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Scalable scissors vary in length depending on need

It’s one of those dilemmas you probably never even realized existed... short scissors are better for fiddly cutting, and for cutting through tough materials, while longer scissors are faster on light materials, and better at cutting in a straight line. What are you gonna do, buy two pairs of scissors? Designer Jie Weng has what is apparently a better idea: scalable scissors. Just set the blades to the length you need and start cutting.Read More

Glass roof tiles let a little sunshine in to cut heating bills

Swedish company, Soltech Energy, recently received the gold medal for this year’s hottest new material at the Nordbygg 2010 trade fair in Stockholm. The award was fitting because it was for the company’s home heating system that features roof tiles made out of glass. The tiles, which are made from ordinary glass, weigh about the same as the clay roof tiles they replace but allow the sun to heat air that is then used to heat the house and cut energy bills.Read More

Sharp shows new 3-in-1 oven - steam, grill, microwave

Sharp has announced the new Steamwave AX-1100, a 3-in-1 steam oven with a combination of steamer, grill and microwave. The Steamwave follows the success of Sharp’s Superheated Steam Oven and is one of the first multiple ovens to introduce steam and grill to a microwave unit. Given that many households these days are centered around becoming more health conscious, the idea of having easy access to a steamer and grill will most likely prove popular.Read More

Eco Switch kettle stays off the boil

We've seen several innovations in the design of the humble electric kettle recently that save time and energy – here's another one. The "Eco Switch" kettle has two settings – one for normal boiling water and a second which heats water to 85-degrees Celsius (185F) for things like soup. This means you get your warm water quicker, save energy, and you don't have to wait for it to cool down before you can drink it.Read More

The rechargeable LED lightglobe

Now here's something we've never seen before – a rechargeable lightglobe. Chinese company Magic Bulb has patented a new type of device which incorporates a battery and LED lightblobe to produce a lightglobe which uses only 4 watts but produces the equivalent light of a traditional 50W globe. If the power fails, the globe will keep running for around three hours or it can be screwed out of its socket and the handle extended to turn it into a bright torch. Read More

Gorenje introduces the new SmarSofa at IFA 2010

With its retro good looks and smooth lines, the SmarSofa from Gorenje wouldn’t look out of place on an Austin Powers movie set. On display at IFA 2010, the SmarSofa is not just a convertible lounge. It includes a fully integrated fridge which contains remote-controlled, rotating cooling platters. At the touch of a button the platters containing ready-to-eat dishes can be lifted and lowered to the desired height. How’s that for groovy?Read More

Dyson to release carbon fiber vacuum

Carbon Fiber is unquestionably a wonder substance, being used to construct the world’s fastest and most expensive race cars and bikes, not to mention a host of other items where light weight, strength and stiffness are more important than cost. So when we first saw the pics of the Dyson D26 Carbon Fibre vacuum, we figured it was a lightweight vacuum cleaner – no, the wonder substance is actually used for its anti-static qualities and is used in the fibres on the brushbar and is claimed to be a significant improvement in picking up fine dust particles and allergens.Read More

Finalists showcased in Electrolux Design Lab 2010 competition

The jury has wielded the axe on the 25 semi-finalists in the Electrolux Design Lab competition, leaving just eight finalists from the original 1,300 entries to battle it out for the prize of a six-month paid internship at an Electrolux global design center and 5,000 Euros (approx. US$6,350). The 2010 brief asked industrial design students to consider how people will prepare and store food, wash clothes, and do dishes in the homes of 2050, when 74 percent of the global population are predicted to live in an urban environment. Let’s take a look at the lucky eight entries vying for the title.Read More

Sharp lights the way with LED ceiling lights

Low-voltage halogen downlights are among the most commonly used globes in the world. Despite the low voltage moniker they aren’t very energy efficient, generally producing around the same amount of greenhouse gas as a 60-watt incandescent globe. While there are plenty of environmentally friendly alternatives to incandescent globes, finding a greener alternative for recessed lighting offers less options. Sharp is providing another, however, with its thin design LED ceiling lights.Read More

LG’s SmartDiagnosis technology lets washers and dryers chat to technicians over the phone

Throwing the washer or dryer in the car when something goes wrong isn’t really an option, meaning you’ll have to call out a repair person to make a potentially expensive house call. Some manufacturers are installing network capabilities in such devices to allow problems to be diagnosed remotely, but most people don’t have a network connection located in the laundry. LG has come up with a way to troubleshoot washer and dryer issues remotely by getting the devices to chat with a technician over the phone in a language R2-D2 would understand.Read More

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