific plans to grow.

I don’t know if having this sensor will definitely improve my still non-existent plant growing skills. But it might actually let them live beyond the average of two weeks life cycle that they get with me.

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Summit is modular furniture for various office purposes

Now that a lot of companies are going back to work at the office, people have to adjust to being with other people in real life again. Some things that were previously simple, like meetings and even socializing, have to be re-learned after two years of working from home. Expect a lot of team-building and other activities that will teach us to be with other people again. It looks like even furniture can help us adjust back to life at the office.

Designer: Snøhetta

Summit is modular furniture that is designed using a geometric building block system that lets you turn it into a piece of furniture that would fit your needs. It is made up of five modules that can be assembled and re-assembled into various levels, curves, and directions, either in small or bigger installations. So whether you need furniture for a lecture, a meeting, or an office break where you can chat with your colleagues, this furniture can turn into what you need.

The furniture is cushioned and comfortable enough, whatever you arrange it to be. The design can resemble those social amphitheaters that we see in open parks or even the Spanish Steps in Rome. You can also turn it into an “indoor mountain range” if you need something that is leveled. Summit lets you create an interior landscape that you can explore in your workspace without needing to bring in other pieces of furniture.

The renders show that there are outlets in some parts of the modular furniture in case you need to charge devices while chatting with colleagues. It comes in different, comfortable-looking colors as well, like red, green, blue, and gray. Despite it being modular, Summit is a minimalistic piece of furniture, from the upholstery to the stitching to the cushioning. I wouldn’t mind coming in to work and lounging on it during our break times.

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Peel-Pal takes inspiration from fruit peels that we discard

I love fruits. But what makes me not always eat them is the fact that you need to peel most of them. I like fruits that I can eat immediately, not ones that I have to put extra effort into. But what happens to those skins once we’re done peeling them? Some are used as air fresheners while some are finding ways to re-use or recycle them. There are also those who find inspiration in these discarded parts of the fruits to create new products.

Designer: Hyunbin Yang

The Peel-Pal takes inspiration from several fruit peels that often take an arch shape once removed from its fruit. It basically serves as a button stand for your cutlery and utensils. There are five “flavors” of the utensil stands that you can choose from: orange, watermelon, kiwifruit, lemon, and grapefruit. The variants follow the colors of the fruits as well, specifically the colors orange, red, green, yellow, and orange.

This fruit-peel stand also has some support underneath to make it more stable. They look like an on/off button although it doesn’t necessarily do anything except to make your Peel-Pal more stable when you place your chopsticks or cutlery on it. It comes in a box that goes with the color of the stand itself. Design-wise and function-wise, it’s as simple as it gets. It adds a cute touch to your dining table especially if you have either colorful or monochromatic plates and utensils.

It’s unclear from the product page and description if the material they use for the Peel-Pal is actually made from materials from fruit peels. It would be great if that was so and if the peels are not just inspiration for the design. It would be hard though to make it from actual peels but at least in concept, it might just work. The important thing though for an actual product to be recycled from things like these to make sure nothing really goes to waste.

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