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Miele's smart grid ready appliances can be programmed to run when electricity is least exp...

Miele has announced its new smart grid ready domestic appliances at IFA 2010. These appliances have been designed to start automatically when electricity is cheapest, offering consumers energy savings. The first two appliances featuring smart-grid functionality will be a washing machine and a tumble dryer. The models can also be fitted with Miele’s gateway communication module, providing access to the appliances through a PC and the ability to monitor electricity rates.  Read More

The finalists in the Electrolux Design Lab 2010 competition have had their design concepts...

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

Stick an iPad on your fridge with the FridgePad

Computers have already conquered the study and the lounge room and have been making steady inroads in their assault on the kitchen with devices such as Internet capable fridges and digital recipe readers. As soon as the iPad was released, more than a few people were pondering its potential as a kitchen computer to provide the functionality of these devices and more. Heck, a few creative types even mounted iPads into their cupboard doors. For those of you who like the idea of a kitchen iPad but perhaps aren't that handy with a jigsaw, you might try the FridgePad.  Read More

Haier Power Pad takes energy from shower water and returns it to hot water system

The Haier PowerPad is a concept device shown at SinoCES which captures the energy contained within the water that runs off our bodies every morning in the shower, and returns said energy to the hot water tank. Haier claims the PowerPad is currently capturing and returning 15% of the energy coming out of the faucet and by the time it goes on sale six weeks from now, that figure will be 20-30%. Haier is one of the world’s most innovative companies and is hence foolish to bet against, but we’re struggling to understand the technologies being used and just how optimistic the claims are.  Read More

The eight finalist s in the Electrolux DesignLab 2010 have been announced

It’s down to the final eight in the Electrolux Design Lab 2010 competition. Around 1,300 designers from all over the globe entered the competition this year, with the brief being to create space-saving home appliances that would be suited to life in the heavily-populated urban environment expected by 2050. The finalists will present their designs to a jury in London on the 23rd of September with cash prizes and an opportunity of a six month paid internship at an Electrolux global design center up for grabs. Will it be the virtual kitchen helmet, the gel refrigerator or the portable ultrasonic dishwasher that impresses the judges, or will it be one of the other five fantastically futuristic designs?  Read More

The Marugoto Tamachan portable watermelon cooler - and warmer

It’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere, which means it’s perfect weather for heading to the beach or packing a picnic basket and making for the countryside. Unfortunately, it also brings to the fore a problem that has plagued mankind for centuries. How to keep one’s watermelons cool on those long, hot days? Thankfully, the Japanese have turned their considerable technological prowess to developing a solution and here it is – a portable watermelon cooler called the Marugoto Tamachan.  Read More

Jeff Kortright and Sujoy Roy (right) from Berkeley Lab - that thing in front of them is NO...

In the future, your refrigerator might keep your food cold by using a magnet. Not only would it use less power and run quieter than your current fridge, but it also wouldn’t contain any hydrofluorocarbons, gases which can add tremendously to the greenhouse effect if not properly disposed of. It all comes down to something called the magnetocaloric effect, wherein a changing magnetic field within a material causes it to get colder. It definitely holds promise, although scientists first have to figure out just how the thing works.  Read More

The Electrolux Design Lab finalists

Every year home appliance giant Electrolux throws down a design gauntlet to students from all over the world and challenges them come up with some novel ideas for household gadgets of the future. The company has just announced this year's eight Design Lab finalists and extended an invitation to the public to get involved to choose a favorite. What sort of gadgetry do young designers think will be available to us over the next 90 years?  Read More

The Amana Jot Refrigerator makes punishment easy too

There’s no doubt the refrigerator is the central hub of the kitchen, serving more than its primary purpose of keeping things cold. In recent years we’ve seen fridge manufacturers pack their products with all manner of technological additions, from iPod docks to touch screens and TVs. In most households though, the humble fridge remains a central place to stick notes that are sure to be seen. Whirlpool has saved us the hassle of hunting for a scrap of paper on which to scribble such missives with the Amana Jot refrigerator.  Read More

The iPhone Refrigerator

November 26, 2008 An emerging prestige manufacturer and designer of quality and innovative household goods, Slovenia’s Gorenje graced our pages earlier this year with its wow-factor SmarTable, and has backed up with two prototypes (modern and retro) of a very clever iPod refrigerator and the news that the soon-to-be-available production versions will be followed by an iPhone refrigerator in 2009. Slip your iPod into the dock on the front and it’ll charge, play music and video through the refrigerator’s two built-in 7 watt speakers, and connect to the internet if you have wifi. Gorenje’s plans are ambitious, and include using the touch screen on the iPod to control other Gorenje appliances and there’s an internet portal under development which will enable the remote control of its wifi-enabled oven and dishwasher and plans to add wifi to other Gorenje appliances in the near future. The iPod fridge will cost around EUR1200 and comes with an iPod Touch.  Read More

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