This Minecraft-inspired modular building system lets you customize your dream cabin!

We’ve gotten creative with how we’ve passed the time in quarantine. Some of us have redesigned our entire homes, while some of us have taken up a new hobby. And you can find the rest of us sprawled on the couch playing video games or binge-watching sitcoms. In a sort of ode to how we’ve adapted to quarantine, JaK Studio, an architecture, and design firm based in London and Sarajevo, has designed HOM3, a customizable and modular Minecraft-inspired home-building system.

In creating HOM3, which stands for ‘Home Office Module Cubed,’ the designers at JaK Studio felt inspired by the home-building system featured in Minecraft– the best part of playing video games. To build your own multifunctional HOM3 cabin, JaK Studio is currently working with game designers from AI Interactive to make the process of creating the floor plan feel and look very similar to the process of building your Minecraft home. HOM3 essentially turns the virtual home design process of Minecraft into reality. Speaking to this, founding partner of JaK Studio, Jacob Low says,

“During [the] lockdown, our team became fascinated by the principles of games such as Minecraft which allow people to transform and customize their environments, and we began experimenting with the idea of customizable, modular micro-architecture. HOM3 transports what we found in the gaming world to the physical space, offering a really unique design solution for modern living.”

Committed to artfully showcasing all that we’ve done and learned in quarantine including our environmental impact, the modules built by JaK Studio are made from wood and cork material that has been sustainably sourced or recycled. Additionally, each module is designed following Passivhaus insulating principles, ultimately making for a self-sustained and contained home. The modules that comprise HOM3’s building system start off with a fundamental block module that measures 1.5 x 1.5 meters, which costs $1,193. I wouldn’t mind spending some quality quarantine time here.

Designer: JaK Studio

Future owners of HOM3 have the chance to set the size, shape, configuration, and location of their modular cabin.

HOM3 was designed to create a physical space where owners can spend time how they so choose– whether it be a spa, gym, bedroom, or office space.

The interior is also up to the future owner to configure. Depending on the size of the cabin, users can create space for working, exercising, and sleeping.

JaK Studio’s HOM3 system allows owners to create cabins fit for city spaces as well.

The modular layout of HOM3 allows the cabins to be placed anywhere.

The most basic, and smallest sized block modules can also be used in busy city spaces for private meeting places or rest spots.

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

This limited edition Cyberpunk coated gaming couch-desk is here to up your gaming ante!

If quarantine has done one thing right, it has provided the perfect excuse for couch-gamers to do what they do best – play games from the couch. With all this free time, playing video games is a sure way to help pass it by, and when some additional comfort provided by products like couch-desks come into play, gaming hours can turn into gaming marathons. With 2020 being the long-awaited year that Cyberpunk 2077 finally hit the shelves, designer Matthew Midir paid homage to CD Projekt’s Night City by bringing its retrofuturistic landscape to a limited edition Couchmaster called CYPUNK.

Couchmaster CYPUNK comes decked out with high-tech thermal print panels that feature scenes and props from Cyberpunk’s gamescape like the slick DeLorean DMC-12 parked amongst the neon street lights of Night City. In addition to the Cyberpunk-themed, memory-foam-cushioned siding, Couchmaster CYPUNK comes equipped with an extra source of power, originally made for Couchmaster’s CYCON2, that connects the couch-desk to your PC so that no matter how long or hard you play, the game will operate smoothly without lagging or connectivity issues.

While gaming from your couch is always comfortable, our spines might absorb too much pressure from leaning forward. With CYPUNK, healthy posture is encouraged by allowing users to sit back comfortably and actually relax into the couch’s cushions instead of reclining forward to meet the screen. Couchmaster’s CYPUNK comes complete with six USB 3.0 ports that allow for fast charging and lag-free connection, some extra deep pockets for storage and holding food or drinks, a support board that props your keyboard up for easy reach, and one power adapter for an optional power supply. Built from high-quality memory foam for its cushions and recycled plastic for its support board, Couchmaster CYPUNK boasts a sustainable design, while offering an ergonomic body that invites you to just keep on gaming.

Designer: Matthew Midir

This Rubik’s Cube with displays in each square may be the most innovative gaming experience of 2021

Right off the bat, the idea of a dynamic Rubik’s Cube with displays instead of colors sounds like a weirdly awesome idea. It’s fun, tactile, and has a little for people of all ages and walks of life… but most importantly, it’s unabashedly innovative. The Wowcube, as this little gizmo is called, is the brain-child of a 13-year-old YouTuber by the name of Savva Osipov. “What if to place characters and gameplay on Rubik’s Cube surface and control the game by twisting tilting and shaking,” he thought. His father, inventor, and entrepreneur, Ilya Osipov, was instantly captivated by the idea – which sort of explains exactly why the Wowcube has such an ageless appeal. Together, the father-son duo decided to put the wheels in motion and the Wowcube was born.

Designed on the framework of a 2×2 Rubik’s Cube, the Wowcube comes with tiny, high-resolution microdisplays built into each of the cube’s 24 square-shaped segments instead of your conventional colored stickers. These displays go above and beyond when it comes to gaming with the Wowcube, as you’ve also got to factor in the fact that the cube looks and functions exactly like a Rubik’s Cube would, allowing you to flip, turn, and rotate elements. This very interaction forms the framework of the Wowcube’s gaming interface, allowing you to play not by mashing buttons or pulling triggers, but by rotating parts of the cube – or as an 8-year old called it, “video Lego.”

The Wowcube comes with 8 processors on the inside (housed within the cube’s 8 individual mini-cubelets. It also runs on an open-source API that doesn’t just come with its own slew of games, but also allows people to develop their own games to run on the Wowcube. The hope is to enable practically anyone to design their own games/puzzles/learning-exercises for the Wowcube, a feature that should only help expand its appeal further! At its heart, though, the Wowcube is a brilliant fusion of traditional and modern… with a cube that’s wonderfully tactile in the way it satisfyingly clicks when you rotate it, and multiple displays that should keep you engaged for hours. Oh, and when you’re done with the Wowcube, you can just pop it onto its charging base and the cube’s individual screens become functional widgets, displaying things like the date, time, weather, notifications, and a lot more! The Nintendo Switch wishes it were this clever and innovative!

Designers: Savva & Ilya Osipov

The 90s Nintendo’s Virtual Boy gets revamped into interactive gaming headsets for the ultimate AR gaming experience!

Who remembers Virtual Boy from the ‘90s? The first three-dimensional, immersive gaming experience that was “so advanced” it couldn’t be viewed on conventional TV or LCD screens. After a successful nine-year-long streak of brilliant product design, Nintendo released Virtual Boy, code-named VR32. Unfortunately, due to weak hardware and rushed development, the first virtual reality gaming system of its kind flopped, becoming one of the worst-selling consoles of all time. Today, Virtual Boy is generally accepted as a failure on an otherwise long list of innovative successes from Nintendo, but its design still grips both gamers and designers. James Tsai, a Los Angeles-based designer, brought his creative chops to the drawing board and gave Virtual Boy a modern fine-tuning of his own.

Following the trends of today in regard to retro aesthetics and gameplay mobility, Tsai reimagined Nintendo’s virtual reality experience with Nintendo Switch Joy-Glasses. Tsai recognized Nintendo Switch’s hybridity that allows it to transform from a handheld gaming tablet to a plugged-in video game console for the television. This gives Nintendo Switch players the option of bringing a gaming console with them anywhere, making Nintendo Switch a mobile gaming device. This mobile hybridity gives the Switch a leg-up, and with today’s gamers being so nostalgic, it’s no wonder VR games like Pokémon Go are such global successes. Further, on the game’s market triumph, Tsai writes, “Successfully tapping into 1990s nostalgia, [Pokémon Go] is attracting millions of Millennials…Taking advantage of this retro hype, it’s about time to refashion existing technology and create something unique to connect with more recent generations.” And so his Joy-Glasses were born.

Snowballing off Nintendo Switch’s hybridity, through an integrated pairing feature, Tsai’s Joy-Glasses project games either to the integrated headset display or to external monitors like television or computer screens. Transition lenses also adapt to changing light when players switch between their headset display and external monitor gaming. The Joy-Glasses incorporate augmented reality and dual gameplay so that multiple users can enjoy an enhanced video game experience together. The Joy-Glasses come equipped with a built-in speaker and open-ear audio, allowing you to connect and communicate with other Joy-Glasses users. This incorporation of voice chats and social connectivity bridges the product’s augmented reality features with the gamer’s reality, delivering multi-layered interactivity. Similar to the infamous red-and-black onscreen color scheme of VR32, Tsai’s Joy-Glasses come with an infrared camera that, when switched on, turns the game and the player’s world into zones of varying degrees. MicroLED display technology fills the lenses of Joy-Glasses for better contrast, quicker response times, and energy efficiency for video games, another improvement made on the coattails of VR32’s failures. Soak in all the 90s feels and check out the rendering below.

Designer: James Tsai

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