Humanscale's Symtra lamp, designed in partnership with light fixture and industrial designer Peter Stathis, reinvents the lampshade while doing away with the traditional light bulb.
The Symtra instead embeds the light source within the "shade," which is composed of two vertical, parallel, trapezoid planes. Its the inner faces of these shapes that emit light; the outside is finished in pitch black.
Viewed from just the right angle, the Symtra resembles a traditional floor lamp, but at any other angle it's very clearly a rather different creature.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that the Symtra lamp uses OLED technology given the uniformity of light put out by the two inward-facing surfaces that provide Symtra's light, but Humanscale says that Symtra uses LED technology as its source of light.
It seems that the uniformity and quality of the light may be down to the optical waveguide technology which Humanscale says is at work. Since an optical waveguide is merely a device, any device, which directs visible light this doesn't completely clarify how this works.
Rather more straightforward is the rotating head which allows the ratio of light and shade to be adjusted to suit directional needs.
The Symtra is destined to arrive Q4 of this year. Expect to pay in the order of US$400.