To make up for the slowing of reflexes with old-age, the B-Shoe corrects the balance of elderly people by bringing their center of gravity back between their feet, keeping them stable. Everyone’s heard or experienced the story of their old grandmother or grandfather falling and breaking their hip at home. Most of these accidents happen as their CG shifts backwards (usually while walking), causing them to fall on their back or even their side, with no support from the arms or the knees to break the fall. The B-Shoe, an inconspicuous little piece of innovation, corrects the imbalance while also allowing the elderly to retain their respect and not rely on walkers or other aids.
The B-Shoe started as a crowdfunding campaign, with little success. As noble as the cause may be (it was invented by Dr. Yonatan Manor after his father had a fall with no-one to catch him), the B-Shoe presented limited visuals and data that raised more questions than it answered. For starters, we’re working under the principle that the shoe only moves backwards (as shown in the video). This may not really work on a flight of stairs. The B-Shoe would come with a rechargeable battery and knowing how easily the elderly forget, this would probably pose another problem. The image below shows traction belts in the soles of the shoe. The mind immediately asks how they would fare against bumpy roads or coarse gravel, where one can’t simply slide one’s foot back. Not to mention that stepping in mud or a puddle (which may accelerate chances of slipping) may just render the shoe useless, since most of the electronics are exposed and on the underside of the shoe.
The B-Shoe therefore (from what we see here) works only under a specific set of scenarios… which is still a good start though. It’s still a battle won if it can prevent a fraction of injuries and deaths, even though the shoe has a long way to go. The B-Shoe team is working on new iterations and prototypes and hopes to target mass production in 2019.
Designer: B-Shoe Technologies
The idea of combining sound and decor has been long dappled with. We talked earlier about the Mellow Table, a three legged side-table that dropped some serious bass. Even Bang and Olufsen’s BeoSound Shape does something to this degree (although at a tune of $4,266 for a starter kit). VisualSonic by Digital Oasis steps into that same territory by combining art and audio into an audiovisual delight for the senses.
Pairing with a wide variety of indie artists spanning different styles, Digital Oasis created a speaker that camouflages itself as a hanging work of art. Measuring only 25mm thin (just like any normal framed artwork), and 500mm x 500mm in size, the VisualSonic speaker/painting hangs on the wall, catching eyes and ears alike. VisualSonic uses the hollow space behind a canvas to conceal two 10W vibration speakers. These speakers don’t produce sound on their own, but rather, transfer vibrations to a resonance panel, and the artwork. The panel and artwork vibrate ever so slightly, like the diaphragm of a speaker, to produce the sound. VisualSonic therefore relies on a careful selection of materials to make sure the sound is just right. In fact, it has a frequency range of 150Hz to 20KHz (which takes care of the low, mid and high end).
The VisualSonic works on Bluetooth 4.0 and has a playback time of 6 hours on a full charge. It comes with its own Li-ion battery and can be charged via MicroUSB. The interesting bit is that it even uses Bluetooth’s TWS technology, allowing you to pair two artworks together and use them as stereo speakers with perfect synchronization.
Probably the only few pieces of art you could actually listen to, the VisualSonic comes with some pretty neat visual imagery. Collaborating with artists over different styles ranging from illustration, to pop art, to even 3D and abstract art, there’s an art-speaker for everybody. Pair that with a playlist of your favorite music, and your relationship with art is given a whole new meaning!
Designers: Stephen Lam & Digital Oasis Design Team
BUY NOW: $97.00
BUY NOW: $97.00
Don’t worry, these animals won’t bite! Well, actually, they will… but that’s why they’re so incredibly useful. AniBite turns nature’s fiercest predators into adorably innovative multi-purpose clips that grip and hold everything from stationery, to EDC, to toiletries.
Designed to replace hooks, hangers, and stands with something more quirky and characteristic, AniBite’s series of one-touch clips can be placed anywhere and can hold pretty much anything. Made in three variants, a bear, a leopard, and a wolf (or as I call it, direwolf), the AniBite can hold up to 300 grams (almost 9 times its weight). Just lift the head back and place your item between the jaws before pushing the head down again. AniBites can hold your toothbrush (in both vertical and horizontal ways), razor, or even stationery on your desk. Use it as an innovative spectacle-holder beside your bed, or even for your keys right near the door… or push your creative limits and have these animals manage your cables for you!
The AniBite is made from sanitary and non-toxic plastics like PETG and PCTG, and comes with a PU Gel adhesion surface on the back that can attach to pretty much any flat (or even mildly textured) surface without leaving any marks. When the adhesion goes weak, all you have to do is clean the back with water and it’s good as new! The design is practical and child-friendly with blunted teeth that won’t pierce or poke.
Ideal for the nature lover as well as the design lover, these little multi-purpose hang-clips are utilitarian, eye-catching, and go right into our hall of quirky fame! Why hang real animal heads on your wall when you could have these functional, adorable miniatures instead?
Designer: Xivestory Design
BUY NOW: $15.00
BUY NOW: $15.00
Whether you’re a novice cook or a seasoned chef, you’ll appreciate how the ECOTHERMO stove makes life in the kitchen just a little easier! This smart twist on the stove is pressure sensitive and automatically ignites when a pot or pan is placed on the surface. Furthermore, it’s composed of individual micro-burners spread across a large surface instead of the classic 4 burner system. These micro-burners ignite only in the shape of the container to be heated! This way, direct heat is applied efficiently for faster and more thorough heating and less energy is wasted on areas that don’t require heat!
Designer: Iván Pérez
It annoys me to no end that whenever I try to borrow a charging cable from someone with a new phone, it invariably ends up being incompatible with MY phone. My phone (almost 4 years old now) still charges via a MicroUSB, which is convenient because so does my power bank, and both my Bluetooth speakers, and even my camera. Now the minute I’m handed a Type C charging cable or a lightning cable, it’s just a monumental FU to all my charging plans because they have the least acceptance rate for electronic gadgets, yet they are the future. Side note, USB 3.2 is coming by this year end to complicate our lives a little further.
However, there’s an elegant solution for all of us out there in the Swivelcord. Designed to look more like a stylish universal charging cable than an onslaught of adapters, the Swivelcord 3-in-1 charging cable strikes a fine balance between elegance and universal design. The flat cord is virtually impossible to tangle, faring much better than regular cords, and comes in a variety of colors. The USB jack on one end represents the standard, while the other end features a rather quirky swiveling hub with a MicroUSB connector, a Type C connector, and a Lightning connector. You rotate the mini-hub to select the port you want to use and go ahead with your day. And the next time someone asks you for a Lightning cable, even though you own an Android device, you’ll have them covered. You may just impress them too!
The verdict? A cable you can easily use and lend and impress people with. The only con? You won’t be able to use two ports at the same time. The rationale? You probably don’t need to.