Soon, it maybe easier to "green" up your home by doing away with plastic and bringing in household items made from a natural alternative. Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) in Pfinztal, Germany are hard at work trying to make a substance called "Liquid Wood" a reality for household use. This substance, whose actual name is Arboform, is derived from a material called lignin that is leftover during the paper-making process in cellulose industries. Lignin is then mixed with fine natural fibers made of wood, hemp or flax and natural additives such as wax to derive a plastic-like material that can be use to create household items.
It seems that Arboform is already used in car parts and other durable items, but its foray into homes had been blocked by its high sulphur content. With the current research, it has been possible to reduce the sulphur content in Arborform by about 90 percent, making it much safer for use in everyday items. And eco supporters can also be happy to know it is highly recyclable. We are living in truly exciting times.
Where I come from, it is believed that a peek into the refrigerator always reveals a little bit of the owner's personality. If you can discern personality types based on leftovers, that is. But seriously, for me, the fridge is one appliance where innovation is all welcome. Especially if it is so unique and promising as the cool stackable Flatshare Fridges designed by Stefan Buchberger, a student at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.
This design proposes clever solutions under three different categories - lessening the cold air that escapes from the fridge while it is open, storing different food groups under customized environments to save energy, and having stackable compartments for different people sharing the same fridge. That's accomplished with style by the Flatshare as each fridge brick (resembling a Lego block) is much smaller than a traditional fridge, thus not only requiring lesser input energy to cool but also allowing lesser cold air to escape each time you open the door. And the bricks are stackable, meaning different compartments can be assembled (each fridge can hold up to 4 stackable compartments) and allocated to different people, say room-mates, making food storage personal and hassle free.
Best of all? This is perhaps the most good-looking and efficient fridge you can ever lay your hands on. If ever, as the Flatshare fridges are not available to us hungry masses yet.
Wow wee, a new pico projector! No, seriously WowWee Technology just announced that its latest product is available for pre-order in the U.S. and Europe. The Cinemon Swivel, their new pico projector is just as sweet as the name suggests.
Like most pico projectors, the Swivel is a portable multimedia device that allows users to watch everything from movies to slide shows anytime or anywhere. What sets the Cinemon apart from the pack is its ability to pivot on a 90 degree angle making it easy to project on almost any surface. It also uses DLP projection technology courtesy of Texas' Instruments which is supposed to give t a clearer, crisper picture than using LCD.
Living within a "connected" planet where mobile devices almost define our identities, it becomes imperative for them to have (if possible) zero downtime. I sometimes wonder if the companies which make chargers for these mobile devices make more money than those that develop the devices in the first place. Hmm...
That said, the USB TurboCharger 3400 is another portable charger that can be used exclusively to crank up your mobile devices - mp3 players, cellphones or smartphones. The TurboCharger itself stores juice (3400 mAh storage) while it is connected to your PC/laptop's USB port and can decently charge several of your devices before it runs out completely. The device is sleek and compact, with an attractive LED display that shows the level of charge remaining. It comes with a retractable cable and range of interchangeable connector heads for different mobile devices. Will cost ya $57.
Via The Red Ferret.
Whoever came up with the proverb "Use your enemy's hand to catch a snake" (apparently Persian in origin) was pretty damn smart. And must've caught a lot of snakes too. Jokes apart, this is exactly what the Dutch have invented in their long quest to ward off the danger of rising tides - a new construction project called "New Water" which has created "The Citadel", an apartment complex completely built on water.
The Citadel, designed by Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio, is built on a floating foundation of heavy concrete and will house 60 luxury apartments, a car park, a floating road to access the complex as well as boat docks. Each unit will have its own garden terrace as well as a view of the lake. The building is designed to float perfectly on the rising and falling water, and makes use of the water to cool itself as it pumped out of submerged pipes. Make that a slash of 25% on your electricity bill as water cooling techniques are far more efficient compared to the ones used by a conventional building on land.
And water surfing maybe just as simple as taking a walk around the block.
Connect it to your laptop's USB port and you can not only discover multiple hotspots as far as 1000ft away, but you can also connect wirelessly to the internet even at low signal strengths. That's the advantage which Wi-Fire, a compact, range-extending USB device from hField Technologies, Inc. promises to deliver.
Wi-Fire works by using "a powerful directional antenna, highly sensitive receiver and proprietary software", to find and enhance normal WiFi signals. So that you can peacefully surf at low signal strengths without repeatedly losing the connection, and download large files, stream audio/video at higher strengths. The device apparently uses very little power from your laptop, and is compatible with Windows XP/Vista, Mac and Linux.
At $59, it is an investment that can yield recurrent returns. The best part? Priceless mobility as it lets the virtual world roam along with you.
Via The Gadgeteer.
Isn't it a smart idea that you make use of the scorching sun itself to keep you cool during harsh summers? Why not. And it just seems so perfectly logical, I wonder why solar-powered air-conditioners haven't made themselves loud enough (not literally) to be heard by folks like us who spend shameful amounts on our electricity bills all summer.
The Frost is a concept solar-powered air-conditioner designed by industrial designer Philip Stankard that uses stored solar energy to power its fans, and refrigerator freezer energy to provide a source of low temperature for the fans' breeze to circulate into your home. While the unit itself soaks up the sun and converts that into power to operate the fans, there is a removable freezer pack that you can put into the refrigerator's freezer unit for soaking up the ice. All you then need to do is switch on the unit and insert the freezer pack to get some cold wintry breeze.
Apparently it's not only a breeze on your electricity bill, but also an air-conditioner that looks swell. As there aren't more details available yet, one would assume that since this device doesn't seem to have the luxury of temperature regulation, it would perhaps be more appropriate to term it an air-cooler. Which still doesn't take anything away from how cool a concept this is. This time, literally.
Comic Con may be over, but you can keep the aroma of awesomness alive long after the last display has been packed up and the last wanna-be Kirk has crawled back into his basement until next year. Fragrance maker Genki Wear, has made it's mark on geeky pop culture with their Star Trek-themed colognes and perfumes.
The company unleashed a new cologne on the smelly masses to commemorate Comic Con 2009. The fragrance dubbed KHAAANN!! (no, this is not a joke, this is the actual name of the cologne) after the glistening-chested, revenge seeking Khan Noonien Singh, one of Ricardo Montalbán's greatest roles. While the limited-edition fragance is undeniably cool, no woman wants to go around smelling of Star Trek and Fantasy Island.
Any guesses on why the heck would anyone think of making a bomb-shaped USB flash drive ? We got no clue either.
But apparently this design by Joel Escalona Studio was intended to create a “metaphoric and conceptual object designed to be shown on a desk or a work place, not so much to carry around”. Just as well. Imagine carrying this thing around, say when you are aboard a flight. And God help you if you were daring enough.
It is still a concept that is looking to explode - oops - find producers.