This piano-inspired wifi router is like music for your eyes!

The same way a skyscraper doesn’t fit in amongst brownstones, the classic WiFi router is an eyesore in any room. Typically, they’re clunky, blockish, and wire-twisted. They always get in the way and seem to epitomize user-unfriendliness, with indistinguishable blinking signals and difficult, hard-to-reach dimensions. Thankfully, designer Lee Haupenn has come up with a solution: his new Piano WiFi 6 router that resembles a chord’s worth of piano keys, designed to appear less obtrusive and more as it belongs.

The fully realized WiFi 6 router is emotive in its appearance and, with its sleek body, allows you to enjoy any room for what it’s meant, without any black, plastic network boxes to distract you. The black ‘keys’ lift up to reveal the router’s antennae and the indented base diminishes some of the visual thickness that’s commonly expected from routers. Certain to improve user-friendliness, the L-shaped indicator light provides comprehensible insight regarding signals and product operation. Familiarity was a vital aspect of the router’s conceptual stages as Lee Haupenn incorporated the image of the piano, emoting a feeling of cohesion to any room. The classic white and black color scheme provides the router with another chameleon-like feature: interior adaptability for all spaces, that of which bulky, wire-heavy routers do not have. That seamless bridging between the world of technology and our intimate home spaces is the true essence of this design.

Red Dot issued 2020’s Best of the Best award to the Shenzhen-based design team for their cleverly tasteful reimagination of the classic router. Offering the latest generation of wireless capabilities, this router is as charming as it is operative, bridging the power of technology with the comfort of home. Collectively, it seems that we’re retreating further and further into the cyber world, which means that the demand for efficient wireless technology and network is high. However, the designers at Lee Haupenn seem to understand that when it comes to routers, as demand increases, creativity in design seems to fall by the wayside. Due to this imbalance, routers look cold, even unapproachable, just the tangles of wires look too complicated. With such a necessary product of the times, Lee Haupenn gave the antiquated router a much-needed fine-tuning. Even though this piano can’t really be played, it is visual poetry for your eyes!

Designers: Lee Haupenn

This Dieter Rams-inspired speaker lets you focus on the music and without any smartphone distractions!

This Dieter Rams-Inspired Speaker Brings the Simplicity of the 1950s to Bluetooth

Music is sometimes the only company you need, whether you’re listening to your favorite artist with your ears perked up beside the speaker or letting jazz fill in the background while you work. With quarantine, however, it can sometimes feel difficult to just let listening to music be an activity in and of itself. The list of distractions and temptations is literally endless – the timeline never runs dry. Instagram’s feed is ever-changing and endlessly refreshable, as another text message rings and more unread emails pile up, and Twitter has the latest and most accessible updates out there. But this new Dieter Rams-inspired Bluetooth speaker design encourages you to click the lock button and stow the phone away if only for a song.

The design’s concept is visually approachable and inviting, with a single speaker on the product design’s right-hand side, a roomier pocket for your phone on the left, and self-explanatory player controls on top. While the visual and compartmental design makes the music device easily portable, it also motivates you to end the constant scrolling and just enjoy the music. Since the speaker works with Bluetooth, the space to stow away your phone is more of a light suggestion than a prerequisite for operation. However, if you do decide to use the suggested space for your phone, the product’s design becomes user-adjustable. Since the speaker’s screen, which encases your phone, is transparent, that means you can transform your screen into a compact cassette or any other background, invoking your favorite musical memory within any room.

It’s admittedly hard to put the phone down when you’re spending a lot of time in the same space every day – the timeline isn’t the only thing that could use some refreshing. If anything, quarantine has awakened many of us to the relief that design can provide by reigniting in us simpler, warmer energy from yesteryear. Inspired by Dieter Rams’ widely-celebrated TP-1 transistor radio and phonograph, this new speaker design offers exactly that. The elemental structure and visually friendly presentation echo the early years of sound recording, back when listening to music was more coveted and less instantly gratified.

Designers: Linda B

Fuseproject’s newest air purifier design takes your furniture one step closer to being smart

 

In the current pandemic, we are all compelled to be at home more than ever before. We consider indoors to be safer than the outdoors and tend to overlook the air quality we live, eat or sleep in. Poor air quality at home/workplace can have a negative effect on health leading to problems like asthma, allergies and sleep issues amid many other short and long-term health effects. Air purifiers have stepped in as alternatives to free the air of dust particles, pet dander, foul odor and more – making the air breathable and safe.

We have seen a fair share of air purifiers and it’s easy to conclude that not all of them are created equal. Drawing on the success of its previous air purifiers that have been regarded for quality and effectiveness, fuseproject has in association with Coway, designed the next winning approach to air purifiers. Dubbed the Coway Icon Air Purifier, this is a reworked and modified variant of the plasticky box-like utilitarian purifiers. It boasts a smaller and flatter form factor to sit along a wall, presenting users more flexibility in room placement. The quiet and powerful Icon integrates smart technologies to be more than a simple box doing its chores – it comes with its own smartphone app that can be used to control the functions of this air purifier remotely. The app also provides a status report of the air quality and its lifecycle, informing when cleaning or replacement is necessary. The team explains, “Clear communication to the user is key. The Icon’s UX status was designed through straight-forward messaging that lights up to the touch through the top surface, and then disappears shortly after. We designed the subtle touch surface to display a lightweight font and data as an easy way to understand the air purifier’s benefits and efficacy. Additionally, mood lighting can be set in different colors.”

Fuseproject behind the award-winning (IDSA awardee) Coway Icon Air Purifier is a celebrated design and innovation firm led by designer Yves Béhar. For more seamless integration into the living space, the air purifier is made for refined material in a wooden finish. It comes in a neutral color tone and features LED-enabled buttons on the touch control panel alongside a wireless charging pad for smartphones (iPhone).

Designer: fuseproject

Ditch those cloth masks for this transparent N99 face mask with an AI-Powered Ventilation System

I guess masks have been around long enough for someone to make them modular! Meet the BlueBreath, an advanced N99 mask with a unique ability to snap on modules on the front to change the way the mask looks and behaves… allowing it to serve multiple purposes.

The BlueBreath builds on two core ideas. A. Masks can be difficult to breathe through, and B. Masks can be a visual barrier at certain times. With these two directions in mind, the BlueBreath comes with two interchangeable modules that solve these problems. One module is its AI-powered ventilation system, which increases the mask’s breathability by physically pushing air in using an internal fan… the other module is a transparent shield, that filters your air like a normal mask would, but gives you visibility, allowing you to communicate more openly with people, and occasionally unlock your phone without needing to constantly touch it. The BlueBreath’s base, which straps securely around your face, lets you easily swap modules on the fly, allowing you to go from AI-assisted breathing to aesthetic face-shield in a matter of seconds.

The BlueBreath’s AI-powered ventilating module fits right over the mask’s frame, with a hypoallergenic silicone gasket to create a comfortable seal around your face. An internal fan module helps suck air in, creating a positive air pressure within the mask so you can breathe as freely as you would without a mask. The fan runs on an AI algorithm that can detect your breathing pattern, adjusting the fan speed along the way to increase the speed when you’re running, and decrease it when you’re idly breathing. The air is pulled through a 5-layer N99 HEPA mask for maximum purification. An activated-carbon ply within the mask helps neutralize microorganisms and VOCs (odor molecules), while a dedicated Eco Scents layer helps generate an aroma within the mask for optimal freshness.

While BlueBreath’s ventilating module serves one purpose, its transparent module caters to a different requirement. Designed to be worn at work, in public spaces, or anywhere where you’d like to be able to interact freely with people, the transparent shield helps keep you protected, yet visible, with a clear visor on the front with an anti-fog coating. The N99 Hepa Filter for the transparent module sits around the sides of the mask, efficiently pulling air in through the multiple layers to deliver 99.97% clean air when you breathe. Dedicated pathways for inhaling and exhaling ensure your mask’s always well ventilated and you never end up feeling stuffy. It helps when you have to use your phone too, allowing you to unlock your device with your face, and easily participate in video-calls should you choose.

Developed in USA with N99 filters manufactured in Germany, the BlueBreath mask comes in a variety of colors, and in three sizes for adult males, females, and children. The mask’s base features an ergonomic design made to comfortably fit all face-types, with adjustable head-straps, soft silicone rings, and a hypoallergenic plastic that promotes longer usage without suffering from mask-fatigue. The AI-powered ventilation module comes with 8 hours of operation time on a full charge, giving you more than enough battery life for a working week, while the transparent module is ideal for short trips to the supermarket, or for meeting friends over the weekend for some safe socializing. By covering the two broad use-cases (feature-driven and aesthetics-driven), the BlueBreath aims at being a mask that has a little something for everyone. Whether you’re exercising with your mask on (the AI-powered ventilator works wonders at delivering more oxygen to your lungs), commuting, working, meeting friends, or just heading out to run errands, the BlueBreath always has you covered… quite literally, if I may add!

Designer: Woomier Engineering

Click Here to Buy Now: $49 $99 (50% off). Hurry, only 3 left!

BlueBreath: First AI-powered Smart Mask

BlueBreath is the first smart mask with an AI-powered air ventilation system to give you 10x more breathability. Its AI system identifies how much fresh air you need regardless of the situation. And its 5 layers of filters offer you 99.7% protection against pathogens, allergens, dust, and other airborne particles.

AI-powered Ventilation System

The micro ventilation system ensures a constant circulation of clean air. The upper air-inlet ventilation valves purify the air as you inhale and the lower air-outlet valves transport out the CO2 as you exhale.

The BlueBreath’s enhanced ventilation system keeps the inside of the mask moisture-free and fresh. The valves are designed to filter down up to 0.3 microns size particles, thus preventing the outflow of all kinds of germs and viruses.

German Made Nanofilteration System

Additional Features & Benefits

BlueBreath comes with 6 colors and a transparent design, which will allow showing your smile expressing your emotion, use the phone face ID system.

BlueBreath face mask is made of high-quality, lightweight, anti-allergic plastic material. The inner soft silicone contour perfectly adjusts to the form of your face without leaving a mark on your skin or causing any discomfort. A smart face mask can be used with glasses without fogging up the vision.

Click Here to Buy Now: $49 $99 (50% off). Hurry, only 3 left!

The Lexus Design Award is on a mission to make the world better. Here’s how you can participate!

I’ve noticed something rather interesting over the past couple of years. The purpose of a design, any design, is to see itself evolve in a way that benefits users as well as the designer that had the idea in the first place. A well-designed product isn’t something that can exist in isolation with a ribbon pinned to it… yet most award programs do just that. They look at products, identify a few of them which look promising, give them a certificate or trophy, and move on to the next product… and the process repeats itself year after year. Most award programs don’t incubate great ideas into wonderful products… they just identify them and put them on a website for others to see, and that’s something I’ve come to identify with a lot of awards, but not the Lexus Design Award.

Imagine having great designers gather around your idea and nourish it into something truly fruitful. Imagine having all the resources you need to prototype your idea into something that WORKS… not on paper, in reality. Imagine spending 3 months under the wing of industry-leading mentors who help guide you through the design process. The Lexus Design Award isn’t really like other awards… it’s part award, part internship, part incubator, and part institute. When you apply for the Lexus Design Award, you’re enrolling yourself into a 3-month course with internationally-recognized mentors like Joe Doucet (Founder, Joe Doucet x Partners), Mariam Kamara (Principal Architect, Atelier Masomi), Sputniko! (Associate Professor of Design at the Tokyo University of the Arts), and Sabine Marcelis (Founder, Studio Sabine Marcelis. Out of all the award participants, 6 Finalists are chosen to be a part of this mentorship experience. During this time, the mentors work with you ON your project (sort of like the most personalized internship ever), taking your rough concept to fruition, while Lexus incubates the product with as much as 3 million Japanese Yen or $25,000 dedicated to prototyping the projects to a working proof-of-concept.

The Lexus Design Award’s core objective has always been to foster great ideas and great talent. Creating the perfect environment for a design to grow, Lexus helps engineer ideas into real, impactful solutions for a better future. The awards are free for all, focusing on young talent looking to find their footing in the industry, and offering them the ability to take their nascent ideas to new heights, with advice from established professional mentors. At the end of the mentorship phase, a Grand Prix finalist is chosen by the award’s esteemed judging panel comprising of Paola Antonelli (Senior Curator at MoMA), Greg Lynn (Architect and CEO Piaggio Fast Forward), Dong Gong (Founder & Design Principal of Vector Architects), and Simon Humphries (Head of Toyota and Lexus Global Design).

Entries for the 2021 edition of the Lexus Design Award are now open, with the theme echoing Lexus’ brand principle – “Anticipate, Innovate and Captivate for a better tomorrow”. Head to the Discover Lexus website to submit your own designs for a chance to collaborate with world-class mentors and incubate your ideas into reality, or scroll down to check out some of the past winners of the Lexus Design Award as inspiration!

Submit Your Designs Now for Lexus Design Award 2021. Last Date for Submissions: October 11th, 2020.

Lexus Design Award Past Winners

Lexus first launched this annual international award in 2013 to nurture up-and-coming designers and help them realize their vision around the future of design.

Open Source Communities by BellTower (2020 Grand Prix Winner)

A vast number of Kenyans suffer from a combination of problems like water shortage, diseases caused by consumption of unfiltered/unfit water, having to walk miles to get water on a daily basis, or alternatively having to pay high rates for local water distribution. “In Nairobi, high-tech coexists with urban poverty”, say the team at BellTower, who designed the Open Source Communities project which creates a new format of community-building that relies on efficient allocation of resources that help the lower-income communities get access to basic necessities like water. The project creates a centralized water-reservoir – a structure that sits between hundreds of homes, providing water to every single one of them. The structure’s innovative format allows it to harvest and conserve rainwater, while actively filtering it of dirt, microorganisms, and other impurities. During the monsoons, surplus water helps generate money for the communities too, allowing them to get an extra source of income while bridging the vast resource gap. However, the best part about the Open Source Communities is that it exists as a public-utility template. Its open-source nature gives it unlimited flexibility, allowing it to be modified to fit in practically any scenario.

Algorithmic Lace by Lisa Marks (2019 Grand Prix Winner)

Bringing Algorithms and Attire together in a beautifully crafted garment with a noble purpose, Algorithmic Lace uses advanced three-dimensional modeling to handcraft bespoke bras for breast cancer survivors who have undergone mastectomy surgery. Algorithms have a long-standing love-affair with the textile industry, as one of the first machines to use algorithms was the Jacquard Loom back in the 1800s. The loom was controlled by a series of punched cards, which contained information that the loom read. Different cards had different algorithms into it and by switching the cards in the loom, you could tell it to alternate between complex textile weaves like brocade, damask and matelassé. Algorithmic Lace builds on that rich history, by using lines of code to create bras that are custom-built for their wearers. These garments are made specifically to functionally suit women who’ve undergone surgery, and the algorithmic pattern helps create a well-fitted, comfortable brassiere that’s also incredibly aesthetic to look at, empowering the wearer with confidence, along with their new lease of life.

Pixel by Hiroto Yoshizoe (2017 Grand Prix Winner)

There’s sheer magic in how the Pixel can actually take what you see and reduce its resolution to a handful of pixels… creating an illusion of being in a low-res world. At its heart is a uniquely crafted module that takes light as an input, and through repeated internal reflection, turns inputted images into square outputs. Imagine how the mirrors on a periscope work, taking an image from the top and carrying them down to the viewfinder below… this module does something similar, but with a different result. Stack enough of these modules together and you get the Pixel, a dynamic wall that instantly pixelates anything behind it. The Pixel relies on a powerful light source, and in this case, uses a projector. Project an image on it and the modules average out the light entering them, instantly pixelating the image and giving us a new perspective on the way we see light and shadows!

Agar Plasticity by AMAM (2016 Grand Prix Winner)

As its name suggests, the Agar Plasticity project uses Agar, a gelatinous marine algal material, as a replacement for plastics, creating a naturally occurring alternative to one of nature’s largest pollutants. Perfectly encapsulating the Lexus theme of ‘designing for a better tomorrow’, the project envisions a use of Agar as an alternative to the plastics found in packaging. Given that packaging for a product is often discarded immediately after purchase, Agar Plasticity hopes to create a solution that is eco-friendlier. Agar itself is derived from nature, and when treated a certain way, can be molded into containers, trays, and films that can replace single-use plastics. When discarded, the Agar can easily degrade in water or land, turning into nutrition for microorganisms and helping reduce waste. Japan-based design-trio AMAM is currently working to get larger institutions and corporations to look into the use of Agar as a safe plastic-alternative.

Inaho by Hideki Yoshimoto and Yoshinaka Ono (2013 Grand Prix Winner)

Yet another example of how lighting can be more of an experience, Inaho captures the tranquil beauty of watching rice-plants sway in the breeze. Created by Japanese duo Hideki Yoshimoto and Yoshinaka Ono, Inaho captures a strong Japanese cultural element, creating something that’s not just eye-catching but also rooted in history. The lights come mounted on tall, flexible metal rods, which gently lean towards people as they approach it. The interactive element doesn’t just make the Inaho interesting in a tactile sense, it also creates a wonderful series of moving highlights and shadows as the rice-plant-inspired lamps lean in your direction as you approach them, prompting you to move closer. The word Inaho literally translates to ‘a ear of rice’ in Japanese.

Submissions are being accepted until October 11th, 2020.

Alexa Guard Plus Can Bark at Home Intruders

This past week, Amazon revealed a slew of new gadgets to upgrade your smart home setup. Among them is Guard Plus, a premium version of its Guard security service that lets you use your Echo speakers and Echo displays as home security devices. The system can do lots to improve home security, including the ability to make burglars think you have a dog even if you don’t.

Guard Plus can work with outdoor cameras and smart doorbell cameras to detect motion outside of your home, and then to play the sound of dogs barking when someone approaches. I speak from personal experience that the sound of barking dogs makes strangers think twice before even coming up the stairs to my front door, so this could definitely be a useful crime deterrent. Guard Plus can also alert you to sounds like footsteps, glass breaking, doors closing, or a smoke alarm when you’re away from home and play back the sound on your smartphone so you can decide if it’s something to be worried about and to contact the service’s emergency helpline for assistance.

In addition, Guard Plus makes it easy to call for help in an emergency, even if you’re incapacitated. When you say  “Alexa, call for help!” it will automatically route you to an emergency response agent to help request an ambulance, police, or fire department, completely hands-free.

Guard Plus will launch later in 2020 at a price of $4.99 per month or $49 per year. If you’re interested, you can register to be notified when it launches over on the Amazon website.

[via Engadget]

This natural air purifier uses a miniature forest to rapidly clean your atmosphere!

Well, if you can’t go to the forest to breathe clean air, how about you bring the forest to your house?? The Briiv is a household terrarium, but more importantly, it’s a fresh take on air-filtration that ditches those HEPA filters and UV lights for something more natural.

Here’s a fact not many people know; HEPA filters aren’t recyclable and they don’t biodegrade. 6000 tonnes of HEPA filters find their way into landfills each year and they take millennia to decompose. While using them in medical equipment and PPE makes sense, the Briiv aims to shift the perception that human-manufactured plastic filters are needed in domestic air purifiers. Unlike artificial HEPA filters, the Briiv uses plants and plant-based filtration systems that are just as effective at tackling air pollution, but need absolutely no maintenance or watering. They generate zero artificial waste, are completely biodegradable and offer a healthy, natural and aesthetic alternative that’s as good as having a mini-forest in your house.

With the design that looks like a cross between a terrarium and an Apple Homepod, the Briiv is a modern-looking air purifier that adds a touch of green to your apartment. The filter comes with a special, sustainably-grown, dried moss on the inside that naturally purifies the air by trapping harmful particles, killing microorganisms, and releasing clean, fresh air. Sitting underneath the moss are multiple bio-filters, including one made from loosely woven coconut fibers, another filter comprising carbon-infused hemp, and a woolen microfiber filter that together combine to filter particles as small as PM 0.3 while also trapping and neutralizing bacteria, molds, and other volatile organic compounds to give you air that’s been freshened naturally, in a filter that’s designed to be the equivalent of as many as 3000 house plants in one device.

The Briiv, ultimately, is a winning combination of nature-inspired design and consumer-tech. The purifier comes with smart-features that let you power it with your voice, allowing you to either use your smart speaker to perform a deep-purification cycle, or use the Briiv’s app to set on and off timers on your phone. A simple 1-hour run-time on the Briiv does the job of a miniature forest, rapidly cleansing the air you breathe by helping trap microparticles, microorganisms, and odors. The Briiv doesn’t need to be watered or kept in the sun, and the replaceable filters can easily be composted instead of being thrown in the trash. It does the job of a well-engineered air-purifier, while all along being bio-friendly and adding a beautiful touch of greenery and nature to your space!

Designers: Sean Sykes & James Whitfield

Click Here to Buy Now: $317 $444 (28% off). Raised over $290,000.

Briiv – World’s Most Sustainable Air Purifier

Powered by NASA technology the Briiv uses 100% renewable and natural materials to filter the air in your home or office environment, creating clean, safe air so you live healthier, sleep better and breathe easier.

What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?

Pollutants don’t just come from traffic and factories. Tiny particles and harmful gases are released into your home every time you cook, light candles, use cleaning products and even play with your pets. Briiv helps to remove these so you can enjoy life to its fullest.

How Does Briiv Compare to Using Traditional House Plants?

Plants are amazing, there’s no denying that, however, Briiv is as powerful as 3,043 medium size houseplants. So you can enjoy the benefits of having plants in your home without the hassle.

The Problem with Current Filters

15,000,000 air filters were purchased in 2019 and the filter needs to be replaced every 6-8 months.

Briiv is Designed to Return to the Earth

Using four fully biodegradable filters, Briiv uses the natural micro-structures of moss, coconut, carbon and wool to filter air, the way nature intended. These filters are all plastic free and degrade in a matter of months into harmless soil.

Feel Closer to Nature

Inspired by the British countryside, Briiv uses natural colors, textures and materials to connect you with nature, whilst hidden within, a wealth of features works hard to keep your air clean:

Internet of Things

Optional integration for Alexa and Google Assistant if you’d like to integrate Briiv into your smart home.

Control on the Go

Briiv has a smart, simple app, so you can set timers and turn Briiv off remotely. Briiv is a smart device for a modern home and is compatible with IOS and Android devices.

An intelligent app that tracks your filter usage as it runs, so you don’t have to estimate or worry about when it’s time to change it.

Filter Stages

Moss: Natural dried moss captures large particulate matter like dust and animal dander from the air.

Coconut: The humble coconut provides us with a bounty of uses and its husk traps harmful substances from the air.

Carbon: Activated charcoal pulls odors from the air, so Briiv not only cleans the air, it smell better too.

Sheep: Briiv’s secret weapon. Developed to be used by NASA as air filters in the Orion capsule, this wool filter is as effective as a plastic HEPA filter but its 100% biodegradable.

The wool is sourced from New Zealand, from an amazing breed of sheep called Astino. They are very well cared for and all of our farmers practice safe and humane shearing to keep the sheep happy and healthy.

Briiv wool filters have been scientifically tested by Nelson Labs in the USA, using the following tests:

Particle Filtration Efficiency – Results: Filter captured 99.85% of 0.1um latex particles.
Bacterial Filtration Efficiency – Results: Filter removed 99.99902% of the bacteria.
Cytotoxicity – Results: Test gave a pass.

The manufacturers of the wool have also put together a video using a test rig showing the effectiveness of the wool that can be viewed on Vimeo here.

Briiv will effectively improve the air quality in a 36m² (387ft²) living space in just one hour.

Replacing the Filter

To replace the carbon and wool filters, simply lift off the glass with the coconut filter in place. It’s as simple as that.

Rethinking Plastic

Instead of opting for oil-based plastics, Briiv uses a new bio-plastic derived from elephant grass which is grown where agricultural crops can’t be. This crop captures carbon in the process and fully biodegrades.

This is seen as far superior to recycling as standard plastics can only be reused a few times before so they have to be put to landfills.

The power of the humble coconut. The fibres are from the outer husk of the nut and have been used since ancient times, reformed into a patented structure to make an environmentally friendly filter that easily returns to nature.

Parts that are not biodegradable, such as the glass, can be easily recycled. This leaves only the electrical components. They hope to be able to replace these in the future with more sustainable alternatives when technology allows us to do so in a safe way.

Click Here to Buy Now: $317 $444 (28% off). Raised over $290,000.

Google-inspired designs that every techie would love to get their hands on!

With Apple and Amazon continuing to surprise us with their inventions, we are waiting in anticipation of their September 30th event. While the company usually unveils the new Pixel sometime in mid-October, the virtual event is set to be where the company unveils the latest and greatest Pixel phones, along with a new Nest smart speaker and a new Chromecast. The rumors of these products have been floating around and while we wait, here is a list of designs that we surely hope to see come true, if not in this release, but in the next one at least!

The Pixel smartphone went onto redefine what a pure Android experience could look like, becoming the gold standard in the Android OS experience. James Tsai’s Google Pixel Smartwatch concept does the same for the Android Wear OS. Embodying Google’s playful-serious aesthetic, the Pixel Smartwatch concept comes in a traditional round format, and in a variety of quirkily named colors. The Android Wear OS logo displays clearly on the always-on display of the watch, transforming into a colorful set of watch hands every time you look at it to read the time. The watch comes with Google’s top-notch voice AI, all of Google’s native apps, and a heart-rate monitor on the back, which ties in well with Google’s plan of acquiring Fitbit and their entire fitness-tech ecosystem. I wouldn’t be surprised if this wearable concept were entirely waterproof too, just to fire shots at Apple!

The Chromecast 3 concept by Roel Heyninck isn’t a hockey-puck as much as it’s a hub. Designed with the stylings of the Apple TV box, Heyninck’s Chromecast 3 box looks pretty nifty, and in many ways follows Google’s product and CMF language. The box connects to a television via a single USB-C connection that has the ability to pull power as well as push media. Using the Chromecast 3 is as simple as pressing the ‘cast’ button on your phone or tablet and forgetting about it. If you want to interact with or navigate through media, the Chromecast 3 comes with a pretty slick remote control that features 4 buttons and a touchpad on the top, and a standby button on the bottom that you can use to switch the TV on or off.

Meet the Pixel Vector, a smartphone concept by Ferdinand Aichriedler that challenges the notion that phones need to have thick bezels, hole-punches, or notches to have front-facing cameras. The Pixel Vector cleverly uses the negative space between the phone and the screen’s corner to throw in not one, but two front-facing cameras. The phone’s sharp edges and display’s rounded corners provide the perfect triangular negative spacing for cameras, spacing them out too, so they can perform 3D scanning required for facial recognition.

ODD-ON’s cute silicone skin transforms your Google Nest Mini into an adorable tabletop cat that, for once, responds to commands instead of maintaining an air of feline attitude! Titled the Caat, the outer body for the Google Nest Mini props your speaker up so it’s pointing forwards, rather than upwards. This allows the Nest Mini to look rather adorable as it sits patiently on your mantelpiece, responding to all your questions and commands.

The partnership between Belkin and Devialet is interesting for a number of reasons. Belkin is famed for making some of the best charging cables, hubs, adapters, and extension boxes on the market, while Devialet still reigns as the most awarded audio company in the world. The companies announced their collaboration at CES this year, with the Soundform Elite, which happens to be Devialet’s second smart-speaker after its collab with Huawei. The Soundform Elite works just like any smart-speaker, albeit with a docking area for your phone. Equipped with a fast-charging 10W Qi charger, the Soundform Elite has the unique feature of being able to charge a wide variety of compatible Android phones as well as iPhones, making it a worthy pick for Apple enthusiasts too.

Google's Stadia Controller gets a radical redesign!

Google's Stadia Controller gets a radical redesign!

If Sundar Pichai walked up on stage and unveiled Daniel Cheung’s concept of the Stadia controller, I’d absolutely believe that it was completely meant to be. Stadia is a revolutionary concept that demands a revolutionary controller, and Daniel Cheung’s Playdream is that controller! Ergonomic, but non-organic, the Playdream comprises a tubular design that instantly stands apart as unique, and at the same time, comfortable. Designed for an absolutely robust grip, the Playdream has all the necessary controls, from the buttons to a redesigned D-Pad, to the triggers, Google button, and even two extra buttons on the inside of the grip.

The PixelBloc is comprised of multiple 2500mAh battery-units that connect together using a USB-C port system. The main bloc, which sits at its base, comes with a USB-C port and two USB-A ports, while subsequent blocs only house the USB-C ports. This means the modules need to be plugged into the main bloc to charge them, creating a foolproof system, and the charger is smart enough to recognize them when they’re plugged in together. The PixelBloc uses sequential charging and discharging, which means when the entire unit is assembled, the main bloc is always recharged first (so you always know which bloc to use when you’re low on power) after which subsequent bloc-units get recharged. When you’re using the entire power-bank to juice up your device, power is pulled from the last bloc first, discharging it from the back to the front and maintaining the system so you’re never left with arbitrarily charged individual bloc-units.

google_link_2

google_link_3

Designer Michio Papers created a bridge between the two faces of the tech industry- smart homes tech and laptops, to revive the laptop and the tablet while giving them the makeover they needed. The Google Link is everything you, your workspace, and your home needs. Made of multiple separate gadgets that come together, the Google Link serves all purposes. When assembled together, it’s your dedicated smart-home device capable of connecting via the internet to all other IoT gadgets in your house. Separate it and things get really interesting. You have a speaker dock that makes the Google Link your very own AI Assistant while being a wireless speaker too.

Google started a digital wellbeing initiative in an attempt to reduce the time we spend on our smart devices and to be honest, they’re pretty cool ideas! One of them is the Envelope cover. London-based design studio Special Projects came up with the Envelope cover, hoping we would break away from the digital world, and enter the real world…even for a while. Though it only works for the Pixed 3A at the moment, the cover is easily accessible! You download the app called Envelope on your Play Store App, print out the template for the envelope, and assemble it right at home! All you need is some glue to patch it up together. Once you slide your phone into the case, it transforms your phone into a much simpler one.

Designed to enhance the user’s lifestyle, the G flask by Yoonjae Song is a pure white cylinder with a rounded cap, ensuring a perfect hand grip. Shaped like a capsule, the clean aesthetics of the G flask instantly soothe you down. Devoid of any digital screens or lighting, sipping from it should be a pretty calm experience. Crafted from durable stainless steel, the flask guarantees to keep your water fresh at all times, as it is incapable of retaining any odors or flavors. Accompanied by an app, utilizing the flask couldn’t get any easier! It not only tracks your daily water intake, and how much water you’ve consumed so far, but you can also use it to set goals and compete with your friends, to see who reaches their intake for the day first!

For the people who don’t know what this game is about (basically Safari users), the game starts as a webpage that tells you that your browser is offline. Press any key, and the game initiates, and you’re tasked with getting the dinosaur to jump over cacti, and under flying pterodactyls. Your high score gets recorded on the top corner. Bell’s toy set captures the key elements of the game. While there are no pterodactyls in the box set (also because they make their appearance later on in the game), the set actually stays incredibly true to its inspiration. You’ve got the dinosaur, four different cacti, and the box is designed to serve as the backdrop too! The box comes with a reversible design, with the starting message on the face, and the game-over message on the back… and the jumping Dino is reversible too!

Amazon Echo Show 10’s swiveling screen is a logical and worthy upgrade!

At the hardware release event, Amazon just dropped the successor to the Echo Show. Called Echo Show 10, it’s roughly 20 bucks costlier than the previous 10.1-inch brick, but is more life-like and productive. This smart assistant comes with a similar 10.1-inch full-HD screen (two tweeters and a woofer) that’s capable of rotating as you move around in front of it.

The movement is only kicked off when you interact with it – whether by saying “Alexa” – to trigger the voice assistant – or by touching the screen. You can be confident you’re not being followed around the room when you’ve not authorized the device to do so. Echo Show 10 employs audio beamforming technology and computer vision to know where you are in the room and then silently face the screen toward you. Taking Amazon by its word, the device does all the data processing locally without sending it out to the cloud. If you had a reservation of the Show trying to manipulate data – this may just be reassuring. The screen rotation, which is like having a person move with you when you’re in a conversation, can come convenient while multitasking. Whether you’re on a video call, preparing a meal or in the middle of your yoga session with a live coach – the display will ensure you’re always in the frame. The intelligent 13MP camera on the screen can pan and zoom spontaneously to keep you in focus and centered at all times. In addition to swiveling automatically, the screen can also be adjusted manually. But this is not something you’d be doing very often for it will defy the very purpose of taking home the Echo Show 10, whose biggest new change is the screen the auto rotates.

Reportedly, smart displays as the Echo Show 10 are majorly used in kitchens during the most chaotic times of the day – mornings and evenings. So, if you have a smart assistant you can voice command to show you the security cameras, control lights, adjust the thermostat, play your favorite show, or read you trending news, without having to reach out to its display – its constantly in your view – you are definitely sorted. For its uncompromising $250 price tag (particularly if you consider the $230 Echo Show) and the swiveling nature, the Echo Show is worth your money. For its design to appeal to the environmentally conscious, the Echo Show 10 is made from 30-percent post-consumer recycled plastic, 100-percent recycled die-cast aluminum, and is covered in 100 percent post-consumer recycled fabric.

If this is not enough to have you sold, the Echo Show 10 pairs with the Alexa app to keep track of what’s happening back home in your absence. Control the remotely rotatable screen to see what’s going on in your living space or with elders or kids at home. And, when you’re tired or don’t want the device to follow you anymore – just close the built-in camera shutter manually or have Alexa turn off motion to disconnect the microphones and camera until next time.

Designer: Amazon

The do not disturb doorbell twists to give keep visitors away!

Imagine this, you’re wrapping up an important business call, hitting your stride on a deadline-based project, or just catching up with some good friends when suddenly the doorbell rings and interrupts the moment. You have three options: one, you can tune the sound out until it goes away, two, you can greet whoever’s at the door at the risk of losing quality time, or, you can install a doorbell that decides for you. The designers at Ontario-based 1Byone Products Inc. recently won 2020 iF Design Award in Discipline: Professional Concept with their ‘Do Not Disturb’ Doorbell, which thankfully provides the third option. While the residential device is not yet on the market, the targeted development time could take up to a year.

The concept is simple: by displaying the green or red button on the DND doorbell’s exterior dial, users can either let visitors know that they’re around and available or encourage them to come back once they’re free to chat. When the doorbell’s button is set on ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode, visitors will feel discouraged from, well, disturbing. Better yet, if the visitor decides to ignore the message, then the doorbell still will not produce any sound despite the visitor pressing on. Of course, when the design is turned to its opposite setting, it works exactly as the common doorbell would.

Along with the waterproof, outdoor dial, the designers with 1Byone Products Inc. designed a wireless transmitter that can be plugged in any three-prong outlet throughout the house. The design is extremely user-friendly, which only enhances the product’s basic functions. The three-prong transmitter’s dual-horn speaker produces a clearer and more concentrated doorbell ring. The dial that adheres to your chosen door is purposefully and visually simplistic, appealing to the product design’s universality. Whichever color the dial’s holes reveal, 1Byone designed the product so that the ‘Do Not Disturb’ message can be seen from all angles and in any light, which only enhances the doorbell’s user-friendliness. So, whether you’re self-quarantining for personal reasons or rushing to meet your deadline, there’s no need to explain, just turn the dial.

Designers: 1Byone Products Inc.