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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

Standard platform in the works for 'Internet of Things'

Whether it's a washing machine that monitors the power grid, or a fridge that you can "look" in with your smartphone, more and more devices that aren't computers can now perform actions or be controlled via the internet. The phenomenon is known as The Internet of Things, and as technology advances, so will the number of "things" involved. In the same way that the regular internet has experienced some major growing pains, some people worry that the Internet of Things could also end up getting chaotic and disorganized. To that end, a group of Norwegian researchers are developing a standard platform for online devices, so that they're all on the same playing field.Read More

The Internet of Things moves a step closer with open source, ultra-low-power JenNet-IP

Much has been written about the “internet of things.” Right now, not every human being has an IP but in the very near future, low cost smart chips will be added to every device to give it an IP address and everything in one’s life will become part of your private secure network to be monitored and controlled (and hence become smart) via a smartphone, tablet or PC. Earlier this week, Dutch-based NXP Semiconductors announced its GreenChip, which for the cost of about US$1.00, enables every light bulb to have its own wireless IP address. NXP has subsequently announced it is to make its JenNet-IP, ultra-low-power, IEEE 802.15.4-based, wireless network layer software available under an Open Source license in Q4, 2011. This development is very significant as it reduces the cost and greatly simplifies adding “smart” connectivity and two-way communication into a wide range of devices, and might well establish a cross-application standard for wireless connectivity in both residential and industrial environments. Read More

The US$47 113dB Sonic Boom Skull alarm clock with bed shaker

To many people, it seems almost inconceivable that you can sleep through the aural brutality of an alarm clock, yet a small percentage of us can indeed, mask out all but the loudest of sounds without batting an eyelid. For those people, there is now "The Skull", a Sonic Boom alarm clock on steroids that pumps out 113 db of sound, flashes bright red light from its eye sockets, and strobes bright orange from a strip of flashing lights on the front. If that's not enough to rouse you, the skull comes with the company's "Bone Crusher" bed shaker attachment to shake you back into your body. Read More

LG launches first Smart-Grid appliance: the Smart Fridge

According to legend, while Scotland's Robert the Bruce was on the run he hid in a cave and observed a spider repeatedly trying and failing to spin its web from one area to another. Although it's unlikely that electronics giant LG has been studying Scottish lore, the "if at first you don't succeed, try try again" maxim has evidently been embraced with the announcement of the upcoming release of the company's latest connected fridge. More than a decade has passed since its Internet Fridge first broke cover to a somewhat cool reception. Now LG believes that the world – and technology – is ready to welcome the Smart Refrigerator.Read More

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