“Eye”tanium!

It’s no secret that we’re a pretty big fan of titanium. We love its classier-than-steel finish, and we can’t stop talking about its weight to strength ratio (highest among metals). So when we saw the Specter sunglasses, we were undeniably stoked.

Specter set out to do what most crowdfunding projects aim at doing — providing quality, sans the brand and all its middlemen, at a reasonable price. We’ve seen this movement really kick off with Kickstarter being flooded with some incredible watch designs (we’ve covered a fair share), and as a result, 2016 has seen a pretty big drop in Swiss watch company sales… which just goes to show that you can take a designer out of a brand and still produce quality work. Specter’s specs aim to do that with eyewear, and we can only hope more indie campaigners follow suit!

Specter’s sunglasses come in two styles. The Veil takes on a wayfarer style, while the Valor opts for a rounded frame with the largely popular flat-lens design. The Valor comes crafted entirely out of titanium, including the hinges, making it light, comfortable, and built with a durability that is virtually incomparable. You also get to choose between the lens style… Specter offers a Blackout Lens that uses proprietary technology that allows it to go darker than most photo-chromatic lenses on the market. You also get to opt for Polarized lenses, Smoke Lenses, and regular Prescription Lenses with Anti-Scratch and Anti Glare coatings.

Everything from the titanium sourcing, to the frame design, to the actual assembly, is done in Japan. Made in a coastal town 300 miles outside Tokyo that is known for hand-making swords for 8 centuries, the eyewear boast of a similar precision and mastery, also referred to as Shokunin by the Japanese. Specter still manages to bring down the cost of these meticulously made titanium frames to virtually $150 a pair (lenses included). Which makes you wonder, Why buy branded, mass-produced, plastic/acetate eyewear that cost a fortune and are high maintenance when you can have a pair of precision-made titanium frames that last you for life?

Titanium and eyewear… A match made in heaven?? We’d like to think so!

Designer: Jon Ng

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What do Photography and Pasta have in common?

When you look at Joseph Joseph’s Spaghetti Measure, you instantly see a resemblance to a camera’s aperture/shutter.

The spaghetti measure borrows a rather nifty mechanism from the camera’s shutter to measure out volumes of spaghetti. A wide opening/aperture constricts when you operate a switch on its side. Markings against this switch help you decide how much pasta to cook by choosing how many people you’ll be cooking for. While some people decide to rely on their hands to measure out clusters of spaghetti, the Joseph Joseph Spaghetti Measure is just one of those beautiful, ingenious products that does the job for you while delighting you with its creativity!

Designer: Joseph Joseph

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Instant Rocking Chair!

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The Outdoor Bascule rocks. No, I mean it physically rocks! Designed cleverly to turn any flat surface into an immediate rocking chair, the Outdoor Bascule relies on a curved seat to give the chair its rocking action. It turns areas that aren’t conducive to sitting into perfect sitting spots with the added advantage of being able to rock back and forth. Now who doesn’t love that?

Unlike most rocking chairs (or even regular chairs), the Outdoor Bascule is portable and easily transportable. The two armrests are easy to flat-pack and carry, while the chair element itself is stackable, making logistics rather easy. Once you’re at the park, or on your balcony, just fix the armrests to the chair and you have yourself a chair with a backrest that rocks gently without tipping over, just making that evening a delight.

The Bascule (french for see-saw) was built with new parents in mind. Allowing them to rock back and forth with their children, the Outdoor Bascule becomes an interactive element in the playing-time between parents and their infants. However, the Bascule is ideal for all sorts of uses. Wouldn’t you be tempted to carry that to the nearest park and rock gently back and forth while flipping through a book, or crack open a bottle of chardonnay and rock away, being kissed by the sun, listening to soft jazz?

Designer: Rhea Mehta

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The “too aesthetic” smartphone?

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Earlier today we were introduced to the Essential Phone. Andy Rubin departed from Google after having “made” Android, to work on this phone and things have been pretty much under the wraps until today, when the phone was officially unveiled… and boy, what an unveiling!

The Essential Phone looks like one of those crazy Coroflot/Behance projects done by some student with the screen stretching from end to end. Undeniably, all these crazy concepts are labeled as iPhone concepts for the year 2020 and so on. However, the interesting bit is that the Essential Phone isn’t a concept. It exists! Designed with a screen that’s hard to wrap your head around, the Essential Phone’s front face literally has a screen wrapped around all of it! That’s right. Virtually no bezel. In fact, the screen even comes with a small indent, allowing the front facing camera to sit proudly on the top of the phone. This is, the Essential Phone.

With the Essential Phone’s rather futuristic aesthetic, we have a rather strange conundrum on our hands. Ask yourself one thing. Would you buy this phone? I for one wouldn’t, and my answer would pretty much unlock a Pandora’s box, but let’s leave that for later. Strangely, like I said, the Essential Phone looks too futuristic for me, and you may have noticed that products that are too futuristic, seldom catch on (Jog your memory… Microsoft did the tablet way before Apple did). Look at the world of Concept Cars for instance. Every year, automobile companies push themselves to release “conceptual” car models that are good to look at, but not to own. Even though their aesthetic is admired on Facebook, reposted on Instagram, favorited on Pinterest, we don’t see them as cars that would “fit” on our roads, and honestly, maybe that’s exactly the problem with the Essential Phone… and it’s a rather fascinating problem. The phone is way too aesthetic or way too groundbreaking to be acceptable.

Moreover, the phone dapples with modularity (yet another tech direction that’s way to ahead of its time… Google ditched the Ara project, remember?) by putting magnetic connectors on the back that allow you to snap a 360° camera onto the back of the phone. It also ditches the headphone jack, a move that Android isn’t too keen on adopting. The phone will retail at $699 later this year and I’m interested to see if I’ve been proven wrong (Andy Rubin states that this phone will sell in a limited capacity due to technological constraints), but I’m more interested on seeing if the phone’s presence creates a ripple the way the phone’s announcement has. If I’m right, it’ll just go to prove that there’s a fine line between the kind of design we love to admire, and the kind of design that we love to own. Thoughts?

Designer: Essential

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Slouchy Storage

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Now THIS is a great design. A perfect balance of form and function, the Roll-Up Bin is designed to meet a limitless number of storage needs by adapting to the user’s size requirements in a fun way. Whether its a lot or a little, it can playfully be rolled up or down like your sleeves, spontaneously adapting to its new environment at a moments notice.

Use it as a waste bin, toy box, or even an ice bucket thanks to its waterproof material. Incredibly flexible yet sturdy enough to stand upright, its adorable slouch makes each one different from the next!

Designer: L&Z Elements

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