Introducing the Gizmag Store

Around The Home

New clothes washer  uses steam and no detergent

April 23, 2006 The electric-powered clothes washing machine was invented less than 100 years ago. Before that time, was the washboard (now better known as a musical instrument) and before that clothes were washed by hand using a variety of instruments, most notably the worlds’ favourite all-time multipurpose tool, the rock! The science of cleaning our clothes has advanced rapidly in the last few decades, and a new washing system from LG that incorporates steam technology to clean clothes without the use of detergent is a significant breakthrough. The steam capability can be used as a stand-alone 20-minute SteamFresh Cycle, which refreshes clothing, or combined with a normal hot or warm water wash cycle for better cleaning and a reduction in wrinkles. Not quite as historically significant but worth a mention for those interested in making the most of their time, is the Remote Monitoring System. Also from LG, the system has a remote monitor that enables consumers to monitor cycle progress while they focus on other activities around the home. The remote monitor shows the progress and remaining time on the washing, refreshing and drying cycles. This system, which utilizes Power Line Communication (PLC) technology, is easy to use and works by simply plugging the monitor into any electrical outlet within the home.  Read More

Electric Cooled and Heated Seat Cushion

April 13, 2006 Recent advancements in thermo-electric technology have made possible a seat heating and cooling cushion and it’s just coming to market in the United States. Our understanding is that seat cooling cushions have been available for a short time through accessory shops, but this new cushion heats and cools. The Cool-or-Heat seat cushion easily installs on top of any seat and obviously works great on any vehicle seat on a hot day powered by the 12-volt DC vehicle lighter adaptor, but also can be used on an office chair, home lounger, and even outside on the patio – anywhere there’s an AC wall outlet.  Read More

Nespresso InCar coffee machine concept

April 10, 2006 – “Design” and “innovation” were the buzz words this week as thousands converged at the Milan furniture fair Salone del Mobile. Creativity was also flowing at the Triennale, one of the primary centers for emerging trends of modern decorative and industrial arts, as the winners of the 2005 Nespresso Design Contest were announced. We love the the capsule-based single cup coffee concept which has grown remarkably over the last decade through the likes of Nespresso, Senseo, Tassimo et al. Given the compact nature of the pod-based coffee systems, Nespresso initiated a design contest encouraging European design students to explore and consider new innovations in the coffee lifestyle without boundaries—freeing themselves from traditional conceptions of coffee and coffee preparation. Students were also urged to consider how coffee rituals will evolve in the future. The results were fantastic, with the winning concept a “Nespresso Card” which holds coffee preferences for registered individuals, thus enabling them to access their favorite coffee anytime, anywhere. For our money though, the second-placed “Nespresso InCar” coffee machine aroused the most interest. Though only a concept we’ve got three people in our office alone who would buy one. The idea is that the machine fits conveniently into the centre console of a car and doubles as an armrest when travelling.  Read More

The inverted Martini glass

April 10, 2006 UK-based designers, Tomek Rygalik and Jorre van Ast have been named winners of this year's Bombay Sapphire Designer Glass Competition for their glass 'Inverted'. Chosen from 26 global finalists gathered for the final judging and celebration of martini cocktail culture at Superstudio Piu in Milan (part of the Milan Design Week), Rygalik from Poland and his Dutch design partner, Jorre van Ast, who studied together at the Royal College of Art in London, collected the US$15,000 prize. The winning glass recognises the importance of three elements to the glass design - the bowl, stem and base - and then plays with the archetypal form by placing the stem above the bowl. Holding the delicate stem creates a new, elegant, drinking experience for the martini cocktail.  Read More

Bluetooth Wireless speakers can redefine the living space

April 9, 2006 First we got wired, and now we’re getting unwired. Bluetooth took a long time to build momentum, but is now beginning to fulfil its promise with Paris-based Bluetooth specialist Parrot creating an ingenious pair of 60W stereo wireless speakers. Based on the premise people are increasingly carrying their music collection with them, and Bluetooth functionality will become ubiquitous across all handheld devices, the speakers can transform your iPod, mobile phone or handheld into a full blown 2 x 60W stereo system. There’s also a flexibility of room configuration available with the speakers that just wasn’t there before too – frequent furniture rearrangers will love the concept.  Read More

Ingenious Eubiq power supply solution

April 4, 2006 As the number of household and office appliances that use electricity has grown, the need for a serious redesign of the electrical supply for the modern office or dwelling has grown. Given all the wonders of modern technology, why is it that it’s not possible to have electrical appliances where we want them without the need for an electrician, three layers of powerboards or a tangle of cable spaghetti. The new Eubiq system looks to be the first viable answer to this problem merging all possible electrical needs into one streamlined strip. Users can tap into power anywhere along the track by connecting a Eubiq plug, adaptor or accessory. The Eubiq is aesthetic, safe, easy to install and simple to use. Developed with the patented GSS (Ground Sentry Shutter) feature, Eubiq represents a major advancement in the safe provision of power sources. A complete range of Eubiq adaptors are available for all major plug types and Eubiq is seeking distributors in all areas.  Read More

The CoolBoy - a hand-held, portable drinks cooler

March 30, 2006 Ian Thompson believes that cooling drinks and keeping them cold for hours days or weeks before they are needed is downright wasteful. So the Northumbria University MA Design student came up with‘The Coolboy’ - and says this is how we will be chilling our drinks in 2020. The ‘Coolboy’ concept is a lightweight device, about the size of a cocktail shaker that plugs into the mains and is fitted inside with cooling cells. The tepid drink is poured through the top, and passes across the cells, which then chill the liquid to a perfectly cool temperature.  Read More

B&O 80th Anniversary Limited Edition BeoCom 2 cordless telephone

March 10, 2006 Bang & Olufsen has released a signature series of limited edition BeoCom 2 cordless telephone handsets produced in honor of its 80 years of outstanding design and performance. The Limited Edition BeoCom 2 handsets are unique, as there will only be 600 collector's items produced world wide and exclusively sold in North America. The handsets will introduce a new colour specially developed for this series. In addition, three hundred units will feature unique patterns etched by hand directly onto the surface by Danish designer, Bess Kristoffersen. The handsets will each have its own identity, as each unit will be individually numbered and will showcase its own signature pattern.  Read More

iPod Hi-Fi could redefine the Home Stereo System

March 1, 2006 Apple was once just a niche computer company with a cult following, but the iPod took the Apple religion mainstream. Taking a killer product (the MP3 player) and branding and innovating the interface and form factor so successfully that it has captured close to a quarter of the world market with what would otherwise be a generic product gives the company an aura of marketing invincibility. So when Steve Jobs announced the iPod Hi-Fi yesterday, touting that the all-new, iPod-centric high-fidelity speaker system will “redefine the home stereo system”, we’re a bit reticent to differ. Apple claims the iPod Hi-Fi will deliver “breathtaking acoustic performance and room-filling sound unlike any other speaker system designed for the iPod.” It has an all-in-one design, can run on mains power or batteries, and controlled remotely. It works great, it looks good, it adds portability to a genuine hi-fi system and it shares the iPod coolness factor. Scary yes, and so cool that it might catalyse a return to the days when people carried a boom box the size of a sheep on their shoulder.  Read More

Functional redesign of the wall electrical outlet

February 28, 2006 Don’tya just love a simple and clever solution. One of the legacy items in every home that just never seems to get updated is the electrical wall outlet or power socket or whatever you call it. Designed in the dark ages before low voltage transformers and other humungous devices became commonplace, we’ve seen an elegant solution for a powerboard in the Powersquid but we haven’t seen an elegant solution to overcome this problem for the wall outlet until this revolutionary re-take by 360 Electrical. The concept is simple – the new wall outlets have receptacles that rotate a full 360 degrees in both directions. The receptacles click and hold in 18 different positions, enabling you to find a way to plug in those big fat problem plugs without eclipsing the next outlet. “The idea and patent came from a real world problem. For professional reasons, I was carrying two cell phones and was getting frustrated that I could not charge them simultaneously in the same outlet because of their large plugs,” recalls Kimberly Gerard, 360 Electrical’s president.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 26,493 articles