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Smart String winds up the tape-measuring process

Although it would be wrong to say that tape measures are difficult to use, they can sometimes certainly be a bit fiddly – a couple of examples include the measuring of objects that aren’t straight-edged, or having to squint to count off the exact millimeters on the tape. Pocket Smart String, however, goes about measuring in a different way. Users pull a string out from the pocket calculator-sized device, laying it alongside or winding it around whatever they want to measure. The exact length is digitally displayed on the device’s LCD screen, and can then be stored in its memory for calculating things such as area or volume.Read More

Philips Sonicare DiamondClean Toothbrush charges via rinsing glass or USB

Oral hygiene has come a long way from the twigs, bird feathers and animal bones our ancestors used to clean their teeth. The first recorded toothbrush in history consisting of a twig with a frayed end called a chew stick dates back to 3,000 BC but toothbrushes have since evolved to include electric toothbrushes that move the brush head more rapidly than our puny wrists can manage. Such devices of course require charging, which usually means a charge station taking up valuable real estate on the bathroom counter alongside a rinsing glass. Now Philips has released a toothbrush that charges when placed in a glass that can still be used to rinse your mouth after brushing.Read More

ixxi - a cheap and portable way to make BIG photo prints

It's hard to say whether this sort of product will unleash a stream of creativity or a gushing torrent of poor taste. Dutch printing company ixxi has come up with an innovative, inexpensive and very nifty way to print and hang large scale artworks. By breaking the photo or design up into lots of smaller cards, which are later joined together for presentation using funky little plastic x and i shaped connectors, ixxi avoids the prohibitive expense of larger scale printing, as well as making it easy to package a wall-sized piece of art up into a small box. In fact, the same technology lets you visit an art gallery, and take a life size, photorealistic replica of your favorite wall fresco home with you, ready to reassemble and hang.Read More

'Personal Brewery' produces beer in seven days

Home beer-brewing is sort of like writing a novel – although you might like the idea of having done it, the thought of all the work involved in doing it can be off-putting. If the PR materials are to be believed, however, the WilliamsWarn brewing machine could make the process a lot easier ... and quicker. Unlike the four weeks required by most home brewing systems, it can reportedly produce beer in just seven days.Read More

Sosia is a compact multifunctional sofa bed

It's called Sosia (meaning Doppelganger) and it's the latest creation from Italian designer Emanuele Magini. This multifunctional sofa bed allows you to change appearances, style, size and functionality in as little space as possible. Comprised of soft and flexible external fabric, a big central hinge and an industrial zipper, Sosia can change shape depending on your mood or hospitality needs. With a few adjustments you can create an L-shaped conversation nook, a face-to-face sitting area, a cozy single bed, or raise the side panels to create a secret cubby or dressing room.Read More

Philips to develop LED-illuminated wallpapers

The future of ambient lighting might lay in glowing walls, according to Philips. The company has announced its plans to develop wallpapers containing integrated LEDs. The luminous sound-absorbing textiles would glow in variety of colors accordingly to the user's requirements. To develop the luminous wallpaper panels, Philips is collaborating with customizable acoustic panels manufacturer Kvadrat Soft Cells, based in Denmark. Read More

FireText Smoke Alarm texts you in the event of a fire

Smoke alarms are great for alerting people that a fire has broken out so they can get out of harm’s way and alert the authorities. But what happens if there’s no one home when a fire breaks out. Sure, you could rely on your neighbors to raise the alarm, but by that point your house and its precious contents will likely be well ablaze. The FireText Smoke Alarm will let you know if your house is going up in smoke wherever you may be by sending a text message to up to four mobile phone numbers as soon as it detects smoke.Read More

Kitchen gadget measures liquids, weighs solids in same container

If you like to cook, and are just beginning the process of acquiring basic kitchen supplies, you’re probably planning on getting a measuring cup and a kitchen scale. Should you need to maximize space, however, you can now get both devices in one unit. It’s the Maxim 2 in 1 Jug and Scales, and it lets you measure both volume and weight.Read More

Vax unveils a prototype vacuum cleaner made from cardboard

Corrugated cardboard can be traced back to the latter part of the mid-19th century, although cardboard itself goes back much farther than that. Most of us will have encountered it at some time, probably as the outer packaging of our latest digital must-have, but it has recently been breaking away from such traditional uses. Over the past few years, we've seen everything from a cardboard record player to a festival tent to a USB drive. Now, industrial design student Jake Tyler has created a prototype cardboard vacuum cleaner - the Vax ev.Read More

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