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The Floating Bed

July 5, 2006 Given that we spend roughly a third of our life asleep, the humble bed has had remarkably little innovation pointed in its direction over the ages. So a new floating bed which hovers 40 cm above the floor represents a significant development in the design of sleeping apparatus. Debuting at the recent Millionaire Fair in Kortrijk, Belgium , the floating bed is the result of six years of development by Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars working with Bakker Magnetics. Using the power of permanent opposing industrial-strength magnets to enable it to float, the full scale bed can hold 900 kilograms of weight, while a smaller one fifth scale platform can safely hold 80 kilogams. Already people are beginning to see many applications for the simple yet visually arresting platforms ranging from the basis for a sofa, Coffee table, Japanese dining table and particularly in the display areas where museums and high-end visual merchandisers are beginning to conceptualise numerous creative uses.  Read More

The Simmer Stove – ingenious and simple new stove design

June 28, 2006 The best inventions are invariably the simplest, easiest to understand and those that clearly offer a solution to an important problem – inventions that the moment you see them make you wish you’d thought of them, and are so obvious that you believe you might just have done so under the right circumstances. The Simmer Stove fits the bill for such an invention and works by lowering the cooking pot into the benchtop, significantly reducing the chances of the pot being pulled or knocked off the stove and taking the heat source well away from human hands. The safety aspects seem to pale beside the confinement of the heat source which prevents heat loss to the atmosphere and significantly reduces the energy needs of the stove. Given that stoves have been with us forever … we just can’t undertand why has it taken this long to do the obvious. Romy Hockley conceived Simmer Stove and is seeking partners to develop the concept.  Read More

200 Mbps Powerline Solution

The home network you wished you had might already be there – just missing a few parts. Netgear’s new 200 Mbps Powerline HD Ethernet Adapter turns any AC electrical outlet into an HD-streaming, high-speed ethernet broadband connection, suitable for real-time high-quality video, gaming and VoIP or connecting a personal computer, digital video recorder, game console or other ethernet device to their home network. The goal for next-generation home networking technology is two-fold: to offer speeds to support high-definition devices, and to ensure uninterrupted connectivity in wireless problem areas. With Powerline devices operating at 200 Mbps, it’s now possible to stream voice, data, video and gaming throughout any building at speeds to support bandwidth-needy applications without the need to run any cabling between rooms.  Read More

The Jeppe Utzon Barbeque

June 20, 2006 The result of a two-year collaboration between Electrolux and designer Jeppe Utzon, grandson of Sydney Opera House designer, Jorn Utzon, the Electrolux Jeppe Utzon Barbeque is designed to complement the current architectural trend of clean, minimalist lines. Not surprisingly, the elegant Utzon Barbeque is constructed of premium grade materials such as ScotchBrite Stainless and Corian and comes in at the ultra-premium end of the market with a AUD$9,000 (US$6630) price tag.  Read More

Panasonic launches High Definition web-based service to offer the world's finest art and p...

June 16, 2006 Panasonic Direct is making available the world's finest high definition art and photography for use on Panasonic HDTVs through its newest web-based service, the Panasonic HD Image Gallery, it was announced yesterday. The Panasonic HD Image Gallery features an extensive library of downloadable HD image collections powered by GalleryPlayer. The content available includes masterpieces from Monet, DaVinci, and Andy Warhol to photographic imagery from National Geographic, Time Life, and 30 other leading content partners.  Read More

Guggenheim Museum to feature Zaha Hadid's Futuristic Z. Island Kitchen

June 14, 2006 When world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid was asked to design a kitchen by DuPont and Ernestomeda for the Milan Furniture Fair, the chances were that it would be very special, but it’s hard to imagine how delighted DuPont must have been with the result, which not only showcases the company’s remarkable design material Corian to perfection, but has just gone on display in the Guggenheim Museum in New York as part of a special exhibition celebrating Hadid's equally remarkable worldwide projects. The exquisite Z. Island is equipped with numerous futuristic features such as embedded heating membranes, touch control panels, sound activators and scent dispensers, LED lighting and a multimedia entertainment system, including a flat screen and an Apple Macintosh Mini for serving iTunes. Such has been the interest in the kitchen that Ernestomeda is now offering the kitchen as a special, on- request production. Be sure to see the images in the extensive photo gallery.  Read More

The Messermeister Magnablock Pro

June 6, 2006 One thing that all fine culinary artists have in common is a love of their knife collection. The knife is the primary tool of food preparation and a fine knife collection is sure sign of someone who takes pride in what comes out of their kitchen, be it a professional pastime or otherwise. The Messermeister Magnablock Pro will probably find its way into the homes of many master chefs as it’s the best way yet that we’ve seen to artistically showcase cutlery. While traditional, bulky knife blocks store knives in slots, the Magnablock Pro securely holds knives on its exterior in a beautiful fan-like shape. Cooks can easily identify each knife for the specific task at hand. Shaped at 90 degrees, the inside of the solid beech wood block consists of strong magnets that securely hold up to 10 knives, with five on each side.  Read More

Modular Treehouse Concept

May 16, 2006 .There’s something primal about tree houses that enthralls children and returns adults to long lost afternoons filled with secret adventures. We’ve previously covered the exquisite designs of the English Treehouse designer-builders PearTree which include everything from custom-designs through two storey adult treehouses, home offices and even 30 seater conference suites (extensive image gallery of fabulous treehouses here) , and we’ve waxed lyrical about the Free Spirit Sphere, but this latest concept tree house from UK-based Design Studio Sybarite excited us to new levels. The company is developing a modular tree house concept which we think could become very popular. The ‘belly’ of the tree house accommodates undulating kinetic baffles that utilise wind power to generate electricity. The plan form also meanders to the extent that modular sections can be prefabricated so that the overall size can vary from a single bedroom house up to a five bedroom model. The prefabricated design can be installed on site within two weeks, is extremely lightweight, uses many recycled products, is part self-sustainable and low on maintenance. Sybarite has offices in Italy and China too – ring them up and tell them you want one (because we do). and make sure you check out the image library which has just been updated  Read More

The Magic of a treehouse

UPDATED May 13, 2006 Treehouses have a magical quality that sparks the imagination of children and returns adults to long lost afternoons filled with secret adventures. However, few of the corrugated iron structures we cobbled together as kids could approach the impressive scale and fairytale qualities found in PearTree Treehouse designs. Individually tailored to each customer's requirements no matter their age, PearTree projects include two storey adult treehouses, home offices and even 30 seater conference suites. Extensive image library here.  Read More

Panasonic to sell 103-inch plasma display

April 23, 2006 Worldwide demand for plasma TV screens is expected to top 25 million units in 2010 – plasma displays are just that much bigger for the price. Accordingly, we have a market shaping up as a wonderful contest between the world’s largest plasma manufacturers. Prior to 2006, LG and Samsung had both displayed 102 inch not-for sale plasmas, but in January at CES, Panasonic unveiled a 103 inch and claimed the heavyweight championship. Now, Panasonic has decided to put the 103-inch screen into production. Yes folks, you’ll actually be able to buy one before the end of the year though no price has been mentioned just yet. We think this will signal a declaration of war in the very large display market as the highly competitive Korean companies LG and Samsung love to play “mine’s bigger than yours” and can be expected to focus attention on the area.  Read More

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