Designer Dave Hakkens said he was inspired by a hamster ball when he came up with the idea for his Dustball, a giant robotic vacuum cleaner that rolls around the floor sucking up dirt.
"I created a little friend just rolling around and which you could push or kick in a direction to clean," Hakkens explains. "It has no trouble with cables or anything like that, it's strong, and when it rolls before your feet you just kick it out of the way."
When the Dustball gets its fill of dirt, it rolls back to its original destination and glows, letting you know it's time to empty the dust bucket inside.
We have to admit, it's a cool looking design, and maybe even functional for large open areas, but the shape could be problematic when it comes to vacuuming near walls, under tables, and near furniture.
Designer Byeong Min Choe's latest concept hits you square in the face the way only epiphanies can. Why not skip the middle man -- in this case, Photoshop or whatever photo manipulation program you use, and even a dedicated printer for that matter -- and jettison those Print Screen captures from your monitor to paper in one simple keystroke?
Meet the "Document Extractor," a combination monitor, printer, and scanner all rolled into one. Sure, we can think of a handful of reasons why this has never been done before (it would cost too much, if one function breaks you have to replace the entire unit, etc), but reservations aside, we have to admit this is a seriously cool concept.
In Choe's mind, the monitor would support multi-touch capabilities so you could manipulate screen captures and crop/resize as necessary before printing them out. When you're ready, the screen grab comes out of the bottom of the panel, and there's a paper tray in the back. And of course you could use this for printing more than just screen grabs.
So what's the verdict? Cool concept or useless gadget?
Yes, we're fully aware we said "awesome" twice, and that's only because we thought three times might be pushing it. But if there's a more appropriate adjective to describe the Tron-inspired LED watch, feel free to post it the comments section.
Sadly, the Tron watch is only a prototype, so it doesn't actually exist. If it ever becomes a shipping product, go ahead and sign us up for one. And don't worry about not being able to tell teh time. Two Tron-style rings make up the face of the watch, with the outer ring representing the minutes and the inner ring the hours.
Part of the fun in wearing a watch like this or the popular Binary Watch is shoving your wrist into a confused stranger's face when they stop and ask you if you have the time.
Every once in awhile we head over to Yanko Design to see what electronic concoctions the world's creative minds have come up with, and one that caught our eye today is the "QWERTY Keyboard For iPhone, For Real!"
If you fall into the physical keyboard camp, something like this is just what the smartphone doctor ordered, the only problem is Apple appears fully content flying solo with a virtual plank. This simple design addresses what some feel is a major shortcoming (while others don't) by sliding neatly over the iPhone and syncing with the device.
"The slick body docks in the phone and auto disables the virtual keyboard," Yanko Design explains. "An external jack hooks into place, at the bottom of the keys for charging the phone."
Kia motors is taking the idea of plug-and-play to a whole new level with the unveiling of its all-new electric concept car simply called "POP."
The POP concept looks like a toy but is all serious business when it comes to hugging trees. Kia claims the POP puts out zero emissions while in use, and can seat up to three people in a frame that measures a scant three meters (just under 10 feet) long.
That's all the details Kia is willing to share, at least for the time being. On September 30th, Kia will show off its concept car at the Paris Motor Show, in which "further information will be released." In the meantime, have a glance at the handful of rendered pics.
Every once in awhile I head over to Yanko Design, a Web magazine filled with conceptual designs running the gamut from technology to interior design. Most of the concepts will never make it past the rendered image stage, but every so often, I stumble upon a gem that I hope to see become an actual product one day. The "Gravity Series" phone concept is one such design.
The designers -- Lukas Doenz, Joachim Kornauth, Toni Weichselbraun, and Max Salesse -- seem enthralled with the idea of their prototype being able to "offer HD technology within the dimensions of your pocket," but what really got my attention was that their device would "allow for upgradeable components."
Not a whole lot of digital ink was dedicated to this part of the design concept, but it got us thinking nonetheless. Imagine if, like your desktop, you could swap out your mobile phone's processor for a faster chip. Or add more RAM. Or drop in a beefier GPU.
Hit the jump to ready why this might not be as far fetched as it sounds.
The problem with all-in-one (AIO) PCs is that the crammed confines don't offer the same cooling potential as a typical desktop, and so lower end components end up being used. Well, get ready to change the way you look at AIOs.
Asetek, which provides self-contained liquid cooling solutions to OEMs, has come up with a prototype all-in-one that's completely water cooled. Measuring no thicker than an iMac at 58mm, the prototype setup
consists of an Intel Core i7 920 processor and GeForce GTX 280M. The two combined consume over 200W.
As showcased in a YouTube video, Asetek hides a high-performance radiator, low noise fans, and a proprietary low-profile pump all within the vertical stand. A couple cold plates attach to the CPU and GPU, keeping the whole thing cool and potentially opening the door to high-end gaming in an AIO form factor.
Microsoft is said to have scrapped its promising Courier project, which first met the public eye in September last year, when beleaguered tech blog Gizmodo broke the news of its existence. The tablet concept prompted many aspiring tablet owners, especially those looking past the iPad, to pin their hopes on its launch.
There was never any official word regarding the possibility of a commercial launch, however, a recently published New York Times report did have the dual-screen tablet shipping by the beginning of next year. But it has now emerged that Microsoft has chosen to bid adieu to the Courier at the end of the incubation period itself.
In just about every case, the smaller your notebook, the smaller the accompanying keyboard. That's great for portability, but trying to type on such a tiny plank can seriously cramp your style.
The folks over at Yanko Design have come up with a solution. It's a fold-out keyboard for laptops that, while it doesn't exist, some would argue it probably should.
The two-way fold-out design allows for a full-size keyboard to come integrated on a laptop without sacrificing portability. Curiously, however, the concept pics don't include a numpad, though if this idea were to ever take off, we'd suspect you'd see fully-fledged desktop keyboard replacements.
Plenty of more pics to spy here, then hit the jump and sound off!
Can you ever truly have enough USB ports? Of course not, which is exactly the reason why Yanko Design's latest concept intrigues us.
Yanko Design is known for showcasing all kinds of future thinking gadget concepts, ranging from the thought provoking to the downright wacky. We're inclined to lean towards the former when looking at the Infinite USB. Essentially a stackable USB plug, if this concept were to catch on, it would be a boon for notebook and netbook users constantly lamenting the lack of USB ports.
"So here's the Infinite USB -- an alternative plug on devices that kinda acts like a tag team," Yanko Design explains. "The design speaks for itself, so no point elaborating, however what we can do is talk about its effectiveness and limitations. For starters, I don't think we may be able to tag too many devices one behind the other. I reckon max 3 or 4 before the tag starts to look awkward, but the color coding on plugs will make it easy to identify which plug belongs to which device."
So what's the verdict - cool concept or crazy idea? Hit the jump and sound off!