Artificial intelligence has been a hot-button topic right now in the creative industry. Whichever side of the “debate” you may fall on, we have to admit that the democratization of things like graphic design, product concepts, and digital creativity has certainly made things a bit more interesting, albeit controversial. A collection of AI-generated product design concepts by a designer from South Africa has brought gaming into the mix, resulting in a pretty interesting visual narrative.
Designer: Grant Franck
The collection of various products, generated through AI, incorporates futuristic shapes and design that reminds you of computer games into things like sneakers, helmets, backpacks, music players, and of course, game controllers. The designer said he wanted to remove the idea of these items being shaped by “idols” and narcissism, probably referring to a lot of the popular brands particularly with sneakers being designed after personalities and costing an arm and a leg.
What we get in the collection is an array of colorful product designs that would look right at home in either a fashion show or a sci-fi movie. He played around with chrome, purple, green, and transparent colors, creating definite conversation starters in case they become actual products. I have some concerns with the practicality and durability, particularly with the sneakers and backpacks since the design makes it look like they can be fragile.
When it comes to these accessories, if you’re looking for functionality, this may not work for you as they’re more for aesthetic, at least with the product renders. But if you need something that will call attention to you and your shoes or your bag. The integration of gaming items into fashion will appeal to actual gamers, during those times when they can get themselves out of the house and away from their consoles.
From bullet impacts to exit wounds, from a spider crawling on your shoulder to wind brushing against your skin, the OWO haptic shirt uses a series of ‘microsensations’ that combine together to make you feel different aspects of the game. Electrodes and sensors strategically placed all along the shirt and even in the arms help you get a truly immersive feeling while you game, and an app lets you calibrate the sensations to match exactly how intense or mild you want your haptic feedback.
“Unlike other haptics that use vibration to reproduce one sensation, OWO is the only company that can reproduce an infinite number of realistic physical sensations. And since each body is different, you can calibrate the sensations to make your experience unique,” say the folks behind the haptic shirt. “The result; a deep level of immersion you won’t find anywhere else.”
The OWO Haptic Shirt was revealed at CES this year as a means to make gaming more immersive. Wear the shirt and you don’t just see and hear the game, you experience it through the sense of touch too. The shirt’s design and its app help translate an entire library of games into different sensations. Moreover, you don’t just feel that odd buzzing sensation when you get shot, the folks at OWO were quick to point out that the shirt offers much more nuance than that. “A gunshot is composed of three microsensations: entry wound, exit wound, and bleeding,” the OWO website mentions. These microsensations come together to create a much more realistic experience that adds layers and depth to what you feel. The shirt offers much more than just being able to experience bullet wounds, though. You can feel everything from impact (a punch or a gunshot or even a dagger wound) to interactions (gun recoil to resistance while pushing objects) and even experiences (wind blowing, stress, etc.)
The shirt itself is a lightweight garment made of flexible lycra and available in up to 9 different sizes for both men and women. On the inside, it’s lined with 10 electrodes placed all across the torso and the arms that provide the haptic feedback through an entirely wireless experience thanks to Bluetooth 5.2. You’ve also got a USB-C port that lets you charge its built-in battery, which provides 8 hours worth of use on a full charge.
The OWO haptic shirt is just one step closer to a more immersive Ready Player One-inspired world where the lines of reality and virtuality are blurred. OWO is compatible with games on PC, mobile, console, and VR, and supports an entire roster of popular games including Fortnite, League of Legends, Valorant, CS GO, PUBG, and Beat Saber. You can wear the shirt while standing, or use it while sitting on a chair or even lounging on your couch. However, OWO recommends that people with pacemakers or metal implants in their torso shouldn’t use the haptic shirt under any circumstance.
Currently up for preorder, the shirts start at 399€ and come in three styles including a ‘founder’s edition’ that’s limited to 2000 units.
Little did I know the Loki color palette would look THIS good on footwear!
It’s not like there’s a shortage of Marvel merch out there… but designer Paul Parsons managed to concoct something that looks and feels so awesome I’m literally trying to manifest it into existence. Created with the help of MidJourney’s AI, these Marvel X Nike football sneakers capture the grandeur of some of the MCU’s most memorable heroes (and anti-heroes). Treading a fine line between being sporty footwear and an homage to a comic-book character, these football boots look exceptional on their own, even when observed without context. The series spans 9 different footwear models, dedicated to distinct characters from the Avengers movie… and Wolverine. Scroll down to see which one is your favorite!
The Spider-Man sneaker obviously uses the traditional color palette, with a liberal application of randomized lines to represent the friendly neighborhood web-slinger’s webbing. Notice how none of the sneakers actually use logos of the Marvel heroes (so as to avoid any copyright infringement, I suppose), but do wonderfully integrate Nike’s tick sign into the shoes to give them their unique character. I assume Nike’s much more liberal with fan-made concepts than Disney.
Iron Man and Black Panther tie in second place just because I have so much love for the characters in general. The former’s shoe has a lean design but with more ‘chunky’ 3D elements that give it an exoskeleton-like appeal, coupled with that signature metallic red and gold interplay that we love so much. The Black Panther shoe, on the other hand, relies on a more Afrofuturistic-leaning design that’s heavy on textures and lines, much like T’Challa and Shuri’s suits. The use of gold makes me guess these are for the new Black Panther in our lives.
Loki and Thor are arguably the most difficult to replicate. Given that it’s difficult to add any signature motifs like horns or hammers on the shoes, everything boils down to color themes, and the use of thunder in the latter’s artwork. I really have a newfound appreciation for the green and gold combo, which Parsons’ football sneaker concept utilizes beautifully. The golden studs near the heel and the golden tick mark really make the shoe stand out. With Thor, I’d much rather see the use of the square chainmail that was found in Thor’s sleeves in earlier movies. The shoe uses a white and red interplay, with lightning streaks to invoke the Norse God of thunder.
Hulk’s footwear treatment seems more on the side of realism, given that the proportions are still very human. A creative call on the designer’s part, I still quite like this one. There’s a bit of an acidic toxic aesthetic here that feels more akin to The Lizard here, but still, a job well done! The creases and lines on the shoe somewhat feel like sinews and muscles, without the exaggerated proportions of The Hulk. Maybe a little purple would do the trick, as is found in the hero’s (tattered but holding-together) pants.
Wolverine seemed like a bit of a wild card here, but I’ve always loved what Hugh Jackman brought to the role. He’s more Wolverine than Robert is Iron Man, if you ask me… and I know that’s a controversial hot take. Again, this concept stays on the lines of realism by not including any razor-sharp adamantium studs at the bottom of the footwear… but that yellow and black aesthetic is just instantly recognizable. It uses stripes that can be found in the original costume too, with a sharp tick mark ‘cutting’ through for extra impact.
We bring our collection to its conclusion with Groot and Thanos. The two non-human sources of inspiration in this collection. The Groot footwear (grootwear?) has a wonderfully woody appeal, with roots and twigs curling around each other the way they do on the woody superhero’s body. The shoe rests on a carpet of leaves too, completely honoring the theme. With Thanos, however, the shoe’s design misses the inclusion of the Infinity Stones… but there’s the signature purple and golden melange that is synonymous with the character’s purple skin and golden gauntlet. Lines around the shoe’s ‘chin’ resemble the creases found on Thanos’ chin too!
At the 2022 London Design Festival, Zena Holloway presented an intriguing collection of sculptures, products, and wearables grown completely from grass root! Called, ‘Rootfull’, the collection was presented at the inaugural edition of the ‘Materials Matter’ design fair.
The collection includes a dress with a collar piece, other coral-inspired sculptural pieces, substantial wall hangings, and root-grown lamps with interesting coral textures. Holloway’s collection explores the possibilities and scope of root-grown textiles, and how they can be widely utilized in the future.
‘The challenge is to sew, cut, tease, join, pluck, set, and reset until the root has found the optimal form. Root is an exciting and versatile material where the most honest results are achieved by working with the natural flows of the fiber. It can be grown into large hanging structures or set and molded to form vessels and responds especially well to natural dying processes,’ said Holloway. She utilizes the roots as a 3D printer, with every growing cycle resulting in a new pattern, so no two pieces are exactly the same!
Holloway cultivated wheatgrass seed in templates crafted from beeswax, and within twelve days, the shoots grow up to about 20 cm, while the roots connected together to form a beautiful yet natural structure. The roots grow either horizontally or vertically. They can be also coerced into compact spaces, forcing them to be small and flat, or they can be developed more deeply to create more detailed and interesting structures.
Keeping track of our body’s health and state of fitness has become somewhat of an obsession for some people. A decade ago, this wouldn’t have even been possible, but the dawn of wearables like smartwatches has made it almost too easy to keep tabs on different aspects of your health. Unfortunately, these tech accessories aren’t always designed like fashion accessories, and their style often comes second to their functions. Even worse, not everyone who is interested in monitoring their health is equally keen on wrapping a smartwatch around their wrist and saying goodbye to their favorite timepiece. Enter the new generation of smart rings like Circular, enabling the same or even better health tracking without cramping your style.
While smartwatches have the advantage of giving you quick and easy access to the information you need at a glance, including the time, they aren’t always the most discreet pieces of technology if you’re trying to hide the fact that you’re wearing one. While there are now smartwatches that do masquerade as luxury watches, most people probably have a favorite piece they don’t want to give up. A ring that keeps track of the same metrics might be a more subtle accessory to wear, and the Circular wellness ring delivers the best of both worlds without taking away too much from the smartwatch experience.
Circular offers the standard lineup of activity tracking and health monitoring and adds a little more on top. A smart alarm, for example, wakes you up in the most effective way at the best time, depending on your habits and sleep cycles. It also analyzes your bio-signals to keep track of your sleep quality and to offer recommendations on how to improve it. Since you don’t have to take it off at night, you can be assured that your data is continuous and uninterrupted.
Going beyond just physical well-being, Circular is adding guided breathing exercises utilizing subtle vibrations of the ring to also improve your mood and mental health. An upcoming update to its mobile app will improve the overall user experience and add team monitoring to help coaches and employers keep an eye out for athletes’ and employees’ health. With Circular, you can get a more holistic view of your health and take back control, allowing you to make smarter choices in life.
With our hectic lives which pretty much involve us running around all day, the right footwear can make a world of difference. Shoes started off as functional designs meant to protect our feet, and yes we need to pick ones that do exactly that, BUT, they should also reflect our style statements and represent our personality and our personal fashion sense. After all, don’t they say that you can tell a lot about a man by the state of his shoes? Personally, I love a good pair of sturdy and stylish sneakers, ones that can get me through the day without giving me any shoe bites, and also match my outfits. However, I do know that this isn’t the case with everybody. People have high demands and expectations when it comes to their footwear, hence designers are unleashing all of their creative juices, leaving no stones unturned in making unique, innovative, and ergonomic shoes. From Balenciaga high-heel sneakers to “decaying” shoes that are made from organic materials – these footwear designs are as futuristic, inventive, and fashionable as they can get!
1. Balenciaga High-heel Sneakers
This Balenciaga high-heel footwear concept was designed by OJB Studio keeping potential future technologies in mind. “In this Balenciaga concept, [current] manufacturing boundaries and constraints were excluded, with freedom and imagination leading the way”, Ollie of OJB Studio told Yanko Design. “This process enables a fast and efficient way of experimental aesthetic ideation, providing some rather wild, yet desirable designs.” The brief for the specific concept was to create a Balenciaga high heel for the near future, inspired by elements of a sneaker. It’s purely a visual exercise that aims at determining what the future of fashion in the footwear industry will look like.
2. The Kajola Shoe Collection
The Kajola shoe collection is made to look like decaying footwear as the materials used are natural. Because of the way, it’s designed, it’s really more of a piece of artwork than functional footwear. They want to call it “living artifacts” made from various biomaterials like volcanic dust, clay, and even cacao powder and so as the years pass by, it will naturally curl into itself, just like leaves and other organic materials do when they decay. They are named after an area in Nigeria and a trip to local forests. The idea is to push what other things plants can be used to create.
3. UV-Zhu’s Nike Conceptual Series
UV-Zhu’s Nike conceptual series are basically inflatable structures paired up with daily objects resulting in kicks that you would probably never see at the Nike showroom. The ankle straps are made from white garters, silicone, and paper-based tapes. The outsoles have been power-packed with springs so that they can allow the wearer, to walk without actually putting any effort into walking! Sponges and myriad kinds of soft padding have been squeezed in between these layers, creating comfy cushioning for the wearer. Some of the shoes have also been equipped with a layer of candy, and eccentric bristles as the outsole.
4. The Heaven’s Door
The Heaven’s Door has a unique design style that combines the close-toe design of a shoe with the open-ish ankle aesthetic of a slip-on sandal. The shoes have a leather body, punctuated by an elastic strap that runs along the side, connecting the rear flap to the main shoe. A rubber outsole hints at comfortable outdoor use in an urban environment while hiding the springs away in a recessed channel running along the length of the shoe. Although remarkable in their automatic opening/closing abilities, the shoes don’t try to look futuristic – because they are not.
5. AC1 Boot
Meet the AC1 boot by Brooklyn-based mischief-makers MSCHF created to explore the lighter side of hopping around in walking boots meant for rehabilitation from a foot injury. As good as the sneaker design seems for the Gen-Z, the inspiration story is equally interesting. In 2015 CEO Lukas Bentel saw a person waking in medical boots down Prince Street in New York. He thought it to be the “most interestingly designed object,” especially the function-over-fashion character. According to him pondering over objects that aren’t intended to be aesthetic and given the least attention when it comes to design, can end up “looking really interesting and out there.”
6. Averted Vision
Defined by its cushioned design and minimalist profile, Averted Vision is practical and trendy. The cushioned soles take up around half of the shoe’s side profiles, providing ample bounce for playing without gravity. Conceptualized without shoelaces, Averted Vision could benefit from textile technology to form-fit around the wearer’s feet for a snug, comfy fit. The silhouette of the shoe seems to be inspired by designs of today, like Yeezy Foam Runners and Boosts. These days, it sometimes feels like we’re a stone’s throw away from life on Mars, so it’s not surprising that designers who tapped into the future are influenced by the trends of today.
7. The Heinekicks
What are the Heinekicks? Quite simply put, they’re limited edition sneakers FILLED with beer. There are only 32 pairs available in the world, and yes, you heard it right, they actually contain soles filled with the new Heineken Silver. Heineken promises these liquid-filled kicks “will have you Walking on Beer”. The Shoe Surgeon maintained the brand’s iconic red, green, and silver colors in the shoes as well. He power-packed the sneakers with a sleek green lenticular upper with silver and red accents. A removable metal bottle opener has been integrated into the tongue of the shoes. This could come in pretty handy when it’s time to pop open a cold one!
8. adidas x Victorinox EQT 93 sneaker
This is the Adidas x Victorinox EQT 93 sneaker by the German activewear brand for people who have a very active lifestyle. When needed the most, the sneaker has the Swiss brand’s EDC snug in place for any fixing, cutting, or other tasks. The shoe is based on the EQT 93 sneaker and modified for this exclusive offering. According to Veronika Elsener, Chief of Marketing at Victorinox – “We are thrilled with the outcome of the products which bring unique design and exciting details.”
The brief was to create a pair of shoes that can be used by the “urban nomad” which is basically people like me. The designer was able to come up with a concept for a Vans-like pair of shoes called Sim-Plis-Tech, taking inspiration from a mixture of space, alien life, corals, and skate parks. We get something that looks like what an astronaut would wear while walking around Mars and also something we city folk can wear around while traipsing in the urban jungle.
10. The 38%_2101 Running Shoes
Once you’ve set foot on Mars, it may be nice to wear something cool and durable like the 38%_2101 Running Shoes for MARS. The pair is based on the Y-3 running shoes and looks very futuristic. The designer decided to go for the Y-3 because the brand has a futuristic vision. The 38%_2101 Running Shoes for Mars appear to be out of this world, but the pair is also something we can still wear on Earth. The designer’s process included several other inspirations like aerospace equipment and minimal color units and a few items with sharp shapes.
Keeping track of our health has become almost a necessity these days. Knowing not only the number of steps we’ve taken but also our heart’s rhythm or our blood oxygen level can mean the difference between life or death for some people, especially when the symptoms aren’t evident. Fortunately, we have enough technologies today to cram all the necessary sensors into something the size of a watch. Not everyone is a fan of these smartwatches and fitness trackers, especially when it means having to give up their watch collection. That’s where RingConn comes in, a smart ring that does everything a smartwatch can and more while also looking stylish on your finger and freeing your wrist for your favorite classic timepiece.
While smartwatches seem like a miracle of science and technology, cramming sensors and components that we’d often see as distinct medical gadgets in clinics and hospitals. At the same time, however, they’re not always the most convenient or most comfortable devices for such purposes. They also have short battery lives, which means you have to regularly remove them to charge them, and they will not always match your sense of style, even if they’re the more expensive smartwatches from designer brands.
In that context, RingConn is an even bigger miracle, considering it can do all that a smartwatch can without the downsides. In fact, it works even better because you wear it on your finger instead of a wrist, where there’s less muscle and skin to get in the way of “seeing” your blood vessels. That way, you can get an even more accurate reading of your body’s state or activity 24/7. That means having access to a wide range of health data, including sleep quality, heart rate, heart rate variability, blood oxygen levels, stress levels, as well as your typical steps, walking distance, and calories burned.
For example, it not only detects when you’re sleeping but can properly detect different stages of sleep, from light to deep to REM. It even knows when you’re taking a power nap and properly categorizes that in its sleep report. The highly accurate PPG (PhotoPlethysmoGraphy) sensor can keep track of your heart rate continuously on its own, or you can opt to manually focus on certain times and events manually. Combining your heart variability and heart rate, the RingConn will alert you when you’re experiencing stress and remind you to wind down a bit. All of this data, including your steps and blood oxygen level, will be available in the mobile app for free forever, no monthly subscriptions required.
The icing on top of the RingConn’s amazing performance is its stylish and comfortable design. Made from durable and lightweight titanium, the ring won’t cramp your style. In fact, you might even forget you’re wearing it, which makes it perfect for all kinds of sports and activities where a smartwatch would normally weigh you down. It’s also IP68 certified for dust and water resistance, so you don’t have to worry about getting it wet at all. And, of course, that leaves you free to wear the watch you want, be it digital or mechanical, without having to worry about losing sight of your health. And with a 7-day battery life, together with a 500mAh charging case, you can go for as long as three months without even having to plug it in.
Despite having loads of features that leave its closest competitor, the Oura Ring Gen3, in its dust, the RingConn still manages to score a significantly lower SRP with a $149 Super Early Bird 40% discount. You’ll even get a free ring sizing kit before your order is shipped so that you won’t have to worry about the perfect fit. Whether you’re leading a very active and sporty lifestyle or you just want to keep a close eye on your health, the RingConn promises to deliver the health data you need without compromises and with plenty of style.
Gift ideas don’t necessarily come easy or early, but here we are, delivering miracles! Our gift guide arrives just in time for the holidays, and every single item on this handpicked guide (aside from being awesome, of course) promises to deliver BEFORE Christmas! Still looking for gifts for someone special, a dad, brother, boyfriend, yourself (that’s cool too, y’know)? Go ahead and give this guide a browse – or send it to your loved one to give them hints! We’ve curated some worthy gift guides this year, but this one holds some of the most fashionable, aesthetic, desirable lifestyle gear for this year, from functional EDC to watches made from iconic car parts, to kitchen gear and IoT devices to upgrade your smart home. In short, a little something for everyone, whether they’re the outdoorsy type, the tech-geek, or the impressive home-chef.
So here’s the drill – if you come across a great gift idea, add it to cart and it should arrive right before Christmas, just in time to brighten the life of your special person. Or if you fancy something on the list for yourself, just go ahead, make the purchase and call it an act of self-love!
1. Minimalist Multi-Functional Wrench
If your new year’s resolution is to be more independent in your lifestyle, this minimal wrench is one of the must-haves in your arsenal. Commonly found wrenches are difficult to compress into smaller sizes given the size of their head, until now. A slim, functional stainless steel design allows you to carry or store this wrench with you, everywhere with ease. The wrench actually resembles a cutter at the first glance, and you would be forgiven for mistaking it for that. Inside the wrench body, there are segments cut that create a hole matching a particular wrench size. To use the tool, you need to push out the wrench (like a pen) out of its body till you find the size you are looking for. Made from SUS420 Stainless Steel and weighing only 30gm, this tool is the game changer that removes the barrier we feel towards handling a bulky tool while keeping you ready for any last minute emergency where things seem to pile on what usually would be an important day.
Perfect for those who want to be ready for any situation in style, this easily portable wrench is the DIY hack we’ve been looking for!
The “Let there be light” quote from the Bible also turns out to be the exact brief for the SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2, a next-gen IoT accessory that’s capable of automatically opening and closing your curtains for you! Designed to fit onto practically any sort of rod, this tiny robot moves up and down, opening and closing your curtains based on routines, alarms, and even voice commands. A winner of multiple design awards, the Curtain Rod 2 just makes your regular home a tad bit smarter by automating a manual process to bring a bit of magic into your life. You can pair it with your alarm to have the curtains automatically open at 8am so you wake up to natural light instead of blaring noises from your phone, or you can use your voice to tell your smart home to shut the curtains when you’re about to watch a movie. My favorite feature is using the Curtain Rod 2 to cut your energy bills by having the curtains automatically shut when it gets too sunny inside the house, so the air conditioner doesn’t have to work overtime to cool your home down. Clever, no?!
The SwitchBot Curtain Rod 2 comes with a powerful motor that can move curtains as heavy as 17 lbs without breaking a sweat. Large wheels and an independent flexible suspension system means the bot can navigate almost all types of rods smoothly without getting stuck. A built-in 3350 mAh battery keeps the bot running for weeks, and SwitchBot even has an add-on solar panel accessory that keeps your curtain-pushing robot powered on clean energy forever. All of this makes it a perfect home upgrade to optimise your morning routine and to give you a great start to your day!
REC Watches have cultivated a rather brilliant reputation for making some incredible watches, however, there’s a special secret ingredient in their timepieces – recycled components and parts from some of the most iconic automobiles to have ever existed! Take the RNR Rockfighter, for starters – each limited edition timepiece comes with recycled metal from a 2003 Land Rover Defender. The moniker ‘Rockfighter’ comes from the name of the original car, built and owned by Michael Ortner, while the RNR stands for ‘Road Not Required’, referencing the off-road capability of the automobile. The watch uses metal from the left door of the Rockfighter which needed replacing in 2019. Ortner was more than kind enough to donate the original spare to the folks at REC Watches, who then designed a Land Rover-themed wristwatch to pay tribute to its terrestrial conquests.
REC Watches managed to punch a total of 453 dials out from the original door, giving them a finish of lacquer and then embedding them into the cushion-style timepiece with the square body and circular dial, reminiscent of the car’s headlights. The circular dial is also capped off with a rubber bezel, inspired by the spare stepney tire found on the back of the car. Each watch is built to be as durable as its inspiration, with a Swiss-made SW200-1 SELLITA movement on the inside, 50 meters of water-resistance, and a 3-year full warranty.
If the look and feel of that knife’s handle seem somewhat familiar, it’s because it’s inspired directly by how workshop tools are made! Designed using the drop-forge method (similar to how wrenches are designed), the CK20 chef knife from Veark elevates the humble knife to the status of an expert culinary tool. Each knife is forged from a single piece of stainless steel, before being hand-finished to give the knife its razor-sharp edge. All of Veark’s knives are crafted in Solingen, often referred to as the “City of Blades” in Germany. The CK20 is a robust, reliable, and rather well-balanced knife with a wrench-inspired grip that naturally has your thumb resting in its groove for maximum stability and maneuverability.
The single-material body makes the CK20 really easy to maintain and clean, while the knife blade itself is incredibly versatile (thanks to its full-tang design), making it perfect for easily slicing through fruits, herbs, veggies, and meats. Give your holiday meal the upgrade it deserves by bringing out this stylish, sleek and oh-so-memorable carving set. In fact, you can even grab Veark’s F13 Carving Fork with your CK20 knife by clicking on the YD-special holiday combo link below!
Imagine being able to open or lock your door using your Apple Watch, or an app on your phone. Now imagine being able to do that with your current door without modifying it or replacing the lock. That’s pretty much what the SwitchBot Lock promises. Designed to fit right over your existing single deadbolt lock, this IoT device turns your manual door lock into a smart one. Yeah sure, you can still open your door manually with a key, but with the SwitchBot Lock retrofitted on top, you can now open or lock your door using Bluetooth with your phone or smartwatch… or even via WiFi if you pair it with the SwitchBot Hub Mini.
Installing the SwitchBot Lock is as simple as peeling off the 3M adhesive tapes and sticking it right over the part of your existing lock that faces inside your home (no screws or drilling involved). The device runs the industry-standard 128-bit AES encryption, protecting your home from thieves as well as hackers, and the app gives you periodic notifications every time the door is locked or unlocked, or even left unlocked for a long time. The best part?? When you’re shifting houses, just pry the SwitchBot Lock off the door and carry it with you to your next home!
Elevating the idea of bakeware to tableware, Kana’s Milo baking accessories are beautiful enough to decorate your home and table with. Designed as a collaboration between Kana and Dikini, the Milo bakeware explores rejecting utilitarian design for something with an evergreen, universal aesthetic. The thoughtfully designed baking pans, sheets and cooling racks nest right into each other to become compact while storage, and are just as beautiful to look at when kept on the table, thanks to their gently scalloped handles and radially-brushed metal finishes. Each baking pan and sheet is crafted from tri-ply clad stainless steel, giving it unmatched durability and heat resistance of up to 1000°F. There’s an aluminum core sandwiched between the two sheets of stainless steel, ensuring optimal heat distribution, while the outer layers of 304-grade stainless steel are non-toxic, BBQ-friendly, and dishwasher-safe. The pans pair perfectly with Kana’s pre-cut parchment papers, which make grilling, broiling, and baking even easier.
Every one of Kana’s bakeware is made to practically last you for decades, and given how versatile they are, they’re probably the last bakeware you’ll ever need to buy!
There is a reason handcrafted vintage products hold a special place in our hearts – every time we use these products, we can feel the love and dedication put together by the creator. It is this sense of self made love that we feel in the Retio – a retro speaker brought to life using vintage Nixie tubes and resulting in a gadget that beautifully merges our past with modern usage scenarios. The Retio boasts of dual functions – a Bluetooth Speaker and a clock. The Nixie tubes made during the 70s to the 90s work as a display here for the clock. The design is portable, with 6 hours of playback time using its 6800mAh battery. The Nixie tubes used here are a genuine vintage stock, with a lifespan as long as 22 years! The speaker boasts of a powerful 10W Class-D amplifier, rivaling branded speakers in its weight class with ease. Designed with meticulous care, the clock is an inspiration and a reminder to step away from the chaos of the day and look back to simpler times, to take a moment to breathe and appreciate your present surroundings – in the end, refreshing your mind and soul.
While it is sure to be a conversation starter, the Retio is the perfect gift for the guy who has everything as what is more unique than this hand-crafted beauty with its steampunk flavour. Stepping away from the mass-manufactured products available with ease, the Retio is ideal for anyone who values quality and timeless classics.
It’s common for watches to take inspiration from sportscars – it’s incredibly rare, however, for them to be made from former sportscars! Meet the 901 GW Chelsea, a limited edition wristwatch designed by REC Watches in collaboration with custom automotive builder Gunther Werks. Although looking just like any racecar-inspired timepiece at first glance, the watch actually features spare carbon fiber parts from Gunther Werks’ restomodded (restored and modified) Porsche 993 used in the watch’s build, giving you a racing-inspired timepiece that literally has speed in its DNA! Upcycling repurposed carbon fiber from Gunther Werks’ ‘Chelsea Grey’ commissioned project in the watch’s lugs, the timepiece is literally infused with Porsche symbolism, including a bezel modeled after the 933’s headlights, a strap stitched like the car’s upholstery, a dial and subdials inspired by a dashboard, and finally, a case back engraved with a Gunther Werks engine cover.
Limited to just 232 pieces, the watch sports a certified Swiss-made SW510 B SELLITA automatic movement on the inside that automatically charges with your hand movements, and 50 meters of water resistance. Expertly built with a 3-year warranty, it’s the perfect gift for anyone with a combined affinity for timepieces and automobiles… especially well-built restomods!
In order to celebrate their longstanding and iconic collaboration, Veark and Magazin teamed up once again to create a special and unparalleled version of the SK15 – one of the most universal knives in the series. Named DLC, or Diamond Like Carbon, the sleek knife looks menacing and cutthroat with its super thin and elegant black coating. Drop forged from a single piece of steel by experienced and excellent craftsmen in the town of Solingen, Germany – which is renowned for its traditional knife-making capabilities, the DLC’s surface is impressively durable, and bravely resistant to scratches. If this foolproof ability to provide protection from scratches wasn’t enough of a reason to buy the knife, might I mention, the sophisticated black surface is also a complete beauty to look at! The knife features a 15-centimeter blade, and a 58 HRC (hardness). Its solid stainless steel body weighs 190 grams. The knife is sharpened intricately by hand to just below 30 degrees (on both sides combined).
Purchasing the DLC will never be a bad idea because besides being a kickass kitchen tool, the knife is also a great piece to have on display.
If you’re on the market for a great Dutch oven but you don’t have the cash to splurge on them (let’s face it, they’re kinda expensive), this may just be the perfect time. Designed to be a blend of affordable, aesthetic, long-lasting, and efficient, Kana’s 4-piece Cast Iron cookware set might just be the last pair of Dutch ovens you need to buy. Available in Mini (3.5 quart) and Classic (5.5 quart) sizes, these Dutch ovens come in a palette of absolutely delicious colors, and pair with lids that look like pieces of art (topped off with shining stainless steel knobs for contrast). Each casserole and lid is made from 40% recycled cast iron and coated with a durable TOMATEC® enamel. To complete your cookware collection, the 5-piece cast iron set comes with a matching skillet that rounds up your kitchen aesthetically.
The Dutch oven works as seamlessly on a stovetop as it does in the oven or barbecue grill, and looks beautiful when finally presented on a tabletop. The enameled cast iron is easy to maintain, doesn’t require complex seasoning, is dishwasher friendly, and most importantly, is on a great discount so your everlasting Dutch oven won’t break the bank. Whether you’re a amateur home chef or someone who enjoys dabbling with quick cooks and hosting your friends, this collection is something that will stay with you through your culinary journey.
In a world that’s still somehow stuck to the boring bifold or the cramped MagSafe wallet, the Mbacco Wallet offers a fun alternative. It’s compact, but still has enough space to store cards, cash, and keys… and comes with a lively accordion-inspired design that does a great job of organizing your cards and other belongings by priority or category. Although designed to hold cards, the Mbacco Wallet doesn’t have any strict rules – it’ll hold cash, keys, memory cards, and pretty much anything that’s up to 2.6mm thick and about the size of a credit card. The wallet’s fun accordion-inspired design holds anywhere from 5 to 9 cards, although it can be pushed to the limit to store as many as 12 cards without really breaking a sweat or becoming bulky like the kind of wallet George Costanza carries around.
Designer: Kristaps Krisjans for Mbacco
What’s truly wonderful about the Mbacco Wallet is that it’s the perfect blend of tradition and modernity. Look at the wallet, feel it, use it, and there’s no way you’ll ever struggle with it. It has no learning curve, no adjusting to, yet it’s refreshingly new to look at and use, and feels so much slimmer than any conventional wallet. It opens just like a conventional bifold, but instead of storing cards the way a bifold does, it stores them the way a book ‘stores’ pages. This makes each card easy to view and access.
The wallet comes crafted from premium leather, with a ripstop fabric accordion on the inside and RFID-blocking lining around the perimeter of the wallet to prevent digital theft. An elastic band holds the wallet together, and disengaging the band allows the wallet to fan open to reveal its five folded sections that store your cards. Two pockets on the front and back let you stash your most used cards, allowing them to be accessed without opening the wallet at all. For other items that may be prone to falling out, the Mbacco Wallet has a secret hidden compartment that lets you stash things like keys, memory cards, even coins.
The wallet is visualized in as many as 6 colors, including two black versions just for the purists! The colors reinforce the idea that the Mbacco Wallet still sticks to tradition, but does things just slightly differently – enough to elevate the entire experience. In the near future, the Mbacco team plans to announce a series of artificial, eco-friendly leather options too.
Designed to look like the spiritual lovechild of the Nike Adapt self-lacing shoes and the Nike GO FlyEase hands-free shoe, this proof-of-concept footwear design from Jeff Shen hides a Nitinol (Nickel-Titanium Alloy) spring in its outsole. Known for its shape-memory properties, the spring can be made to expand and contract, allowing the footwear to open or close around your foot! No laces, no hands, no problems!
Unlike the Nike Adapt that comes with sensors, motors, and batteries, Shen’s shoes (titled ‘Heaven’s Door’) use a much more ingenious low-tech system that doesn’t require all those bells and whistles. The shoe’s simple lacing/unlacing mechanism relies on a wireless charging mat that helps heat the Nitinol spring, causing it to expand and the shoe to open. Slip your foot in and step off the mat and the Nitinol spring begins cooling and returning to its original shape, causing the shoe to constrict securely around your ankle.
The Heaven’s Door has a unique design style that combines the close-toe design of a shoe with the open-ish ankle aesthetic of a slip-on sandal. The shoes have a leather body, punctuated by an elastic strap that runs along the side, connecting the rear flap to the main shoe. A rubber outsole hints at comfortable outdoor use in an urban environment, while hiding the springs away in a recessed channel running along the length of the shoe. Although remarkable in their automatic opening/closing abilities, the shoes don’t try to look futuristic – because they are not. Unlike the Nike Adapt that have an undeniable sci-fi backstory, the Heaven’s Door is simply a footwear concept with a clever idea driven by material science. It’s a seemingly normal-looking shoe with an incredible trick up its sleeve… or down its outsole.
For Shen, the shoe’s design required a lot of trial, error, and prototyping (you can read his entire case study on his portfolio website). Shen played with straight and coiled Nitinol elements, toyed with the sole’s design, the opening and closing mechanism, and even experimented with finding the right place to add the elastic band to prevent the shoe’s rear flap from deforming.
At the footwear’s heart is its simple low-tech opening and closing mechanism that relies on a wireless charging mat (keeping any and all tech out of the shoe itself to ensure a longer lifespan and the ability to be entirely resistant to water). The mat connects to a coil hidden in the shoe’s outsole, which then heats up to 70°C, causing the Nitinol spring to loosen and a set of expansion springs under the heel to pull on it, releasing the shoe’s rear flap backward almost like a drawbridge. This only lasts as long as the shoe is on the wireless mat. Step off it and the Nitinol cools back and begins assuming its original shape, pulling the rear flap shut.
What the Heaven’s Door shoe does is cleverly eliminate any need for tech components to be present in the shoe. This helps bring down the footwear’s price while still giving it its signature feature. It also means no chances of planned obsolescence, or parts accidentally failing. Even if things DO fail, the shoes can still be worn and removed manually, using the pull tab at the back of the footwear.
Ultimately, the shoe aims at appealing to everyone thanks to its clever, universal design… but just like with Nike’s GO FlyEase hands-free footwear, Shen designed his concept keeping the disabled in mind. Shen used the term “Enclothed Cognition” to describe most disability-focused fashion found in today’s world. “It refers to the systematic influence that clothes have on the wearer’s psychological processes”, Shen explained. “Not being able to put on shoes by oneself and constantly realizing the fact that they dress in a disabled look is devastating on the user experience and self-esteem.”
Aside from being a clever, accessible, truly hands-free, and low-tech self-wearing shoe, the Heaven’s Door footwear concept also destroys the notion that disabled fashion should look any different from regular fashion. The self-wearing shoes have a uniquely contemporary style that appeals to a broader populace. Or should I say popu-laceless!?