Photokina 2014 highlights

Around The Home

PalmPeeler tackles last frontier of kitchen chores

August 11, 2007 Peeling vegetables has to rate right up there with taking out the garbage and cleaning the latrine as one of the least popular household duties and given the vagaries in the way vegetables grow, a cost-effective machine that does it automatically is probably still a few decades away. In the meantime there’s the PalmPeeler - a gold medal winning device at the Business Week IDEA 2007 awards that promises to reduce global misery by just a few percentage points.  Read More

The Zarafina Tea Maker Suite

August 10, 2007 Those of us that drink tea can be quite particular about it, in fact sometimes getting someone to make a cup on our behalf can be something of a gamble. The Zarafina Tea Maker Suite is designed to keep the tea making process consistent so you can have tea the way you like it every time.  Read More

The Sorapot Teapot

August 7, 2007 Through the years, Alcoa aluminum has been used in everything from airplanes to food packaging to Ferraris, but recently the metal was again cast into one of the first items it had originally been used for over 100 years ago – a teapot. New York-based industrial designer Joey Roth’s unique Sorapot design chose to use Alcoa aluminum for the Sorapot because of its advantages over other materials. Aluminum's light weight and better flow rate provided Roth with the freedom to design exactly the shapes he had in mind, plus the ability of the metal to transfer heat without allowing the water to get too hot for delicate tea leaves is also an advantage.  Read More

Millennia Solar Air-Conditioner

August 5, 2007 Any renewable energy product that can compete with traditional systems is worth applauding and SolCool’s solar powered, Millennia 4.0 HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) air conditioner falls squarely into this category. The two-ton air conditioning system uses 75 percent less energy compared with equivalent high efficiency conventional systems according to the manufacturers and with a 6 to 18 hour battery bank capability, the Millennia can run 24/7 whilst relying very little on renewable energy to deliver near zero emission climate control.  Read More

Wanted: self-cleaning stove tops and garbage cans

August 5, 2007 Inventors and entrepreneurs take note; a new study in the United States has revealed that Americans are craving new technology that would enable them to relinquish more of their household chores. This seem a little obvious, but the catch is finding someone to invent the laundry folding dryer or the self-cleaning garbage can to meet the growing demands on the wish list of time-poor consumers.  Read More

Staircase Drawers: a brilliant storage idea

August 3, 2007 Storage under staircases has been around for years. But as reported by Inhabitat this new system takes it one step further and leaves you wondering why you didn’t think of this first. A simple yet obvious idea from Unicraft Joinery in Australia has resulted in an innovative under-the-staircase drawer solution using each step as storage drawer. The space underneath each staircase step is used as a drawer which is a great way to utilize a generally overlooked space. Step up and open the drawer which can be used for many and varied purposes with the only problem being remembering which drawer held what.  Read More

LLC’s Cool-or-Heat Pad – an electric blanket that’s useful all year round

August 3, 2007 Electric blankets are a boon for those who want to avoid the winter cold but they quickly become redundant during the warmer months of the year. LLC has pounced on this gaping hole in functionality by producing an electric blanket that can switch between both ends of the temperature scale, helping slash air conditioning bills in the summer as well as heating bills in the winter. The quiet, slim Cool-or-Hear Pad can oscillate between a 70 and 96 degrees Fahrenheit (21 - 35.5 degrees Celsius) and is available now for US$200.  Read More

Vornado room air circulator

August 3, 2007 From palm leaf waving ancient Egyptians to the punkah fans of the Middle East and the first appearance of the electric desk fan in the late nineteenth century, the quest to keep cool has undergone steady improvements over time. The Vornado room air circulator is continuing this tradition with a design tailored to operate more effectively than a normal fan by circulating air around the whole room for constant air movement, rather than just blowing air in one direction. Though not an entirely new concept, the latest design achieves a tight vortex airflow that is drawn back around the perimeter of the room and recirculated to provide constant airflow and a more even temperature throughout the entire area. The AirTensity Grill acts as a flow-straightener and further assists in focusing the outward stream of air into a tight vortex airflow. This high velocity Vortex Beam of Air actually projects across the room pulling even more air into its beam. As the beam of air reaches the other side of the room, it is drawn back around the perimeter of the room and ultimately back to the circulator to be recharged again through this continuous cycle.  Read More

Dubai's ultra-exclusive Pentominium is set to be the world's tallest residential building,...

July 31, 2007 The enormous and still skyrocketing wealth centralized in Dubai has seen some absolutely outrageous construction projects taking off. From the world’s tallest building and a ski slope in the desert to custom-built islands and rotating skyscrapers, the international commerce hub seems to have ingenious developers fighting each other over who can make the biggest show of material excess. The latest jewel in Dubai’s extravagant crown will be a 516-metre tall apartment building, more than twice as high as the previous biggest residential building and with no expense spared on pure luxury. Even its name, the Pentominium, drips with treacle-thick exclusivity. Some floors will be uniquely suspended in mid-air, giving the impression that you’re living in a floating penthouse in the sky, with residents having access to a fleet of luxury automobiles and yachts for transport and entertainment. The ancient Egyptians defined their era with the impossible pyramids of Giza – could the fantastical architecture of Dubai be the defining monument of our era?  Read More

Singer's Futura CE250 sewing and embroidery machine

July 26, 2007 The Singer company has a spectacular and storied history of firsts. Founded in 1851, the iconic company produced the world’s first portable sewing machine in 1921, and built and then demolished the world’s first and tallest skyscraper on the site of New York’s World Trade Center as its head office. Singer was one of America’s first truly globally marketed brands with an unprecedented advertising budget, and the company made the first computer-controlled sewing machine in 1978. Now, Singer has built on its impressive past by creating a sewing and embroidery machine that allows you to design a multi-coloured embroidery pattern on a PC, and “print” it directly to the fabric through a USB connection. The new Singer Futura machine is designed to make complex and beautiful embroidery a simple, quick and controllable task for any home craftsperson, and brings the old-world craft into a distinctly new-age technology.  Read More

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