As a self-aware fashion nut, it’s only natural that I’d be a sucker for anything design or technology related. If it changes how I think about a certain entity, is simply cool for the sake of being cool, or just straight up blows my mind, I die for it. The good news is that there’s an impeccable selection of diminutive tech and design concepts to successfully satisfy my obsession. This week, for BULLETT’s first edition of Design Roundup Weekly, I’ve gathered up five favorite tech and design concepts.
1. AIRE BY JOAO PAULO LAMMOGLIA
Remember the time you were about to go on a pavement-pounding run, only to find that your iPod is at 5%? Well, designer João Paulo Lammoglia may have found a solution. AIRE is a mask that converts wind energy (provided by the wearer’s breath) into electricity for the recharging of small electronic devices. Inside the unit there are small wind turbines that make the conversion, and the energy is transferred through a cable to one’s small electronic device. AIRE can be used in any situation, indoors or outdoors. It can be used while you sleep, walk, run, or read a book, for example. Winner of a Red Dot Award in the Design Concept category, AIRE encourages the use of renewable energy in place of electrical energy. Could this lead to us one day powering our cars with wind?
2. LOGITECH’S WASHABLE KEYBOARD
Once again, we have a perfectly executed design concept for one of those problems we’ve all experienced. Mucking up your keyboard with food and drink. Recently, Logitech unveiled its new K310 washable keyboard with a snazzy waterproof design that can be scrubbed and submerged in up to 11 inches of water. The keyboard characters are laser printed and UV-coated, so they don’t fade after multiple washes or cleaning. This awesome piece will be available in August in the US for $39.99 (compatible Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7) and is due for an October release in Europe.
3. ONE PEN, ONE PHONE
Now this is what I call some serious next level shit forward thinking. Who doesn’t love a concept phone? ONE is a smartphone fashioned as a pen, and very cleverly designed by Yejin Jeon for the iF Designs Talents competition. Inside, it holsters a flexible, 6-inch display and “basically satisfies the needs of consumers who are looking for a lighter phone without compromising on the size of the display screen or applications,” says Radhika Seth of Yanko Design. The display is ejected from the pen-like body like a scroll, and the body holds a camera sensor near the top, a speaker opposite the image sensor, and a micro USB port at the bottom. Most likely an improbable device, but pretty sweet nonetheless, no?
4. AN APP THAT TURNS YOUR IPHONE PICS INTO $
Foap AB is a Swedish app developing company that has created a photography iOS app that allows photographers to earn some extra cash by selling their iPhone photos. In “Foap,” photographers simply upload their photos—which must be approved by developers (no photos can be edited or filtered)—into the “Foap Marketplace,” where they can then sell each photo for $10 a pop ($5 goes to you and $5 to the developers) to companies for commercial or editorial use. Foap went into open beta three months ago, and already has thousands of happy users making decent cash for iPhone pictures. Foap is currently available for free on the iTunes Store.
5. MAN BUILDS HIMSELF A PAIR OF BIONIC HANDS
Now here comes the heart and soul of this week’s round-up. Sun Jifa is a Chinese farmer who lost both his hands after a homemade bomb—which he was making for blast fishing—exploded prematurely. After this life changing experience and no money to afford the bill for proper prosthetics provided by the hospital, Sun Jifa used his DIY prowess to build himself a pair of bionic ones (because who wouldn’t, right?). According to The Daily Mail, Sun spent eight years creating prototypes using scrap metal before finally designing a pair of steel prosthetic hands that he can grip and hold thanks to a series of wires and pulleys inside the shell. “I made this from scrap metal for virtually nothing,” he said, “there is no need to pay hospitals a fortune.” Just goes to show, you don’t need a fancy budget or years of education to design something cool.