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A Camera Strap That Goes from Flexible to Stiff, For Tripod-Like Functionality

Core 77 - Fri, 2020-11-20 02:52

Here's a great example of reinventing an everyday object: Sweden-based Frii Designs' Conda strap.

It's flexible and rope-like, but when you flip a switch that's attached to it, a segmented section of it turns rigid. This means that in its intended camera strap application, it can do triple duty as both a selfie stick and an ad hoc tripod:

So how does it work? I suspect the thicker portion contains ball-and-socket joints, with each of the balls having a hole, and a cord running through all of them, and that flipping the switch pulls the balls into tension with the joint. But that's just a guess.

The Conda has been successfully Kickstarted, and at press time there was 30 days left to pledge. Buy-in starts at €82 (USD $98) and they expect to start shipping in March 2021.

Friday Funny: Hacking With People Skills

Design News - Fri, 2020-11-20 01:38
Watch this hacker at work. He breaks into a company network simply because he sounds like a nice guy.

New Champion Tops Consumer Reports 2021 Most Reliable Cars

Design News - Thu, 2020-11-19 09:00
Consumer Reports has released this year's roster of automotive brand reliability as rated by owner surveys and there's a surprise first-time winner.

BMW Unveils Anime-Like Electric Scooter Concept

Core 77 - Thu, 2020-11-19 02:30

While the designers of BMW's recently unveiled iX were all over the place, this month they also unveiled a concept vehicle with a more cogent design aesthetic: Their Motorrad Definition CE 04, an electric scooter.

Where the iX was all confusing surfaces and chaotic transitions, the CE 04 neatly sidesteps this by dropping the conceit that this is all meant to be one form. Instead the scooter looks like a series of subassemblies that have been grafted together, giving the bike an anime- or mecha-like feel.

The side of the front cowling still has two too many surfaces for my liking, but overall the form does a far better job of pulling off disparate surfaces than the iX. Here the angles and strong lines mainly relate to one another, and the parts appear to stand off of one another rather than joining cleanly, almost as if tight tolerances were not possible. This deconstructed aesthetic works well, in my opinion, on the smaller form of a scooter.

Even the helmet, which stows on-board in a dedicated space, has been designed with a matching aesthetic.

Lastly I'll say, this is one of those cases where I feel the finished concept looks better than the renderings and sketches.

A Ceiling-Based Flip-Down Storage System: Dolle's Beam-It-Up

Core 77 - Thu, 2020-11-19 02:30

Here's an example of a company attempting to adapt their core competency to a parallel field. Danish manufacturer Dolle specializes in staircases, specifically those attic staircases that flip out of the ceiling. In an effort to expand their offerings, they've designed this in-ceiling flip-down storage system they call the Beam-It-Up:

It's an interesting concept, as I'd guess many homes have wasted overhead space; but I imagine this would only work for tall people who live in small apartments with low ceilings. What say you, would this work in your space?

Using a Specially Designed Vibrating Tabletop to Create Live Art

Core 77 - Thu, 2020-11-19 02:30

Below are "live art" pieces created by Japanese artist Kenichi Kanazawa. "What's the big deal," you'd say, "looks like a bunch of table salt arranged in patterns."

Well, you'd never possibly guess how he gets the salt (assuming that's what it is) to take those shapes:

So what's going on with that table? A look underneath provides the answer:

You can see more of Kanazawa's work here.

Canadian Researchers Invent a De-Drunkifying Device

Core 77 - Thu, 2020-11-19 02:30

We know that our livers clear booze from our systems. But we've all also encountered someone so stinkin' drunk that they literally smell like booze. That's because there's ethanol (alcohol) on their breath; it turns out that in addition to the liver, the lungs also play a role in expelling alcohol.

"It has been noted almost a century ago that the ethanol present in exhaled breath is amenable to a form of elimination proportional to the blood concentration and level of ventilation," writes a research team led by Dr. Joseph Fisher of Canada's University Health Network in Nature. In other words, breathing out whilst drunk actually clears some of that ethanol from your system.

What Dr. Fisher and his team wondered was: How do you speed that process up? "You can't just hyperventilate, because in a minute or two you would become light-headed and pass out," Dr. Fisher said in a UHN article. When you hyperventilate, you're expelling carbon dioxide at too fast a rate for your body to handle. That leads to light-headedness and fainting.

The solution:

Dr. Fisher and his team used a device that allows the patient to hyperventilate off the alcohol while returning precisely the amount of carbon dioxide to the body to keep it at normal levels in the blood – regardless of the extent of hyperventilation. The equipment is the size of a small briefcase and uses a valve system, some connecting tubes, a mask, and a small tank with compressed carbon dioxide.

"It's a very basic, low-tech device that could be made anywhere in the world: no electronics, no computers or filters are required," says Dr. Fisher. "It's almost inexplicable why we didn't try this decades ago."

To test their device, which they call the ClearMate, the team got five male test subjects drunk (around 0.1% blood alcohol content; the legal limit is 0.08%) on vodka, then had them exhale using the machine. The result was that the ClearMate "induced an exponential clearance of ethanol…increasing the absolute rate of clearance by at least a factor of 3."

In other words, they sobered up three times quicker than without the machine.

The researchers say more testing is required, but if the ClearMate turns out to be legit, I imagine it'd be a huge hit. At the very least, they should be stocked as standard equipment in all wedding venues--I think we all have that one uncle who manages to get ahold of the mic and send things off of the rails.

BMW's Design Restraint Continues to Go Out the Window

Core 77 - Thu, 2020-11-19 02:30

This week BMW unveiled their forthcoming iX, which will roll out next year. This first batch of concept renderings below, of the evocative variety, hinted at a bolder direction:

As the renderings got more specific, we see an increasingly aggressive-looking vehicle with overly complicated surfaces, both inside and out, and right down to the details:

A profile shot of the full-size clay model might've made you think they were reining it back in...

...but a look at the front detailing, and rear quarter, reveals that's not the case:

In the highlight sheets for the car, the car's design looks even busier than the call-outs:

In the studio shots, it looks to me like every 10 centimeters of the car was designed by a different person:

The on-road shots don't change that impression:

This may explain why one of the more robust Core77 discussions--which has been running for years--is called "What is BMW Doing?"

Unsung Heroes in the Fight Against COVID-19

Design News - Thu, 2020-11-19 01:09
These companies went the extra mile behind the scenes to support an unprecedented demand for ventilators and other critical medical devices during COVID-19.

Measuring Lithium-ion Cell Self-Discharge

Design News - Wed, 2020-11-18 12:29
Excess self-discharge indicates potentially catastrophic problems within the cell. Know which external factors impact the results.

2021 Triumph Trident 660 Matches Contemporary Technology to a Traditional Engine Design

Design News - Wed, 2020-11-18 12:18
The Triumph Trident features cool new technology such as turn-by-turn navigation and GoPro camera control from the instrument display.

22 Medtech Startups to Spark Your Interest

Design News - Wed, 2020-11-18 12:14
Several companies in the MassMEDIC MedTech IGNITE Growth Challenge 2020 competed at BIOMEDigital, pitching their ideas for oncology, dermatology, transplant medicine, surgery, audiology, women’s health, and more.

How to Build a Better Robotic Packaging Operation

Design News - Wed, 2020-11-18 12:00
The packaging operation on a manufacturing line is often the most fully automated stage. Robots have taken over packaging across many industries, from CPG to medtech.

You Can Stream 3D Parts for Packaging Machines Now

Design News - Wed, 2020-11-18 09:44
A new 3D printing solution lets you print packaging machine parts as easily as you stream music on Spotify. No skills are needed to click, print, and install the part you need.

Is Industry 4.0 Right for Your Business?

Design News - Wed, 2020-11-18 09:30
Medical device companies could achieve lower costs, greater quality, and enhanced efficiency by adopting an Industry 4.0 manufacturing strategy.

Cadillac Blackwing Sport Sedans Revive Magnesium Wheels

Design News - Wed, 2020-11-18 09:09
"Mag wheels" were once shorthand for high performance in the muscle car era, and now Cadillac is applying the technology to its new Blackwing super sedans.