Photokina 2014 highlights

Ergonomic

The GRIP2 Umbrella features an adjustable grip

The basic umbrella design is one that has stood the test of time. And why not, it’s simple and it keeps you dry. But once the wind picks up, the limitations of the design quickly become apparent. Fighting to keep the canopy facing into the wind to prevent it turning inside out by gripping the shaft as high up as possible is the standard approach, but keeping a firm hold on the thin shaft can be a pain. That’s why Dan O’Donnell invented the sliding handle-equipped GRIP2 Umbrella.  Read More

The handSteady is a cup with a rotatable handle, for people with motor difficulties

Chris Peacock may not have reinvented the wheel, but he’s definitely reinvented the cup. The British inventor has created handSteady, an ergonomic cup to help people with health conditions (such as tremor, joint pain and Parkinson’s disease) to have their drinks without undergoing a nerve-wracking, socially-awkward challenge.  Read More

XTable offers a simple height-adjustable workspace

It's a positive thing that we're all different; that humanity isn't made up of automatons who all have the same wants, needs, and desires. Unfortunately while each of us can furnish our homes in whichever way we see fit, the same isn't true of our places of work. Those who work in offices generally have to make do with whatever furniture is provided, even if it doesn't suit their individual needs. Providing options is therefore a good strategy, and XTable from Holmris offers nothing but options.  Read More

Nissan is working on new car seats that are claimed to lessen discomfort and fatigue

You might think that it requires no effort to sit in a car seat. According to the engineers at Nissan, however, that’s not the case. That said, they’ve designed a new type of seat that they claim requires less physical effort to use, thus lessening driver fatigue and discomfort.  Read More

The ErgoArc is a laptop stand that allows people to use their computers while in bed

If the growing number of specialized stands is anything to go by, it seems that a lot of people like using portable computers in bed. iPad users can choose between the Manatee and the tablift, for instance, while laptop users can go with the Lounge-Tek or the Omax. Now, there’s another option for reclining laptop users – the ErgoArc.  Read More

The HiRise for iMac computer stand

While many of us buy stands in order to raise our computer monitors to eye level, most of those come preset to a certain height. The HiRise for iMac, however, which incorporates the base of any size of iMac or other Apple display, allows users to choose from six different height settings.  Read More

The SlingShot serves as both a smartphone videographer's hand grip, and as a mini tripod

There must be a kazillion mini tripods for smartphones out there, and probably about half as many ergonomic hand grips designed to minimize shaky video. WOXOM’s SlingShot device, however, combines the two – it’s a smartphone hand grip that can be converted into a table top tripod.  Read More

The Lizard Kross Scramble brings minimalist design to the hiking shoe market

Barefoot shoes have been one of the biggest stories in running over the past few years. Their somewhat controversial benefits include encouraging better dynamics and preventing certain types of leg stresses and injuries. It's not clear if those benefits will transfer over to hiking, but at least one manufacturer is giving it a shot. The new Lizard Kross Scramble is a minimalist hiking shoe designed for trails and rock approaches.  Read More

ADAPTable is comprised of six wooden sections which can be slid into the most suitable pos...

Many of us who spend our working days at a desk have jobs that require a wide range of tools for a wide range of tasks. This means that a workstation can quickly become overwhelmed with objects placed within easy reach. The Tambour Table is one attempt at addressing this problem, but design company MAMIKIM & Co. has tried to create a desk that is adaptable for a range of working environments, with different sections suitable for different jobs. If you have ever wanted to own a giant sliding tile puzzle in the form of a desk, then ADAPTable may be just for you.  Read More

The LimbIC chair is uses two carbon-fiber cradles (Photo: Inno-Motion)

One thing that’s generally expected of a chair is that it stays still. True, it might rock or swivel or recline, but if we’re sitting still, we expect the chair to do likewise. Dr. Patrik A. Künzler, head of the Swiss start-up Inno-Motion, disagrees. He has invented the US$8,500 LimbIC - a deliberately wobbly ergonomic chair that's billed as being comfortable to sit in for hours while promoting better health and creativity.  Read More

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