This bizarre face mask concept proposes using an air-curtain instead of a physical filter… and it just might work

Using air to cut off potentially virally infected air sounds a lot like fire fighting fire, but there just might be some truth to it all. Air curtains are undoubtedly effective at creating an invisible barrier that keeps cold air inside an air-conditioned room from mixing with the hot air outside a room. When correctly installed, an air curtain actually saves energy in the long run by providing an essentially open entrance that allows people to pass through but prevents outside air from mixing with inside air (and potentially putting a higher load on your ACs), and it essentially even prevents mosquitoes from passing through too. So if an air curtain can create a very effective air barrier with large spaces, why can’t that technology be scaled down to work on your face too?

What this conceptual face mask proposes isn’t too far-fetched, honestly. Scientists are actually researching the viability of using air curtains to effectively ‘deactivate’ the coronavirus. If successful, maybe that face mask you’re currently wearing goes the way of the dinosaurs, as everyone essentially begins wearing fans on their foreheads that push filtered air towards your face, and keep bad air out.

In this research paper, physicists Alexander S. Sakharov and Konstantin Zhukov even propose a similar head-worn air curtain that essentially cuts off external air flow for the wearer without the discomfort of a fabric or N95 mask pressed against their faces. At least for the aerosol-based transmission of the coronavirus, an air curtain can be reasonably effective at pushing away particles (both from outside as well as from the wearer) to prevent proximal viral transmission… all while still allowing the wearer to breathe air comfortably.

The Airable is, at least on paper, a rather slim AR-headset-shaped device with air vents on the forehead facing downwards, and a clear plastic visor to prevent the gust of wind from blowing directly in your eyes. One could easily imagine that the Airable has a built-in filter of its own, which ensures that the air curtain only blows pure air (another research paper debates the use of ionized air to kill viruses instantly). Sounds pretty great on paper, and I definitely hope a team of designers and engineers are building or prototyping such a device. Unless the folks at Dyson could come up with a solution, my only concern is the overwhelming noise most air curtains currently make.

Airable is a winner of the Red Dot Design Concept Award for the year 2021.

Designers: Kim Seulgee, Ko Sungchan, Lee Wonho, Park Hyein

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Portable spirometer lets you track lung activity + strength, for people recovering from breathing issues

Designed to help measure lung activity and strength while on the go, the Airpen is a small handheld pocketable spirometer that tracks how hard you can inhale/exhale. Working pretty much the way a breathalyzer does, the Airpen uses a small module with a fan inside it, which rotates when you breathe in or out. The device calculates the fan’s RPM to basically gauge how strong your lungs are. Working alongside a smartphone app that collects and creates a dashboard of your lung activity data, the Airpen hopes to help rehabilitate people with reduced lung function.

It’s a successor to the Incentive Spirometer, a relatively large device that’s used to help rehabilitate lungs after illness or surgery, keeping them flexible and free of fluid. The Airpen simply condenses it into a small device that can fit into your pocket, effectively allowing people to perform lung activity tests wherever they may be.

The Airpen is a winner of the Red Dot Design Concept Award for the year 2021.

Designers: Mitul Lad, Pietro Russomanno & Stefania Pizzichi.

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This saucer-shaped light fixture hangs by electric wires like a yo-yo to look as if it’s floating midair!

Light in Tight is a line of saucer-shaped light fixtures that hang from electric wires just like a yo-yo, designed by Seungheon Baek and Jinhyeong Kwon.

Our interior spaces can be transformed with the right lighting. Through the years, the iterations of desk lamps and standing light fixtures to come from designers have truly been endless. Considering the necessity of light in interior spaces, light fixtures will remain relevant in the design world for decades to come. Inspired by the fastening potential of taut telephone pole wires, Seungheon Baek and Jinhyeong Kwon developed Light in Tight, an innovative light fixture design that gives the illusion that it’s floating in midair.

Struck by an image of the moon stationed brightly behind tangles of telephone wires, Baek and Kwon found both practicality and aesthetics for their lighting design. Light in Tight is comprised of three components: an electric wire power supply, three different types of lights, and a clamp-in screw mechanism. Holding the fixture’s glass coverings together, the clamp-in screw fastens the light bulb’s container and provides a point of tension for the electric wires to be pulled taut.

The power supply electric wire loops over the hyperbolic shaped light fixture, kind of like a yo-yo, to keep it in place while the wire ends find respective hanging points. Light in Tight can be configured midair in numerous positions, transforming the height, direction, and movement of the lighting as it changes.

The most amount of luminosity coming from Light in Tight is emitted towards the floor, while our periphery sightlines remain dim. Moving from the light fixture’s brightest section, the translucent covering grows in opacity towards the top. Shaped like a saucer, Light in Tight has a unique look that would complement modern interiors nicely, while remaining familiar enough to feel classic in any room.

Designers: Seungheon Baek and Jinhyeong Kwon

The light fixtures hang from electric wires that loop over the hyperbolic shape of the light bulb’s outfittings.

Light in Tight comes with a small spotlight fixture that hangs the same way as the line’s larger light fixtures. 

From its base, the lightbulb container is translucent, lighting the ground below, then opacifies near the top.

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This gas-powered toaster, oven and stove will be your favorite companion in the kitchen and outdoor!

A combination of a toaster, oven and stove is in itself a multifunctional appliance you cannot do without in the kitchen. The downside of any traditional option is its dependence on electricity. Though, non-electric toaster and oven combos have struck their brilliance with the outdoorsy, the gas-powered Cook Nook presents an added advantage with a stove.

There is so much one can do with the non-electric toaster, stove and oven combo. It can be used for making toasts, roasting chicken, baking cake and even preparing a meal when electricity isn’t a luxury. So, when stepping into the wilderness, a portable and lightweight gas-operated toaster, oven, stove is the icing on the cake since it opens up possibilities for a great treat for a large family or friends gathering with the choice of pizzas, cookies, and other delicious.

With the combo appliance like the Cook Nook fueled by gas, you can save time and money while in the kitchen, in the backyard, or when hiking or camping in the outdoors. Such an appliance that does not require electricity is useful in everyday life and even in case of an emergency. In addition to cooking a fresh meal or a quick snack, this can even be used to bring frozen food to life. For its convenience and portability, the Cook Nook toaster, oven and stove will be a welcome product in the lives of the outdoorsy as it will solve the problem of finding an electric outlet for its needs.

In the kitchen, this multifunctional appliance will only occupy a small space and when it’s set for travel, it will pack up neatly and fit easily in the boot of your car. Interestingly, this yellow appliance comes with a CD player-style slide-out tray for toasts and baking and has a nice sturdy stove on the top. The stove has a sizable burner with pan support. The gas canister is placed on the right side with a compartment to hold an extra cartridge. The control knobs seem nice and easy to rotate, while the pan support can be removed and a lid can be applied on top to cover the unit when not in use.

The Cook Nook may not have the prowess to compete with the traditional options on the market, which are larger and more powerful in operation, but it surely makes for a decent option when portability and accessibility are on the mind!

Designers: Ishikawa Shinji, Huang Yingwen, Xie Xinyi, Zhou Shan

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Ex-Aston Martin engineer designed a sleek ‘packable’ cycling helmet that flips inward to become 50% slimmer

It’s almost hilarious, but the two leading reasons for people not wearing helmets are the fact that it ruins their hair, and that it’s too bulky to carry or store anywhere. While there isn’t really an immediate solution to the former (apart from going bald), an ex-Aston Martin engineer devised a clever way to solve the latter problem. Meet the Flip-Clip Go, a Red Dot Award-winning ‘packable’ helmet that folds down to occupy 50% of its original volume, making it easier to carry with you when not in use.

The helmet’s patented design features a flippable top that turns its dome-shaped form into a frisbee that’s easier to stash in bags, carry under one’s arms, or place inside the cargo space in scooters. Measuring 81mm in thickness when closed, the Flip-Clip Go’s bulkiness gets reduced by 50%, making it much more convenient than traditional bulky helmets that can be cumbersome to carry around.

The helmet’s highlight is its Flip-Clip™ Technology, which allows it to alter its volume by flipping and folding inwards. This nifty little feature turns the bulbous helmet into an 81mm disc that’s about as bulky as a novel or a dictionary. Cutting the original helmet’s mass by up to 50%, the folded helmet can easily be stashed away, so you don’t need to rely on archaic techniques like locking your helmet to your bike.

The helmet was conceptualized by Josh Cohen, Dom Cotton, and Will Wood, friends and bicycle enthusiasts alike (and co-founders of Newlane). The light bulb moment came when Josh used a hire bike in Central London. Feeling a sense of vulnerability without the helmet, he spoke to Dom, who immediately hopped on board and was soon followed by Will, an ex-engineer at Aston Martin who helped conceive the helmet’s design, its details, and finalize its material choices to create a helmet that was effective, lightweight, sustainable, and yet affordable.

The Flip-Clip Go helmet comes made entirely from recycled plastics, salvaged from oceans and landfills, before being treated, processed, cleaned, and re-molded. It comes with a relatively bare-basics design, featuring an airy construction that relies on honeycomb structures, and is supported by a protective inner layer of expanded polystyrene (EPS). Manufactured in partnership with Cameron-Price in the UK, each helmet helps recycle as many as 20 plastic bottles worth of plastic, and Newlane hopes to be entirely carbon-free by 2030.

The Flip-Clip Go helmet is a winner of the Red Dot Design Concept Award for the year 2021.

Designer: Newlane

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How does a deaf or mute person use a smart speaker’s voice assistant? This concept tries to build a more inclusive smart speaker

Here’s a question nobody probably ever thought of… how do deaf and mute people communicate with voice assistants? Or specifically, with smart speakers? It’s a question that Jinni, a sign-language-based smart assistant, hopes to answer.

While the most obvious use for a smart speaker is to listen to music and podcasts, the ubiquitous little gadget has much more far-reaching features, allowing users to ask questions, get alerts and weather updates, and most importantly, control aspects of one’s smart home, like the lights, thermostat, security cameras, etc… so when the smart speaker almost solely works on voice commands, its interface practically alienates an entire group of people with special needs who don’t rely on voice commands.

Designed to include a camera that can read sign language inputs, and a large screen that can communicate with its user, Jinni brings the power of virtual assistants to a subset of people that are often sidelined when designing mainstream tech. Relying on visual cues instead of audio ones, the Jinni can easily interface with people fluent in sign language, offering a more natural input technique for them. Responses are provided through Jinni’s large circular screen, taking audio entirely out of the equation. Just as the smart speaker is a ubiquitous little gadget in homes, Jinni hopes to do the same for the deaf and mute communities, giving them the same access to life-changing tech. The speaker concept runs on a battery (so it can be carried to different rooms) and even comes with a charging dock/mat to juice it up after a day’s use.

The Jinni is a winner of the Red Dot Design Concept Award for the year 2021.

Designer: Zhong Zuozheng

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This micro-mobility charging station features universal power adapters to minimize the hardware used in going electric!

Duckt is a micro-mobility charging station that features a universal power adapter so every type of micro-mobility vehicle – from bikes to scooters can charge with ease!





By now, we’re all familiar with micro-mobility vehicles, like e-bikes and e-scooters. They fill our city sidewalks and their charging stations are found on avenues every couple of blocks. While micro-mobility concepts are typically designed for convenience first and foremost, all of the different micro-mobility vehicles take different charges which complicate the entire transportation process.

Offering a solution, Duckt is a modern micro-mobility concept that weaves a universal charger into its design to streamline charging periods and bridge all of the different micro-mobility vehicles already out there.

Inspired by the numerous configurations that can be created from perfect geometry, the team of designers, Alimşan Kablan, Emre Özsöz, and Pelin Özbalcı, positioned Duckt on power bases that form basic shapes. Chosen for their familiarity and clean design, the basic shape of the power station allows room for more than one type of vehicle to park.

The universal aspect of the charging station comes through Duckt’s adapter that can attach to any micro-mobility vehicle to then connect to the power station for charging. Conceptualized in three different layouts, each power station comes with ports for micro-mobility vehicles to slide into.

The first layout is Duckt’s simplest form, featuring a single dock for charging and a locking mechanism to ensure the vehicle receives all of the intended charges. The next layout, called B2, features a dual docking station for two vehicles in addition to the locking mechanism that’s built into every port.

The master connector, P1 “is a bridge that enables these stations to open up to the internet.” The tall, rectangular power port comes with a QR code that users can scan to access the internet while charging their e-bike or e-scooter. Recognized by A’Design Awards and Red Dot, Duckt is a modern solution for a modern inconvenience.

Designers: Alimşan Kablan, Emre Özsöz, and Pelin Özbalcı

Duckt’s P1 station comes with embedded QR codes that access the internet. 

When put together, Duckt accommodates every type of micro-mobility vehicle.

Each dock comes with a secure locking mechanism to ensure constant charging.

The “master connector,” P1 brings every component together.

The basic geometry of Duckt’s configuration allows room for more than one type of vehicle to park.

Integrated lighting makes Duckt visible even at night.

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Augmented Reality Helmet concept aims at revolutionizing how firefighters rescue civilians

Brave - Augmented Reality Helmet for Firefighters

Technology is best put to use when it gives us powers we didn’t have before. Whether it’s being able to fly using airplanes, see through skin and bones using X-rays, or send each other messages using radio waves and satellites. I’ve long believed that augmented reality has the ability to positively impact life as we know it, beyond just entertainment and games. Microsoft’s Hololens has often demonstrated how AR tech can help remote learning and servicing, whether it’s something as simple as sending instructions to a technician fixing a faulty circuit box or plumbing pipe, or as game-changing as helping doctors learn more about the human body by literally being able to see inside it using virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. A Red Dot Design Concept Award-winning entry, however, is pushing the capabilities of augmented reality imaging to help firefighters effectively assess buildings, find structural weak spots, avoid infernos, locate and rescue victims, and quickly plot safe escape routes.

Brave - Augmented Reality Helmet for Firefighters

The Brave is an AR Headset with a helmet attachment purpose-built for firefighters to use while training and in action. The headset itself comes with an array of cameras along the front that allows the internal chip to effectively plot out its surroundings, and a HUD under the headset’s main visor helps project digital elements on the physical world while the firefighters move around. The outer visor also covers the upper half of the face, preventing dust and debris from making its way into the firefighter’s eyes, while a mask on the lower half of their face remains unobstructed or untouched.

When paired along with the helmet, the Brave is complete as a state-of-the-art imaging, safety, and rescue tool. The helmet comes with lights built into the front and the back, illuminating the path while allowing firefighters to see each other in smoke-filled corridors. The rear of the helmet even comes with a camera lens that allows the AR headset to see what’s behind the wearer too, informing them of any developments. Finally, the hard-hat helmet works as the ultimate head-protecting device, softening the impact from debris that may fall from above, and overall helping the firefighter effectively perform rescue missions without getting hurt. Along with the AR headset, however, the Brave is the ultimate rescue tool. It helps firefighters effectively see behind walls, beyond floors, and observe the building in a way that the eyes cannot.

The Brave AR Helmet is a winner of the Red Dot Design Concept Award for the year 2021.

Designers: Kim Hyewon & Shin Alim

Brave - Augmented Reality Helmet for Firefighters

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This space-saving exercise bike doubles as a functional yet stylish piece of furniture





An exercise bike that doesn’t just take up space when not in use – rather performs double duty as a piece of furniture for urban dwellers who find themselves constricted for space. Ones who are always on the lookout for multifunctional accessories.

How often have we all given in to the unrelenting urge of buying a piece of exercise equipment impulsively and then, later on, have it on the sidelines biting the dust? A catch twenty-two situation that fills you with guilt and anxiety every time you see the exercise bike put to no alternate use other than hanging your clothes in a haphazard manner. How about at least utilizing it for another good purpose, if you want to dissolve the guilt of slashing out money just for no use?

Meet “The-O” exercise bike designed to be minimalistic, sans all the fancy features you’ll never end up using in your daily fitness routine. The fitness accessory is designed keeping in mind the quirks of owning one. First up is the space requirement and the non-flexibility of usage. Then there is the complexity of use which mars the whole purpose of a simple fitness regime. The-O has none of them, and it doubles as a functional piece of furniture when your fitness is kept on hold for some days or even weeks. Use it as a seat for your casual work regime or turn it into a bar chair for parties – the options are endless. You can even turn it into a base for keeping indoor plants.

This exercise bike breaks the norms of how exercise equipment needs to be and brings a dimension of modularity to it. The fitness equipment comes in two different sizes – giving apartment dwellers the option to go for a smaller size if living space is at a premium. I personally like the idea of exercising my legs while browsing the internet – isn’t that cool enough?

Designer: Kim Dambi, Kim Kyung Jin, Park Sangjin, Park Sung Soon

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This whale-inspired camping trailer is feature-filled design for the ultimate family adventure!

Campers have unlimited choice already when it comes to choosing impressive camping trailers, RVs and more. This wide array of options is suited for almost any enthusiast’s need and comfort. But if you’re looking for modularity, Whale Trailer Cabin will be your best bet when it makes out of the concept stage to ride you to the great outdoors with more purpose and luxury.

A plethora of feature-packed luxury travel trailers available on the market has made it easier for people during the pandemic to enjoy the changing scenery without having to deal with tourist crowds. This has been a sight in many countries including China, as most international borders have remained closed for the better part of two years now, giving adventures and family a chance to explore their own country in hired or owned (as means allow) RVs, trailers, and motorhomes. The choice of camping trailers show how creative people can be when it comes to customizing mobile living landscape, and in the bid, designer Hu Yong’s Whale Trailer Cabin is a splendid example.

Designed to the needs and preferences of the Chinese consumer market, the trailer visions to tap into the growing fad for RVs and the like in the Asian country. According to Goldstein Market Intelligence forecast, the Chinese RV market is expected to grow from 25,000 units in 2017 to almost 400,000 units by 2030. Based on the recreational vehicle type, the trailer segment according to the analysis is the fastest growing and will be hugely in demand through this period. In this scenario, the right option will let you bring the entire family, including your pet, to the great outdoors without having to sacrifice comfort.

In that vein, the Red Dot Design Award 2021 winning Whale Trailer Cabin, which as the name suggests derives shape from the marine animal, comes with a gradient marine blue and white color exterior. From the images, the white interior of the trailer blends well with the exterior color scheme and adds to the luxe. The concept separates the sleeping, living and eating areas and has an extending awning at the back that offers more covered outdoor space to be utilized. When you want to grab a bite, the hideaway kitchen on the front can be pulled out giving you a complete kitchen to your disposal. In the middle is the living area with a pop-top roof opening up space for more headroom and natural light.

In the rear of this conceptual trailer with big windows lies the interesting sleeping area. The slide-out section rests on a clip-out stand and also with an inflatable pop-top roof. The matte finish on the exterior is largely what amplifies the overall appeal of this trailer that’s feature-laden right out of the box. The sizeable, yet durable all-in-one trailer has everything you’d want built right in – all you’ll require is a towing truck and you’re good to go for a spin. I’m not sure if this particular trailer is designed for more than a weekend stay, but we’d assume it makes provision for some photovoltaics and water harvesting, so it can fit the need of adventurers who want to park it in the wild and forget about returning back to the city life for at least a few weeks.

Designer: Hu Yong

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