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It's really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them.

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9:45 AM




Bio Robot Refrigerator

As promised, here are the details on the Electrolux Bio Robot Refrigerator, a concept that has been making quite a splash in the blogosphere! In lay terms, the fridge is a concept where the Bio Robot cools biopolymer gel through luminescence. A non-sticky gel surrounds the food item when shoved into the biopolymer gel, creating separate pods. The design features no doors or drawers, and the food items are individually cooled at their optimal temperature thanks to the robot. And since it can take any orientation (hung vertically, horizontally, and even on the ceiling), and can be modified in size, you can fit it in any apartment.
More details in the images…
Designer: Yuriy Dmitriev
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Electrolux Bio Robot Refrigerator by Yuriy Dmitriev
Electrolux Bio Robot Refrigerator by Yuriy Dmitriev
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Blackberry Empathy Concept Phone by Kiki Tang 1:12 PM

For their sponsored project held by RIM Blackberry at the Art Center College of Design, designers Kiki and Daniel had to incorporate an interface that integrates human emotions with the concept of social networking. The result of this exercise was the Blackberry Empathy concept. The phone is used in conjunction with a biometrics ring that is worn by the user to collect “emotional data”. Spec-wise it features a transparent OLED screen that becomes transparent when not in use and opaque during interaction. The front is all touch surface, while on the back there is a physical keyboard.
As Daniel describes the interface:
It is of course touch based and all the user’s connections are shown graphically so you can see who is connected to whom. Each contact has an avatar that is encompassed by two colored rings. The inner colored ring shows the contact’s previous emotional state, and the outer ring represents the contact’s current emotional state. It is important to show the shift in emotions in order to see how an event has affected that contact.
Another important feature that we felt was important was the “Emotional Health Chart”. This chart would monitor the user’s emotional health through an indefinite period of time. One would be able to see how a certain event, or phone call/ message has affected the user. Obviously, if the chart shows someone is always upset, there would be a problem… If permitted, a user would be able to view other user’s charts as well.
Designers: Kiki Tang & Daniel Yoon

Electrolux Bio Robot Refrigerator by Yuriy Dmitriev 8:08 PM





Bio Robot Refrigerator

As promised, here are the details on the Electrolux Bio Robot Refrigerator, a concept that has been making quite a splash in the blogosphere! In lay terms, the fridge is a concept where the Bio Robot cools biopolymer gel through luminescence. A non-sticky gel surrounds the food item when shoved into the biopolymer gel, creating separate pods. The design features no doors or drawers, and the food items are individually cooled at their optimal temperature thanks to the robot. And since it can take any orientation (hung vertically, horizontally, and even on the ceiling), and can be modified in size, you can fit it in any apartment.
More details in the images…
Designer: Yuriy Dmitriev
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Electrolux Bio Robot Refrigerator by Yuriy Dmitriev
Electrolux Bio Robot Refrigerator by Yuriy Dmitriev
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E Rope - Skipping Rope That Recharges Battery by Kyung Guk Lee 1:53 AM

Skip To More Power

Besides being good for your flubber, skipping seems to be a good way for harnessing energy to recharge batteries. I know this idea is not so new; we have seen how jumping a rope can power a torch and juice batteries. However design is not only about problem solving, but also about refining existing solutions, hence the E Rope. Refinement comes in the form of aesthetics and interface. Both look gorgeously done in this one. Moreover, the video says it all…..

Designer: Kyung Guk Lee
You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video
E Rope - Skipping Rope That Recharges Battery by Kyung Guk Lee
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DIY Player by Shao Wen 8:21 PM

DIY Player

Simply called the DIY Player, this device is quite intriguing. The concept is simple, we as humans lust for a lot of shiny gadgets and hunger for innovation. DIY Player combines our greed for Cell phones, PMPs, gaming consoles and other such gadgets into one. It comes with a base screen and has detachable modules to it. Hook up the keypad to make it a phone or swap it for the gaming controls. Awesome idea, neat renders and a whole lot of imagination going on here!

Designer: Shao Wen
DIY Player by Shao Wen
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Google Vitamin Concept by Andrew Seunghyun Kim! 8:42 PM



The Vitamins In Google Are So Good For You

Brand power is everything in business and some people know how to milk it best. SonyMicrosoft,Apple, and our favorite Google…powerful names that carry a lot of weight. In the concept-design-world, the trick to get noticed is not to associate the brands with the obvious. For example, concept  Sony gadgets have been done to death, but a Google Envelope will attract more attention. Likewise having jaded Hollywood actresses sell fountain of youth pills pales in comparison to Google selling Vitamins.

With the Google Vitamins*, Andrew proposes a suite of Vitamin pills that are supported by apps, which recommend and dispense the accurate dosage, as per your body requirements. It’s a daily affair with reminders via phone alerts and emails; all to promote a better, healthy life.
Makes me wonder if I should be looking forward to Apple range of breakfast cereal, or will that be too obvious?
*Disclaimer: This is a student project and does not reflect the views or plans of Google.
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Google Vitamin Concept by Andrew Seunghyun Kim

Kitchens And Appliances Of The Future - Announcing The Top 25 Entries of Electrolux Design Lab 2010 7:54 PM



The Top 25 Entries of Electrolux Design Lab 2010

It’s not always easy to predict the future, but if we are asked to design for a particular scenario, then the job gets easy. For its 2010 competition, Electrolux Design Lab went with the theme: The 2nd Space Age; this essentially translating to designing a home environment for the year 2050, when 74% of the global population are predicted to live in urban areas. Student designers had to predict how people will prepare and store food, wash clothes, and do dishes. Quite a task but plenty of surprises from across the globe! Here are the Finalist 25, the countdown has begun!

Before I give you the randomly listed 25 designs, here’s a bit of background on the theme: The idea is to design an appliance or a suite of appliances that will help combat the space crunch, limited resources plus advocate energy savings at the same time.
25) A- Laundry: Community Laundry Concept by Kai Wai Lee
Kitchens And Appliances Of The Future - Announcing The Top 25 
Entries of Electrolux Design Lab 2010
A communal laundry for the entire apartment block! Space saving indeed but what makes it different from the usual Laundromats is that there are individual laundry baskets for each family to take home, fill up with the dirty clothes, to bring back and wash.
24) Bio Robot Refrigerator by Yuriy Dmitriev
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The Bio Robot fridge cools biopolymer gel through luminescence and uses non sticky, odorless gel to envelope stored food as individual pods. Sans doors and drawers, the fridge can be oriented vertical or horizontal, as per the home requirements.
23) Bio Tank, Robotic ‘FishWasher’ by Akifusa Nakazawa
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The Bio Tank does the dishes, is a pet and a composter…all-in-one! The Robotic fish cleans up the dish, turns the food and grime into bio fuel. It filters to clean the water, meaning no replacing the dirty water either…coz there won’t be any!
22) Bx7 Preparation Unit by Losif Mihailo
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Don’t pack in vitamin pills like Samantha in Sex and The City 2, instead gorge on capsules of zinc, calcium, magnesium, or carbohydrates with water to for nutritious juice!
21) Clean Closet – All in One Laundry Concept by Michael Edenius
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This is the closet of the future so it has the right to include cleaning facilities in it! So basically when you hang your clothes, the internal scanner scans it for dirt and cleans it accordingly and at the end of the cycle you got fresh, hung clothes in a closet.
20) In-home Clothing Printer by Joshua Harris
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It’s the future and you absolutely have the right to print and wear your own clothes. I wonder if this means I can print my own Dior Couture and LV fashion when I’m in 2050!
19) Community Fridge by Pedro Sanin Perez
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Taking community living to another level is this share-your-fridge concept. Each house gets its own space in a large community refrigerator that takes charge of the refreshments and groceries. Crunch in your code, details of what you want to snack on and your personal fridge dispenses the goodies via the common dispensing shaft. I know many of you may want to bicker about this concept, coz it’s got many pros and cons; I’ll put this one up as an individual post with details, later. So hold your breath till then.
18) Dismount Washer – Wash & Go Laundry by Lichen Guo
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The Dismount Washer combines the laundry basket and the washing machine drum into one. Basically you hook up the washing drum onto the wall mountable motor (or ‘energy stick’) and let it do its business. The concept addresses only the space-crunch aspect of the modern world.
17) Eco Cleaner by Ahi Andy Mohsen
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As discussed earlier, the Eco Cleaner cleans the dishes and turns the dirt to compost for plants. It also predicts a future where meals will be more easier to cook as capsules!
16) Elements Modular Kitchen by Mathew Gilbride
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All-In-One Kitchen Shelving is a modular system with wall-mounted appliances that provide flexible modes of cooking, refrigeration, air conditioning, lighting, and environmental design. All this so that you have more prime space to call home! More details on this cool project soon!
15) External Chilling – External Refrigerator by Nicolas Hubert
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This refrigerator is a unit meant to be installed outdoors, as in the balcony. It’s meant to take advantage of the changing weather; in winters the low temps outdoors require the fridge to consume lesser energy to keep foods fresh and during the summers, solar panels harness the goodness of the sun!
14) Freedge – The Inside-Out Fridge by Matthew McNaughton
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Quite similar to the External Chilling, Freedge too is based on the concept of harnessing the goodness of the winter months to the food’s advantage. However this design sees the iteration of a pull out drawer rather than wall mounting.
13) GAIA Wall Mounted Air Purification by Anit Kumar
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Anit from India is probably too aware of the health issue thanks to our polluted environment. Dust and grime are a part of our daily routine here. His offering to the Design Lab Competition is the GAIA Root, a wall mounted ‘personal ecosystem’ that creates energy from a living wall of plants providing air circulation, air purification and temperature control. Hot, humid and dusty Mumbai so needs this!
12) The Snail Micro Induction Heating System by Peter Alwin
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Using high density sugar crystal battery for power, the Snail heats up food via magnetic induction. Latching onto utensils externally, the appliance uses its inbuilt sensors to detect the type of food and thus set the heating time and intensity.
11) The Inflower – Small Laundry Cleaning Units by Jianjiang Yin
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Inflower is this compact handheld unit that works as a cleaner of stains sans water. Solar powered, the unit uses nano technology to clean clothes and even doubles up as an air purifier for stored clothes.
10) Instinct Vacuum Cleaner by Berty Bhuruth
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The Sheep-like Cleaner is a robotic vacuum cleaner concept that visualizes the room it has to clean in 3D and then charts its course of action. It will even satisfy your cravings for a robotic pet! Just Kidding!
9) The Kitchen Hideaway by Daniel Dobrogorsky
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Virtual Reality comes to the kitchen! Imagine thinking of a delicious 3-course meal and robotic chefs in a communal kitchen laboring over the stove to cook it! That’s the future..2050! Headset, imagination and obedient robots is all that you need.
8 ) Lupe Hand Held Washing Machine by Il-seop So
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I’m biased but I simply adore the idea of washing, ironing & drying in one go! Lesser time spent on cleaning means more on the computer for me!
7) Mesh Cooker – Expandable Oven & Hob by Lucian Cucu
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The Mesh Cooker is a portable device that uses retractable aluminum and expandable Teflon to a variety of foods. The Mesh Cooker can be placed on a table or anywhere near a socket to plug it in. The cooker doubles up as an oven with a cooking plate – heating food within or on top depending on how you like it. When not in use the Mesh Cooker folds away in to a 30 x 10 cm space.
6) MESO- Food Injection by Bogdan Ionita
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I’m a little spooked by the Meso, but I guess it has to do with my fear for needles. What the Meso proposes is a device that directly injects nutrients to your blood stream after determining what food groups you require. This may be ok for the folks in 2050, but I’d still want to bite into a juicy burger…It’s got all the nutrition I need!
5) Space Saving Kitchen Range – Modular Kitchen Appliance by Shin Woosup
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What a wonderful idea, one modular appliance that is efficient enough to prepare the entire breakfast. A toaster, a kettle and an induction hob, that’s what the Modular Kitchen Appliance is all about!
4) Preserved Egg Sweep Robot by Kai Dung
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Four Balls, no pun intended, clean up your home for you; recharge at a base station and behave like tennis balls on the clay court. Confused? Don’t be, I’m talking about the Preserved Egg Sweep Robot. Enjoy the service while you can.
3) The Drum Washing Machine by Andras Suto
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Another heavy-duty Communal Laundry System that allows the community to share the washing facilities. Basically it features an extractable washing machine drum that doubles up as a laundry basket for transportation between home and wash-area.
2) Zephyr Integrated Laundry System by Dulyawat Wongnawa
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Zephyr is a storage unit that cleans clothes using ‘Airwash’ technology (with ozone being created to remove bacteria and odors, as currently found in industrial cleaning) and steam to remove wrinkles.
1) Qumi Flexible Cooking Unit by Ilia Vostrov
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Qumi is a fold out universal kitchen set that can be used for heating, frying and steaming a wide variety of food types (including water based meals such as soup). Its supposed to be hung up on the induction charging hook, when not in use. The concept features no display or control panel, and all instructions are supposed to be processed via mobile devices in the network ready home of the future.
These were the 25 smashing projects, some of which you got a glimpse of before, some that we’ll discuss in detail later. The final countdown will have 8 finalists battling it out in September, in London. They will be invited to present their concept to a jury of expert designers. The first prize of a six-month paid internship at an Electrolux global design centre and 5,000 Euros. A second prize of 3,000 Euros and third prize of 2,000 Euros are also on offer.