Zuta – Mini Robot Printer

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After raising almost $600,000 on Kickstarter, Zuta Labs is ready to start production on the printer and is accepting pre-orders from non-Kickstarter backers.

The pre-order price — which Zuta Labs says will be lower than the cost at launch — is $199.99. The printer is available in white and black. It comes with a print cartridge that is good for at least 100 pages. Additional cartridges are available for pre-order.

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The wireless printer works for about an hour and is rechargeable via micro USB. Users can print on all sizes of paper and it works without drivers and can print from Macs, PCs iOS and Android.

Since its Kickstarter period, Zuta Labs says it has managed to make the printer smaller and faster than it originally anticipated.

The size — just 10.2 centimeters in diameter — is a big selling point for the product. It is aimed at users who only need a printer infrequently and in places where traditional access — think a coffee shop or at a hotel — is not always applicable. The fact that it also works with smartphones and tablets is a big deal, too. More often than not, I wind up needing to print documents from my phone more than my laptop.

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Zuta Labs is aiming to have the Zuta Pocket Printer shipped by September 2015. The company is at CES 2015 showing off demos of the device and taking meetings with potential partners.

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Loopwheels by Sam Pearce

Pearce is an inventor and design consultant. He’s worked on non-invasive surgery equipment, early handheld PCs of the Palm Pilot era, 3-D folding mechanisms, and motorbikes. It’s always something new, and in 2007, it was baby strollers. Around that time Pearce was sitting in an airport in the Netherlands, waiting for his flight. He noticed a woman pushing a stroller. “As the woman got to a curb, she didn’t lift the front wheels and the baby was shot forward,” he says. “If the wheel hits the curb at the wrong angle it’s useless. So I just wondered, why can’t you put the suspension into the wheel?”

Baby strollers make for a great case study in how wheels interact with impact, which is to say, not very well at all. A stroller has shock absorbers underneath the seat, which helps reduce bounciness, but it doesn’t keep the wheels from bouncing backwards when they hit a curb head on. In a matter of about five seconds, Pearce had a new idea. He began envisioning a system that incorporated shock absorption directly into the wheels, making them capable of flexibly rolling over bumps instead of just rebounding. He drew a sketch, and then put it aside for two years. At the time, “it wasn’t relevant,” he says. “I couldn’t really see how I could make one, but I have lots of ideas, and this one kept coming back to me.”

After some 70 iterations, Pearce and the team of bow-makers hit on the right recipe. It’s proprietary, but Pearce describes it as a “carbon composite construction.” Loopwheels first debuted on bikes—mountain bikes are next—before a wheelchair manufacturer caught wind of the new wheels and started sourcing them from Pearce. “We say it’s triple-smooth,” Pearce says. The suspension in the wheels smooths out any traveling over bumps, and “gets rid of all the road buzz.” That’s crucial to wheelchair users, whose bodies are in full contact with the vehicle, meaning they often absorb road shock right along with the chair. Equally important to users? Cost. Pearce says he more or less arrived at an ideal design two years ago, but has since worked on refining manufacturing techniques, in part by adopting processes from the auto industry, to get the price down from $2,000 a wheel, to a few hundred dollars (depending on the model). “There’s only so much people will pay for new technology,” Pearce says. That’s true for wheelchairs, and it’s true for mountain bikes, which Pearce says is next in line for Loopwheels.

Their Kickstarter just recently succeeded to fund with over £20,000

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KonneKt Now on Kickstarter!

 

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Earlier this year I did a blog post about KonneKt, an award winning toy for isolated children to play with other children using the window between their hospital rooms and the hallway, designed by Job Jansweijer. It’s been a few months but now it is on Kickstarter!

The game KonneKt transforms the window between the isolated child and the non-isolated child into a canvas
for play. The game consists of foam shapes that can be attached to the window between the room of the
isolated child and the hallway using suction cups and magnets. By combining the shapes in different ways,
children can play games such as tic tac toe, connect four, or build together to make a fantasy world with a
dragon and a castle, or a jungle. Because the game can be used in so many ways, it is interesting for both boys
and girls of different ages.

Children playing 4 (Credit photographer Frans van Beek)

 

The goal of the Kickstarter campaign is to give a KonneKt game to 100 hospitals. People who want to support
KonneKt can choose for a ‘Buy one+Give one’ option: they buy one game, and donate the same game to one of
the participating hospitals. They can also choose to buy one game, which they can either keep themselves, or
give to a hospital. The aim is to collect the needed €30,000 euro in 40 days. The pledged amount will only be
charged if the aim of the Kickstarter campaign is met.

Portrait Job Jansweijer 1 (Credit photographer  Hans Stakelbeek)

 

So go support a cool product and awesome designer on the Kickstarter!

Sapling Aluminum Wallet

I haven’t written about wallets in quite a while, but I always love a simple slim wallet designed with the minimalist in mind. The Sapling Aluminum Series wallet was designed by John McConnell. The slim design of the wallets allow you to carry it in your front pocket which makes your wallet more comfortable and secure.

The wallet features a unibody design machined from a solid block of 6061 aluminum which is an RFID blocking material.This means that your cards are more secure against card skimming, an increasingly more common method of card theft. The wallets are anodized to add a look that will hold up over time and will also allow us to add a custom name engraving with a laser engraver.

The design includes an elastic band which allows the wallet to expand to meet your needs, holding 1-8 cards.The height of the card slot is the equivalent to the width of 5 cards but because of the elastic band design, the wallet is capable of holding more and is still fully functional if you decide to add more cards.

The elastic band also stretches lengthwise across the back of the wallet allowing you to store cash or cards on the inside or outside of the wallet, much like a money clip would. The slotted design allows for fast and easy access to all of your cards.The elastic band is also conveniently placed so that the numbers on your card are concealed from view when the wallet is being removed from your pocket.

There are only a couple days left on his Kickstarter here, so support it soon if you’d like a wallet of your own!

 

The Dash – Wireless Smart In Ear Headphones

World’s First Wireless Smart In Ear Headphones. 1000 Songs. Performance Tracking. Body Sensors. Secure Fit.

Music is a part of everyone’s life. It brings joy, excitement and motivation. However it is not always a pleasure listening to music with headphones. Cables tangle and pull at the headphones and ultimately break. In addition, accessing online content from a smartphone is awesome but needing to carry a smartphone all the time can be a real pain.

The Dash consists of a pair of discrete and completely wireless stereo earphones.They will playback music through a Bluetooth connection or use the embedded 4GB/1000 song music player. Everything about the design is focused on delivering freedom of movement, incredible sound and comfort. The Dash is awesome for sports and great for everything else.

The Dash works in sympathy with the wearer. Movements like pace, steps, cadence and distance are tracked. Heart rate, oxygen saturation and energy spent are measured, all the while real time acoustic feedback is provided. It even works without an attached smartphone.

Safety and the ability to communicate with others are important. In addition to being earphones, the Dash will double as a Bluetooth Headset delivering clear voice quality through the embedded ear bone microphone. The ear bone microphone is not sensitive to background noise, since it picks up mechanical vibration generated by your voice from the ear bone.

Even though The Dash provides impressive noise isolation, the wearer can choose to channel ambient sound into the headphone with the transparent audio feature. A swipe on the capacitive touch surface of The Dash will enable or disable ambient sound to pass through.

You can support their Kickstarter here!

AppSeed – Turn Your Sketches Into Apps

AppSeed lets you take your sketches and make them into functioning prototypes, bridging the gap between pen/paper and digital, through computer vision.   It allows you to sketch your designs as you normally would and then manipulate your sketches directly on your phone. Unlike similiar products, the use of computer vision speeds up the process and understands your sketches. AppSeed can identify an enclosed space in your sketch, allowing you to make it into a button, input text, map, or another UI element. Making your sketch into a functioning prototype running on your phone.

What makes AppSeed so remarkable is that, by and large, the toolkit knows how to interpret the various boxes and buttons a designer might draw into distinct UI elements automatically.

AppSeed finds enclosed spaces such as boxes and decides what to do with them. Once an element is isolated, there is very little that you can’t do with it.

Right now, AppSeed is just a prototype, but the creators, Leon and Goralski are hard at work getting it out of beta and shipping to Kickstarter supporters by January. You can preorder the app now for just $8 here.

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Microfactory – A Machine Shop in a Box

The Microfactory is an all-in-one machine that 3D-prints, etches, and mills. It was conceived and built to be a self-contained prototyping and machining system for product development, not for end production. It is one that’s easy to use, portable, quiet, and leaves no mess behind. Its creators, four members of an independent maker space, formed Mebotics and funded the first five versions of their machine-shop-in-a-box before offering it on Kickstarter.

Hopefully they will reach their goal, but they do have a long way to go. If they do meet the funding goal, the company expects to start shipping about a year from now. A simplified version that prints one color or material and is equipped with an upgraded 650 W milling spindle will ship first for a minimum pledge of $4,495. The full version with four print heads and a 300 W spindle is available for a minimum pledge of $4,995.

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Flip Wallet – Acre Supply Co.

Okay so I am a sucker for minimalistic, thin wallets, but you have to admit the Flip Wallet from Acre Supply Co. is an elegant alternative to the ordinary, traditional bulky wallets. It is suitable for everyone from commuting business men and women, to adventure and style lovers.  Made from quality elastic, the Flip Wallet grips your cards, key, notes and more all day long. What makes this wallet unique from a lot of other minimal elastic wallets is that it still opens and flips like traditional fold wallets, which makes so that not all of your cards are bunched together.

Their Kickstarter has gotten lots of support, and you can help out the designer Elizabeth Drew there as well. You can also go here for updates, photos and press releases of the project.

SEIL Backpack By Lee, Myung Su

This concept is for any cyclist fanatics out there. Usually, bicycle riders use a pouch or backpack to carry a wallet, a mobile phone, water bottles and more. Bicycle riders’ backpacks are a must-have item for outdoor activities. On top of this, the SEIL bag gives bicycle riders a safety feature instead of using hand signals. The LED and flexible PCB applied SEIL bag is not only just a backpack, but also a safety device controlled by you.

The SEIL bag provides you with a simple controller that can transmit many basic signals on the LED display as well as custom messages for others who are driving or walking around you. Simply using the detachable wireless controller enables various signals such as directions and emergency indicators.

You can add custom signals through our mobile app. It’s now working only with Android-based phones but as soon as they get permission from Apple, they will provide an app for iPhone users too.

The lights are also both flexible and waterproof.

If you like this concept go support the kickstarter here!

 

Piamo Espresso Maker – Designed For Your Microwave

The Piamo Espresso Maker, designed by Christoph and Hendrik Meyl, along with Lunar, is an elegant, microwaveable entry in the world of at-home espresso. It’s essentially a microwaveable moka pot, inverted. You pour water in a reservoir up top and fill grounds in the middle. Then you set the microwave for 30 seconds. Steam pressure builds in the reservoir, pushing water through the grounds into a cup. You’re done.

The Piamo has already been awarded a few patents based on its ingenuity, but its most brilliant move was to play off the already-iconic shape (and mouth feel) of the espresso cup.

Of course, the larger design challenges had nothing to do with the branding. The team had to figure out, how do you toss ground espresso into a microwave for 30 seconds without burning away the intoxicating aroma? The solution was to implement metal shielding around just the grounds compartment of the Piamo. But don’t metal and microwaves not mix?

“Any metal part in a microwave acts as an antenna. It needs to be designed in a way that its geometry is soft, rounded, and doesn’t have any pointy, sharp areas that create problems with the electrical fields that would result in the well-known sparks,” Gebhard explains. “Furthermore, these metal parts need to be designed in a way that they are aligned with the standardized microwave wavelength and frequency.”

Coupled with that espresso cup, which was actually built of ABS plastic to reinforce the metal’s shielding (better than ceramic would), the espresso grounds are kept safe from overheating. Ironically, moka pots are often chided for burning espresso before the water pressure mixes with the beans. Piamo’s design team may have solved this age-old problem despite the indiscriminate science of microwaves.

The Piamo is available for pre-order now. It’s $55 on the German equivalent of Kickstarter, check it out here.

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