This ergonomic joystick-shaped mouse was inspired by the way our hand holds a pencil

It’s just common sense… your hand’s much more dexterous when you’re holding a pencil versus holding a mouse. Try writing your name on a piece of paper with a pencil, versus on the MS Paint program with a cursor and you’ll see the difference! The fact dawned on Seoul-based designer Foxtail Gihawoo too, that the best way to make a mouse that’s ergonomic as well as precise, was to rely on the pencil-grip technique.

Gihawoo’s Ergonomic Mouse looks like a joystick at first, until you realize that it’s meant to be held at its base like a thick marker instead of at the tip (where one would normally hold a joystick). It sports neat curved surfaces for your hand to rest on, with left and right-click buttons both resting under your index finger in a manner that may require a bit of getting used to. To left-click, simply press the upper button, and to right-click, move your finger slightly lower to hit the lower button. The scroll wheel finds its place naturally under the middle finger, which means you can scroll and click together without shifting fingers around. Ultimately, the design comes with a grippy rubberized surface around its sides, boosting dexterity, and even though the mouse isn’t ambidextrous, one can easily manufacture left-handed variants for people who require it.

Designer: Foxtail Gihawoo

Influencer-friendly product designs that content creators will swear by!

Now I’m no influencer (though I do churn out content as well), but I do know that their lives can be extremely chaotic and busy. Content creation, capturing engaging moments, proposals, meetings, and making themselves and their lives seem interesting and entertaining at all times, seems like a handful! The pros have got these tasks underway, whereas the newbies are still stumbling through. But, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the social media game for long or you’re a novice, everyone needs a couple of handy and trusty product designs to help them through their influencer life! So, we’ve curated a collection of designs that influencers would swear by – from a collection of cameras that mimick each photography mode, to a 2-in-1 appliance that helps you prep up for your shoots in minutes, these products will upgrade your content creation routine and even the quality of your content! Because when your process is smooth and hurdle-free, it reflects in your work!

The cameras featured in the Now Exposed collection each have a unique purpose. They use different lenses and exposure techniques to force the photographer to think differently about image composition. The series consists of three distinct cameras, each one mimicking a photography ‘mode’ – the Burst Camera, the Long Exposure Camera, and the Slitscan Camera. The Now Exposed Cameras, as a whole, manages to make film photography, an intimidating art medium, accessible to new users while presenting new creative challenges for experts. Each camera comes with instructions imprinted directly onto the device. These snippets explain how each camera operates and what film cartridges you need to buy. The Now Exposed set gives photographers the framework to create dynamic, abstract works of art. In an age with high-resolution phone cameras, flattering Instagram filters, and photo-editing apps, anyone can create beautiful images with ease. The Now Exposed Cameras, on the other hand, invites users to create innovative artwork through experimentation.

This conceptual Apple-esque iCamera perfectly fits that gap! DSLR cameras can be daunting if you are just starting out but if you want to learn beyond the simple point-and-shoot then this camera is the perfect stepping stone into your visual art journey. Get those professional shots without having to study the manual and watch several YouTube videos, the iCamera aims at breaking down the complexity of advanced cameras to make people comfortable with the idea of shooting with a gadget that is not their phone. “It increases your ability and easily leads you to the world of cameras,” says the designer about the gap he wants to bridge with this concept design. The designer wanted to simplify the existing advanced cameras’ user experience by making the body more compact and lighter. The bulk of the lens is reduced but it still includes the revolving functionality to zoom. However, now you can do it comfortably with just a finger. It also aims to make transferring your files easier through cloud-based technologies – that one tedious task every photographer hates to do but has to do. So say goodbye to HD cards, setting up Bluetooth, and keeping a track of multiple accessories that one usually needs to transfer. It charges wirelessly and has a handy flash that attaches magnetically to the body!

When it comes to vlogging or capturing memories whilst on the go, the key to successful equipment is convenience and usability, and so it’s only right that a tripod must also meet these criteria! That’s just what the SwitchPod was designed to do, as it puts versatility and simplicity first. SwitchPod allows you to shift between handheld and tripod mode in one smooth, and extremely satisfying, motion; the speed at which this can be carried-out lends itself to the fast pace of a vlogger, ensuring that it can keep up with their busy lifestyle! Aside from speed, this ingenious method of opening and closing also makes SwitchPod extremely compact; when folded, the thin and lightweight design slips into the user’s bag with ease… or if that’s not quite your style, then it can be attached to the side with the addition of a carabiner.

Edge is a compact 2-in-1 appliance that gives you more than your toiletries. It consists of three parts: ‘Multi Handle’, ‘Edge Hairdryer Module’, ‘Edge Iron Module’. ‘Multi Handle’ has a button to control the product for using and both modules work with ‘Multi Handle’. Specifically made for those who have meetings on-the-go, the hairdryer and iron help to wash away the weariness of travel and smoothen the wrinkles so you look fresh (or should I say profesh?). “We have adopted a slide structure for intuitive and easy combination of each module. This not only allows the user to easily combine the modules but also reduces the risk of the module being easily detached while using the product” says the team.

The Manouvre looks less like a camera and more like a fashion accessory, as it should. Designed for people who want to capture the wondrous world around them, the gimbal-camera looks like a part of the set, rather than a behind-the-scenes gizmo. The gimbal can be operated via a button near the grip, and you can toggle recording on/off using a red button on the camera’s body. The Manouvre even comes with its own circular display on the back, allowing you to cycle through features, get updates on your recording format, and even preview recordings by using the screen as a viewfinder. The lens features a knurled grip, which makes me wonder whether the gimbal camera has manual focus control (sounds like a very interesting feature), but alas, the Manouvre exists only as a concept, so there’s no real way of finding out. I’ve got to say though, the form language and that deadly color-combo is DEFINITELY working in this handheld gimbal camera’s favor, don’t you think?

There are things that seem so logical and so right when you see them for the first time that you wonder why they weren’t there all the time. The SPINN camera carrying system is just like that. Designed for all professional DSLRs – and for DSLM cameras that are becoming increasingly popular – this system offers the comfort and handling benefit, that standard eyelets on every camera simply do not offer. The strap is usually attached at the top of the camera so that it swings, rotates, and moves. Carrying the camera becomes a real pain, especially if you’re using a larger zoom lens. Not to mention, how the strap gets in the way of your face every time you look into the camera’s viewfinder – a problem with a high annoyance factor, as it permanently disrupts a fluid and creative working subliminally.

Perfectly tailored for outdoor life – for people who don’t want to be restricted by the battery charging woes, the Bronine AI Volkit Charger is the solution to all your predicaments. It uses free voltage charging technology (ranging from 1V-20V) that automatically detects the current and voltage requirements of the battery, thanks to its smart algorithm. The icing on the cake is the fact that it can juice up your drone batteries, or even Li-ion dry cell batteries. This universal charger is capable of energizing four different camera batteries from different brands simultaneously – be it Canon, Sony, Nikon, Olympus, GoPro, DJI, Fujifilm, Panasonic, or any other battery that falls in the voltage range. The nifty gadget covers most of the battery-operated DSRL or mirrorless cameras – now that’ll surely bring a smile to the face of a creative photographer or witty influencer!

Inspired by a recent viewing of a solar eclipse, Goodrich designed Eclipse Booths to offer a photo-visual experience for Instagram users to immerse their grids in the cosmos. Describing the booths in her own words, Goodrich says, “Lit from behind, the round portion of the booth emits a soft, indirect light. The mirrors on the ceiling extend the graphic steps throughout the booth’s interior to allude to… steps leading into eternity.” While one of the booths embodies the night sky with a darker color palette of twilight purple and midnight blue, a cooler, icy light emanates from behind the round plate – mimicking the Moon moving into the Earth’s shadow. The Eclipse Booth’s solar counterpart echoes the day we all spent cutting up old cereal boxes to watch as the Moon, Sun, and Earth aligned. With peach-rose suede curtains and tangerine-yellow accents, the brighter of the two Eclipse Booths pours warmer, golden light from behind the round plate.

Edelkrone’s FlexTILT Head 2 is a small intermediate connector that sits between your camera and your tripod, giving your camera the stability of three legs, and the flexibility of two knees. It’s a simple idea with powerful applications, really. The FlexTILT Head 2 comes with a CNC machined aluminum body and friction hinges that allow you to position your camera in multiple ways. You can lift the camera up, set it down, face it at any angle without messing with your tripod’s settings, or even face it downwards. The FlexTILT Head 2 supports a load of up to 5 kilograms, allowing you to work even with those big, heavy lenses. The friction hinges only work when you operate them (much like a laptop’s screen), and there’s even a spirit level as well as an angle-adjuster so you can tilt and even rotate the camera with relative ease. Moreover, the FlexTILT Head 2 even lets you swap your camera’s batteries without needing you to unscrew it off the tripod.

The LOOKSTAND adheres to the back of your device using a slim plastic mount that sticks on with 3M adhesive. Designed to work universally with smartphones as well as with tablets, the LOOKSTAND weighs between 1.6 to 2.9 ounces (depending on the size variant you pick) and can easily support devices as heavy as 28 ounces. Its AL6061 Aluminum Alloy construction makes it robust yet deceptively light and thin, and the stand comes with a 360° hinge that lets you rotate and tilt your phone/tablet in landscape, portrait, or even in any intermediary angle. In the tripod mode, the LOOKSTAND can elevate your device to more than 7-inches off the ground using an adjustable telescopic system, turning your phone or tablet into an elevated hands-free device that’s ideal for whether you’re watching movies, attending a video call, using your device for work, or for making TikTok videos. Fold the tripod’s legs back into LOOKSTAND and it turns into a selfie stick that you can use to make dynamic videos or take group photos where everyone’s in the frame. A third mode allows you to use the LOOKSTAND as a regular kickstand, allowing it to prop your tablet or phone up like a standing photo frame.

Amazon Releasing an Alexa-Enabled Sticky Note Printer

As one of its first Amazon Day 1 Edition products (an initiative where Amazon introduces new conceptual products and if they meet their pre-order goal by a certain date, Amazon will manufacture them), the company is releasing the $90 Smart Sticky Note Printer (affiliate link). The unit is an Alexa-compatible inkless printer that can print sticky note to-do lists, reminders, recipes, shopping lists, and even sudoku puzzles.

That’s cool, but do you know what turns any piece of printed paper into a sticky note? A little wad of chewing gum. That’s what I’ve been doing for years and it’s been working out just – wait, where’s my grocery list? Oh please don’t be on my shoe again.

Do you think 3M is worried about their Post-It Note brand now that Amazon is trying to get into the sticky note market? Because I would be. I’d also send a spy to infiltrate the company and learn their secrets, and that’s why I’m not allowed to run businesses anymore.

My wife informed me she’s added the printer to her Amazon cart, so I guess we’re getting one. And when I catch her telling Alexa to add ‘sticky note printer paper’ to her sticky note shopping list, I’ll know this technology has finally reached its logical conclusion.

Medical innovations that are boosting and transforming modern healthcare!

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to us one overwhelming realization – how fragile life is. It has truly backed up something we heard all our lives, but never took quite literally, ‘Health is Wealth’. Though the vaccine is slowly finding its way in the world, the cases are still ongoing, and they’ve created tremendous pressure on the medical industry. However, designers all over the world are coming to the rescue! Medical innovations are booming. Designers have been coming up with new and improved, innovative, and life-saving medical designs that not only boost medical care but relieve some of the pressure from our tireless medical force. From a stethoscope that detects the early signs of arthrosis to an ambulance that tactfully avoids traffic, these designs tackle a variety of problems in the health and medical field. They’re a boon to modern healthcare and a reminder that we cannot take our health for granted any longer!

Literally, the size of a quarter, Adam Miklosi’s Dab is an unobtrusive Holter ECG/EKG that rests comfortably on your chest, constantly reading your heart’s movements. Designed to be minimal, non-invasive, and simple, the Dab tries to bridge the gap between medical appliances and wearables. Its tiny yet classy design sits on your chest via a gel patch, while the electrodes capture your heart activity. The Dab’s dry-electrodes allow it to be used and reused, while constantly measure one’s heart activity (requiring periodic charging via their wireless charging hub), and keep logs of accurate readings, quietly sitting on your chest while you absolutely forget that they’re even there in the first place!

This clever design safely transports spillable food for those with Parkinson’s disease. Designed by Jonas Krämer and Ayla Warncke, the Foodsling facilitates the transport of spillable foods for everyone but it was specially designed keeping in mind people who have to live with Parkinson’s disease. Due to the weakness of their musculoskeletal system, they often face mobility issues and need assistance with simple tasks like carrying their food bowls. The Foodsling is created for individual use so that it can be kept lightweight and small for the user’s ease. The designers are using soft silicone to make the final product and that will also incorporate transporting smaller vessels, the prototype already has an adjustable diameter. The Foodsling can be carried with one hand, enabling the user to hold a walking aid in the other hand. The designers carried out tests with people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease and while the design works for most of them, each person’s intensity and experience with the disease is different so we must remember that this is not one size fits all but it will be one size that fits all bowls!

The Auvis is a digital stethoscope that is structured to detect early signs of arthrosis. The instrument has built-in sensors to catch sounds emitted by joints, making it easier to pick up degenerating cartilage inside them. The arthrosis that this digital stethoscope intends to detect is a non-inflammatory degenerative condition that’s mainly associated with aging. It occurs as a person grows older and the joint cartilage becomes rugged and begins to wear out. Since, the designer says, “cartilage degeneration, the starting point of arthrosis, can neither be seen on X-Ray nor MRT,” the Auvis presents itself as a viable med gadget. Degenerating cartilage tends to generate sounds that the sensors on the Auvis can pick up to let a physician interpret the feedback and give the diagnosis. Like an ordinary stethoscope, Auvis also comprises an examining tool and a neckpiece – the only difference being, these are wirelessly connected and offer an unrestricted opportunity to examine various joints on the body.

The California Institute of Technology is working on an electronic skin, a sensor-filled sticker, that can turn human sweat into energy enough to power basic devices like heart-rate sensors, glucose-level trackers, or even a low-energy Bluetooth radio. These stickers work by harvesting ‘lactate’ from the sweat we produce. The lactate is absorbed by the electronic skin’s fuel cells – which are made from carbon nanotubes that host a platinum/cobalt catalyst and an enzyme that uses oxygen in the air to break down the lactate into water and a substance called pyruvate. CalTech’s researchers say these stickers can generate a continuous stream of energy (as much as “several milliwatts per square centimeter”), making it enough to offset the need for a battery, which the technology hopes to eventually replace.

Hearings aids have always made the user feel conscious and many will try to hide the fact that they are wearing one. The device that is meant to empower them and help with their hearing is actually doing the opposite by making them feel like they have something to be embarrassed about. Alice Turner decided to design Amplify, a hearing device that was made to be seen, to feel confident about, and to help people experience life to its full potential! Amplify was created to give the hearing-impaired demographic an added value that made the hearing aid more than just a medical accessory. “In the ’60s, glasses were aids for a disability. Now, glasses have evolved into ‘eyewear’, a fashion statement, and an extension of your personality. This shift made me question why the main innovation in hearing aid design is developing technology to make them smaller and more hidden,” says the designer on her thought process behind starting the project. Using bone conduction technology, Amplify provides users with high-quality audio for a more comfortable and wholesome sound experience. This technology enables the device to decode sound waves and convert them into vibrations that can be received directly by the Cochlea so the eardrum is never involved. Amplify essentially becomes your eardrum!

How does an ambulance reach a victim in a road/highway accident when there are more than a dozen cars stuck in a traffic jam between the ambulance and the site of the accident? Up until now, the only solution was to drive in the opposite lane, weaving through oncoming traffic to get to the victim. A band of Korean designers created the Median AMB, a special ambulance that can directly reach the point of the accident without getting affected by the traffic congestion created by the accident. The Median AMB sits on the road divider/median and drives up and down the highway almost like a monorail. It features sliding doors on both sides, seating for a driver and an assistant, and an area for a stretcher that holds the victim. The Median AMB drives down the dividers, right to the victim’s location, picks them up, and brings them to a proper ambulance that can take the victim to the nearest hospital.

While the world’s scrambling to deal with the sudden explosion of the COVID-19 virus, it’s pretty refreshing to see that certain startups are pushing the boundaries when it comes to lending a helping hand in any way possible. Health startup Oura, the creator behind the 2018 Red Dot-winning Oura Ring, is teaming up with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) to see if the physiological data picked up by the ring combined with responses to daily symptom surveys, can predict symptoms of the illness. “The study aims to build an algorithm to help UCSF identify patterns of onset, progression, and recovery, for COVID-19”, says the team at Oura. The ‘Oura TemPredict’ study will be split into two groups, where Oura will test data collected by front-line health professionals, and data gathered by the general public. The startup plans to supply more than 2,000 healthcare workers (who are in daily contact with patients who may be afflicted with COVID-19 at UCSF campuses) with Oura rings to monitor changes in their body temperature, respiratory rate, and heart rate. Daily Symptom Surveys will be made available to all Oura Ring users too, allowing participants to send their crucial data to UCSF’s team of researchers to help them identify patterns that could predict onset, progression, and recovery in any future cases of COVID-19.

Across the globe in 2018, 2.5 million babies died within their first month of life. Collectively, Africa and Southern Asia made up approximately 87.7% of these deaths. – UNICEF. To address this issue, designers Chris Barnes and others at Cambridge Consultants of Cambridge, UK have designed a wearable health monitor for newborns in areas where current solutions are not easily available. Called ‘Little I’, their innovation empowers parents in low resource countries to monitor the health of their newborns by providing a low-cost, durable device that gives them assurance of their newborn’s survival despite lack of medical knowledge. This service is implemented by NGOs first buying and transporting the device to the community and teaching the workers how to use it. And in parallel, the mother/caregiver would hear about the device within the community and then later be provided one by a health care professional after giving birth. After 28 days, the device is returned which is then cleaned and recharged to be used by another newborn.

These ICU pods are called CURA (Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments) which means “cure” in Latin (doesn’t that make you feel a little better?) and these will help take some load off the hospitals, especially in Italy. Ratti’s Studio, Carlo Ratti Associati, and MIT’s Senseable City Lab are creating mobile field hospitals with these CURA Intensive Care pods that serve as a biocontainment unit for two patients at a time. “The aim is that they can be quickly deployed in cities around the world, promptly responding to the shortage of ICU space in hospitals and the spread of the disease,” explained the CURA team as they build the first prototype unit at a hospital in Milan. These units can be set up as fast as tents with the benefit of having hospital-level hygiene which will help contain the infection and especially help those suffering from acute respiratory problems as they need intense care. This will also ensure that the health professionals remain safe while treating the infected who will have a better chance at recovery in the biocontainment units.

Omamori (お守り) are traditional good luck charms in Japanese culture that protect the wearer of the charm. The concept of Kenkō is a futuristic take on the traditional Omamori, it does not cure illnesses or ward off evil spirits but it helps you stay healthy by being in sync with the earth’s electromagnetic frequencies. The earth is constantly emitting 7,83 Hz (also known as the earth’s breath, who knew that?!) along its surface which is believed to allow living beings to regulate their physiological functions. Scientific studies show that the earth’s natural magnetic fields have a positive influence on our brains. With the rapid development of electronic communication technologies, our bodies are getting confused between the natural and artificial frequencies which are dwindling our inherent ability to be in sync with nature. This concept device is aimed at increasing focus, coordinated neural activities, improve sleep and circadian rhythms, stabilize blood pressure and stimulate osteoblasts. Kenkō will be created to produce a 7,83Hz signal, reproducing the natural frequency using technology which will help human bodies re-establish their intrinsic relationship with being healthy naturally. It will have an LED light strip that glows when you switch on the device. Electrosmog caused by Wi-Fi and smartphone frequencies can no longer disturb the sync between the natural rhythm and your brain with Kenkō’s 1.5m protection radius around you.

These gaming controller’s buttons transform your smartphone using suction to stick buttons to your screen!

Controllers aren’t called controllers for nothin’– they not only control the game, but they provide the tool necessary to even play the game in the first place. Everything from the texture to the placement of buttons affects the game and it’s not a one-size-fits-all sort of deal either. Different games feel better to play when certain controllers are used. To build a new, adaptable gaming experience and to help declutter our controller cabinet, Juan Lee conceptualized Icon, a new customizable controller.

Icon consists of two handheld motion controllers capable of registering any one of the six provided control modules that prompt any given movement within a video game. Through magnetic linkage, the control modules, which are made from micro-suction rubber, can easily be attached and detached from the motion controllers. For example, when playing Super Smash Bros. Melee, a user can integrate the directional module into one of the motion controllers so that their character can easily change direction, jump up and down, and attack Luigi. The motion controllers come equipped with Bluetooth to connect to either your smartphone or smart television, also allowing for wireless gameplay.

Further incorporating the use of smartphones by means of an accompanying app, Lee designed Icon so that the control modules can also be attached to your smartphone’s touchscreen and registered as a controller when playing any given video game. Icon’s handheld carrying case doubles as a charging case so whenever you’re not playing Super Smash Bros. Melee, Icon can charge up and be ready for Luigi’s demise in Mushroom Kingdom whenever you’re ready.

Designer: Juan Lee

Apple patent reveals a new type of Pencil with replaceable nibs for different creative applications

Watch out, Wacom and Adobe! In a new patent granted to Apple by the US Patent and Trademark Office, the company is reportedly looking at a next-generation Apple Pencil with swappable nib modules. While the patent doesn’t exclusively outline what these nibs would look like or be used for, it focuses more on the underlying technology, which would allow nibs to connect to the pencil handle via a special lightning-style connector.

The Apple Pencil is arguably the iPad Pro‘s secret sauce. Along with the Pencil, the iPad Pro becomes the ultimate creator’s setup (for both 2D as well as 3D creation). It would therefore make sense to explore how the Pencil could further become a ‘power-user’ tool, allowing creators to unlock new potentials. Yanko Design has imagined what these new nibs could look like, with explorations for more niche 2D uses. The interchangeable nibs include a fine-tip nib, a chisel nib, and a flexible brush-pen nib. Other nib styles could unlock 3D modeling features like being able to sculpt on the iPad.

While the current Apple Pencil has features like tilt recognition and pressure sensitivity, allowing it to function as any sort of drawing tool, the presence of a specialized nib helps seamlessly replicate the tactile experience of, say, drawing with a brush pen or a chisel marker. Moreover, the ability to replace nibs essentially increases the lifespan of the Pencil by allowing you to replace nibs when they wear down after constant use. “The filing suggests the nib could contain several different sensors for varying purposes. The component list includes tactile sensors, contact sensors, capacitive and touch sensors, a camera, a piezoelectric sensor, a pressure sensor, or a photodiode”, reports Apple Insider.

Designer/Visualizer: Sarang Sheth

Patent via: USPTO

Home appliances to Marie Kondo your home that work better than the usual cleaning hacks!

If there’s one thing that COVID-19 has taught us (though there are plenty), it’s that maintaining cleanliness and hygiene, and sanitizing everything and anything in sight is a must! Sanitizers, face masks, and shields are now irreplaceable accessories that must be a part of your everyday carry. Forget your phone, but not your little bottle of hand sanitizer! A perk of this newly developed mandatory habit is that the innovation of cleaning products and gadgets are at an all-time high! There’s a cleaning product for almost every need and situation, whether it’s a case for your mask that also sanitizes it, or self disinfecting bedsheets that automatically clean themselves! It’s sanitary heaven for all the cleanliness neat freaks, Monica Gellars, and Marie Kondos out there! And we’ve curated the best and most efficient of these appliances to ensure that your home, your surroundings and you can be as clean and clear as possible!

The humble vacuum cleaner is now considered commonplace within our homes, as it is seen as a necessity as opposed to a luxury. However, this doesn’t stop it from carrying a rather unimaginative and uninspiring form. Until now that is – the Drip handheld vacuum cleaner puts aesthetics first. Drip flaunts a sculptural form that oozes sophistication, from the bold, powerful stance that the form creates, through to the distinctive finish that elegantly conceals the electronic nature of the product, making it more of a piece of art than a domestic appliance. The absence of a handle not only allows for a clean, sleek design but also alters how the product is used, adding to its uniqueness and bringing a sense of intrigue. This is certainly a device that you will want to leave out, as opposed to shoving it into the drawer!

Milan-based Salvo Lo Cascio designed the SaniCase as a response to a common problem he saw with people who wore masks. During brief intervals when they took their mask off to eat or drink, they’d often end up putting their masks on tables, armrests, or back in their pockets along with their phone and keys. Designed to give people a place to safely store their masks when not in use, the SaniCase comes with a cylindrical compartment lined with UV-C lights on the inside. When you don’t need the mask, just slip it into its protective casing and it’ll get sanitized too. Speaking of which, the base of the SaniCase even has a push-to-deploy hand-sanitizer bottle on it, allowing you to periodically clean your hands too. By helping disinfect your hands as well as your face-mask, the SaniCase covers all the critical areas to prevent germs from accidentally entering your system.

Meet the Christianshavn, a bedsheet that tackles this problem on a molecular level. Even though its name sounds like the kind of bedsheet that would put the fear of god into bacteria, it is, in fact, the unique material developed for and used by the bedsheet that helps it self-clean by automatically killing the microorganisms on it and preventing the spread of odors… so your bedsheet remains cleaner for longer, and doesn’t need changing so often. Nordifakt’s Christianshavn bedding is made in 100% organic cotton, which means it feels just as comfortable as your current bedsheets. However, it comes treated with Polygiene®, a fabric treatment that uses low concentrations of silver chloride that has anti-microbial properties. The Polygiene within the bedsheet acts like a natural disinfectant, using silver ions to break down germs that make their way into the bedsheet. These ions can break down VOCs or volatile organic compounds too, stopping the growth of molds and even keeping your bedsheets smelling fresh. The Polygiene treatment lasts practically forever because silver chloride isn’t water-soluble… which means washing the bedsheet doesn’t diminish its self-cleaning power.

chopbox1

You can easily sanitize your knives and cutting surfaces, embrace your inner quarantine chef with germ-free cooking thanks to Chopbox’s built-in disinfecting UVC light – see I told you, this board is lit and literally! We clean our knives but do we ever think about the germs in knife blocks or the crevices of our cutting boards? With Chopbox all you have to do place your knife in between the two cutting surfaces and activate the small but powerful 254nm UVC light that can sanitize up to 3 knives at once as well as both the cutting surfaces. “Just one minute of UVC light exposure is guaranteed to kill 99.99% of germs and bacteria. The 254nm UVC light used in the ChopBox is small and has a limited angle with only a small gap in the boards when in use. It is 100% safe for all humans to be around and near this light. The UVC light will automatically switch off when you separate the two boards or you can press the second button on the control panel to turn it off. You will receive no negative side effects from this UVC light,” says the team.

Rena’s aim was to create an innovative bottle that could be a bank for all the cleaning liquids we needed. It has a reservoir tank and replaceable cartridge that holds concentrated chemicals that are mixed and diluted in specific ratios to clean different surfaces or dispense for laundry. It takes the guesswork out so that your surfaces and clothes are protected from your chemical calculations (let’s be real, ‘one cap’ is not a measurement). The bottle has an ergonomic design and using it is simple – insert the cartridge, fill in the water, select the surface you intend to clean on your Rena mobile app, and via Bluetooth the bottle will collect that data configure a detergent mix based on it. Then all you do is press the trigger and the bottle will dispense the concoction.

The 0° Clean concept offers a new way to make sure your face-mask is fresh, dry, and sanitized between uses. Created by Jungkwang Hwang as a fan-made concept for Samsung, the 0° Clean is a nifty flat-bed UV-C sanitizer that uses a combination of ultraviolet light and dry air to cleanse and blow-dry your mask. It comes with a detachable cylindrical battery-unit (with a built-in display) that you can easily snap onto the sanitizing flat-bed to power it. The bed’s space is big enough for almost any flat surgical or cloth mask. Just place the mask in, shut the lid, and switch it on using a button on the side. The UV-C lights neutralize any microorganisms, and the hot air (which blows from the bottom and the sides) dries off any perspiration on the mask, so you can wear it after a few hours knowing that it’s dry and sterile.

Designed as this all-encompassing floor cleaning tool, the Duet lets you sweep, mop (both wet and dry), collect and discard all your dust and dirt with one single cleaning instrument. The Duet’s broom comes with a dual-sided design, featuring a microfiber mop on one edge for collecting dust particles, and bristles on another side, allowing you to simply turn the broom around to sweep/maneuver larger pieces of debris into Duet’s dust-collecting tray. The tray’s highlight is its self-cleaning chamber that automatically cleans the mop head, pulling stubborn stuff like hairballs off the mop, effectively cleaning it without you needing to get your hands dirty. Duet’s all-in-one design aims at tackling the need to buy/own/use multiple cleaning tools to get the job done. Designed to work like a broom, a wet mop, dry mop, and even a polishing cloth, Duet’s interchangeable heads are easy to swap, allowing you to effectively use one tool to sweep, mop, and buff your floor.

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Pet Paws is a high-tech sanitizing mat used to clean, disinfect, and dry the legs of our pets as well as the soles of our shoes. The efficient product design is a simple roll-up mat that is easy to carry and store. The team worked on elevating an existing prototype by adding improved functionality and simplifying it further – the redesigned version is now just a one-piece product, unlike the original one which had four parts. It has two areas on its surface – the first section of the mat has a multi-directional cleaning texture which bends and cleans inside the paws in a friendly manner, and the second section of the mat has a cushioned texture which helps to dry the paws as the pet walks over the microfiber sleeve. Both parts have a texture that has been cleverly selected to maximize the efficiency of the process by making sure it can clean inside the paws without any discomfort or complex steps.

Traditional laundry machine cycles can potentially damage clothes (how many of us even know the right settings for our loads?) and ever since the pandemic took over our lives we are doing laundry more often to stay safe – this is bound to wear them out 5x faster than usual. The Samsung AirDresser is here to save the day! Its sleek build is similar to a tall, thin fridge and can seamlessly blend in any room. The AirDresser uses a combination of steaming and heat-pump powered drying, and you won’t even have to plumb it in says Samsung. “That’s because, rather than a water connection like a traditional washer would require, the AirDresser relies on a refillable water tank at the bottom of the cabinet. It means it can be installed pretty much anywhere with a regular 120V outlet,” explains the team.

Usually, people dispose of their toilet brushes every 2-3 months, and given that most of them are plastic, it leads to a lot of environmental damage. This redesigned toilet brush lets you switch out brushes while reusing the main body which reduces a lot of toxic waste. BrushPro is extremely convenient to use compared to its forerunners. The extendable handle allows you to reach narrow spaces without having to perform advanced yoga poses on the floor and minimizes your direct contact with the dirty brush. The handle also has slits that give the brush head some flexibility while cleaning – a great universal design that takes into account the experience of the differently-abled demographic as well. The brush head includes rubber as well as fiber for more efficient cleaning. Another brilliant detail is the slot for the detergent bottle, so you can simply refill and reuse the detergent bottle instead of buying more plastic spray bottles – it also frees up your hand as it combines both cleaning products in one!

Product designs that protect your data, conversations, and privacy from Google and Amazon!

In an age where privacy is now considered a luxury, and not a necessity, where apps are constantly tracking your activities, and Alexa and Siri are third party eavesdroppers in your day to day conversations, it’s become increasingly important for all of us to pay more attention to data privacy and protection. I don’t know about you, but I’m amply creeped out and fed up with my Google searches turning up in the ad section of every social media application I open! But thankfully, designers have been coming up with innovative and tactful gadgets that help us slip out of the fingers of major tech giants! From a bracelet that prevents Google and Amazon from listening in to your conversations to a camera that turns away when you enter a room – we’ve got you covered with a range of product designs that’ll keep you safe from hackers, tech moguls, and anyone else trying to encroach upon your privacy!

Students at the University of Chicago developed a unique, wrist-worn bracelet that can remotely scramble all sorts of microphones in a working radius of a few feet. Just wear “The Bracelet of Silence” and switch it on when you want a private conversation, and its multiple ultrasonic sensors disable nearby microphones, preventing them from being able to hear anything you say. The wearable comes with an array of 24 ultrasonic transducers that jam microphones in ALL directions. When worn on your hand, the jammer uses your hand’s movements to increase its range and eliminate audio blind-spots, effectively jamming all sorts of microphones (even ones hidden from view). The video above successfully demonstrates how the jammer works… in fact, it even disables the video-recording camera’s in-built microphone, preventing you from hearing anything the subjects of the video are saying!

Designed as a mysterious pristine-looking silver box (courtesy Winston Privacy’s partnership with design studio MNML), Winston has the demeanor of a trustworthy, robust, no-nonsense device. Working with Winston’s software, the box connects directly to your Wi-Fi router, providing you a secure internet across all your devices. Winston doesn’t just prevent apps and smart-devices from stealing your data. It blocks ISPs from snooping on you, blocks ads, pop-ups, and periodically deletes cookies. Ridding your internet connection of all this excess baggage, Winston allows you to browse the internet faster and even cuts down on your data usage. Besides, it blocks hackers from being able to tap into your webcam, doorbell, or your Wi-fi router, giving complete access to a truly private internet experience that’s absolutely within YOUR control.

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Project Alias looks and behaves like a parasitic fungus, in the sense that it latches onto its host, feeding off it and inhibiting its functions for its own gain. It may sound a little extreme, but it does it all for the sake of privacy. Smart speakers now sit in one out of three American homes… and while they’re great in terms of convenience, they’re a privacy nightmare. Smart speakers are always listening in on everything you say or do around your home, and companies create databases and profiles based on the tonnes of information they collect to sell ads and products to you. The two largest players in the market, Amazon, and Google, literally have business models that revolve around harvesting personal data to sell to the highest bidder, which in turn sell you products and or services. The Project Alias device sits atop the smart speaker, like a fungal growth, blocking out its microphones, so that the speaker can’t listen to you. However, when you do want to access the smart speaker, say a keyword, and the Project Alias lets your command through to the speaker, effectively deafening the home assistant when you don’t want it listening, and bringing it to life when you do.

The HeimVision Assure B1 is a culmination of a lot of good ideas into one, neat package. It’s a CCTV but works as a two-way audio teleconferencing device too. It runs via an app, but can even be commanded via Alexa, making it simple to use without needing your phone around. The Assure B1’s basic kit (that’s the $79 one) comprises one wireless camera and one central hub that sits within your home. The camera features a tripod-mount for easy installation and runs on rechargeable AA batteries for a solid 12 months (with the option of hooking it to a solar panel for uninterrupted continuous power). The camera unit is a small, robust little device that weighs a mere 181 grams, but packs a solid punch. It can capture video in 2K Ultra HD with a 130° FoV, and even sports colored night-vision. Fitted within its Stormtrooper-esque white and black body is also a passive infrared sensor that can detect motion as well as identify humans. A built-in floodlight helps illuminate the area at night, potentially scaring away any intruders, while the two-way audio I mentioned earlier lets you converse with people, leaving instructions for your delivery personnel, or letting people at the door know if you’re away. An IP65 rating on the camera means it can practically brave any weather, from sun, rain, and storms to even blizzards.

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Privy is the perfect name for this high-end security system designed to be a digital watchdog over all your devices! It offers 2-factor authentication to protect users from security breaches. A digital key to all your connected devices, it provides an additional layer of security along with your device passwords. Wearable as a watch, or easily tagged on any other item, Privy helps you remotely lock and unlock your devices using fingerprint scanning to authenticate the user. Cybercriminals will be deterred by first having to hack into Privy then hack into your individual personal device to access your data. To register connected devices onto Privy, users must connect to a laptop and configure settings, including fingerprint authentication.

The Alexagate is a clever hack that sits on top of the 3rd Gen Echo Dot or Echo (sort of like a tin-foil hat) and prevents their microphones from listening to you. The bright yellow device can be activated by clapping thrice whenever you want to have a private conversation and deactivated with an additional 3 claps when you want to ask Alexa to play some music or give you the recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala. The Alexagate device uses 7 strategically placed ultrasonic speakers to disable the Echo’s beam-forming microphones from picking anything up. When active, all the Echo hears is static noise (since it’s ultrasonic and localized, you don’t). That way, Bezos won’t be able to eavesdrop on your conversations and use it to subliminally get you to buy more Pepto Bismol because he knows you cooked Chicken Tikka Masala the other day.

The Solo V2 is a small, portable USB stick that acts as a secure authenticator, replacing the need to remember passwords or look out for OTPs. The USB Stick comes in two variants, one with a USB-A jack and another with a USB-C jack, allowing it to work with laptops and desktops, along with older devices and newer devices. Each Solo V2 stick even comes with an NFC chip built into it, which means you can use it with your NFC-capable smartphone by simply tapping the phone on the USB stick to authenticate it. The key features reversible USB ports (so you’re never fumbling with it) and a touch-sensitive button to activate the authentication. It works right out of the box, without requiring any software installs, supports industry-leading FIDO2/WebAuthn standards, and instantly works with all major applications from companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and even with your Windows logon or GitHub repository. The device is robust, waterproof, and supports firmware upgrades that allow it to grow even more secure with time.

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Huawei’s response to the tape-over-your-webcam phenomenon is nothing if not very James-Bondian. Hidden discreetly in your keyboard, right between f6 and f7, is a bogey key. Press it and the key rises above the surface to reveal a webcam pointing at you. Press the camera down and you’re protected from people remotely hacking into your camera and your life. The physically moving webcam would ensure you don’t have a camera pointing at you without you knowing what’s happening. When the camera docks into the keyboard, it doesn’t film anything (or rather, anything of consequence). What this also enabled Huawei’s MateBook X Pro to do is follow the rising trend of obliterating bezels around screens. Removing the webcam from the top of the screen, the MateBook X Pro, as a result, has a 91% screen to body ratio, with the upper half having a bezel only at the bottom end (where the hinge begins).

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The Privoro Privacy Guard is a literal Faraday Cage for your iPhone. While everyone loves what phones are now capable of, history has proved numerous examples that the phone can constantly collect data and create a profile on you. Mark Zuckerberg tapes up his computer’s webcam up for a reason. Privoro’s Privacy Guard is a rather bulky case that traps your iPhone in limbo, blocking its cameras, ports, masking its microphones, and even preventing remote RF tracking and location tracking. It comes with a hood that opens and closes, allowing you to toggle between security modes. The case, therefore, offers two-pronged protection by “protecting” the phone from physical harm, like any case would, but also protecting you, the user, from being spied upon by rogue hackers or even the government. Oh yes, and it also gives your iPhone a rather Vertu-esque aesthetic.

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Angee, the smart camera for your home, is tackling issues we didn’t know we had already – privacy. With the ability to rotate a full 360 degrees, Angee faces away when it realizes that you’re home. This is a fantastic solution to the paranoia of constantly being watched. Even unplugging a smart camera at home isn’t enough – the lens just glaring away, staring at you…no thanks. As many would agree, Angee doesn’t exactly do much more than other home security cameras outside of that. Angee does require an additional device to be attached to the front door to determine when it should be actively recording. Probably not the most practical alert system considering Nest and various other home cameras will detect movement automatically. However, that being said, that’s a small price to pay for the luxury of privacy.

The PlayStation 5 gets a stunning ‘Matte Black’ makeover with Dbrand’s Sony PS5 plates

Quite like the Darth Vader to the StormTrooper, Dbrand’s matte black PS5 skins give the gaming console a beautiful, stealthy, almost menacing appeal.

Unlike most of Dbrand’s skins which come in the form of vinyl sheets that can be contoured over a phone, tablet, or laptop, the PS5 ‘skins’ from Dbrand are physically injection molded out of plastic. In order to apply them to your Sony PlayStation 5, you’ll need to physically remove the original white plates and install Dbrand’s custom plates… and while Sony’s legal team seems to be pretty annoyed at the fact, Dbrand assures it’s absolutely legal. Sort of like replacing the tires on your car.

What’s really incredible about Dbrand’s PS5 skin is the level of detail that’s gone into it. If you’ve closely inspected the PS5’s original white plastic plate, you’ll notice that the rough texture on it is in fact a microtexture comprising a cluster of Sony’s button symbols (in what might be one of the most remarkable Easter Eggs ever). Dbrand takes on a similar approach too, using their own microtexture of ‘apocalypse-inspired’ symbols that include robot heads, skull and cross-bones, and radioactive signs. Combined with the matte black plastic used for the plates, the microtexture really stands out (as you can see in the image below), creating a contrast that’s incredible to look at, and arguably great to touch too!

The Dbrand Darkplates (as they’re called) are available for pre-order and ship in May, although I’m pretty sure MKBHD already has a pair and is probably working on the finishing touches of his review video!

Designer: Dbrand

This NFC enabled sleep aid device keeps you away from late-night scrolling and improves sleep!

Sleep is personal. Each night, we curate the best conditions for optimal sleep. You might have a preferred meditation app, a favorite essential oil for your trusted aromatherapy diffuser, or the only sleep apnea breathing mask that won’t make you feel like you’re going into combat come morning. Whatever your ideal sleeping conditions call for, we all know how important it is to set the tone for a good night’s rest. Mark Stanisic recently debuted his design, Oblak in order to provide a sleeping bedside device that helps manage nightly routines and promote effective rest.

Oblak is essentially a smart speaker that walks users through their nightly sleep routines. Through the use of smart technology, Oblak introduces each individual user’s optimal bedtime environment ideal for effective rest. Many factors can contribute to sleep deprivation, but in today’s world, the overconsumption of media on our smartphones is perhaps the leading cause. In order to step away from smart technology doing the work for us, Stanisic takes a holistic approach instead, encouraging users through Oblak to make conscious decisions that benefit their sleep patterns. For instance, Oblak uses NFC technology to register when its user is ready for bed.

In order for Oblak to operate, the user simply places their smartphone on the induction charging zone, then through connectivity pairing, an accompanying app will ask if they’re ready for bed. Once ‘Yes’ is selected, NFC technology communicates with the bedroom’s additional smart technology such as lightbulbs and thermostats to transform the bedroom into the ideal environment for good sleep. Stanisic found that optimal sleeping conditions require a room’s average temperature to be set between 18-28℃, that the lighting should emanate warm, red wavelengths, and that ambient sound should provide a low-decibel and stable range of sound to cut through distracting outside noises.

All of these conditions work to provide the ideal environment for effective sleep and once a user tells Oblak that they’re ready for bed, the sleeping bedside device maintains the conditions throughout the night so users can sleep soundly. Lights fade from cool blue to warmer red hues, the thermostat adjusts to find the most suitable temperature, and ambient soundwaves permeate the user’s room, creating a sort of sound bath to get some rest.

Designer: Mark Stanisic

Once Oblak’s user is ready for bed, smart technology adjusts the bedroom’s lighting to provide the ideal environment for a good night’s sleep.

Today’s younger generation spends a lot of time looking at their laptop’s or smartphone’s digital screen, which negatively affects our relationship with sleep.

Oblak’s simple interface and textured surface invite users to power on the sleep aid device and securely place their belongings when ready for bed.

Oblak’s friendly appearance prioritizes the user’s peace of mind by utilizing inviting fabric and layers of translucent surfaces that echo the fogginess that follows a good night’s rest.