I gotta have my gadgets. I’ve got gadgets for talking to friends, gadgets for listening to music, gadgets to make sure I can find my way home at night, gadgets for just about all of my needs. The thing is these gadgets require power, which means I’ve got to charge them up.
In the past I have always looked for ways to hide the tangle of wires that snake across my desk leading to an intertwined disaster against the wall. Most options available are just undesirable, glorified cord winders. And since affordable, energy-efficient, wireless chargers are still a thing of the future then maybe I should start thinking about my wires in a different way.
What if I were to celebrate my wires, embrace them, welcome them into my life? Would they sprout leaves and bloom because of the affection I have poured onto them? Maybe they would look like this design concept created by MicroWorks. The vine camouflage is a thing of beauty.
And what if MicroWorks were to use Gizmodo’s idea to expand their idea into something more elaborate - like a plant charging station where the branches could double as charging cables. Perhaps our gadgets could be transformed into an aesthetically pleasing tropical paradise of energy rejuvenation. You’ve got to admit, that sounds pretty spectacular.
How many people does it take to create a window accessory that provides energy savings of up to 25%? The answer is three University of Notre Damn students.
Will McLeod, Mike Stacey, and Ryan Tatzel, all students at UND, created the SmarterShade - an aftermarket window accessory that regulates the amount of heat and light that is allowed through the glass. The SmarterShade actually allows the window to be adjusted from clear to dark (and various degrees in between) using a remote, which ultimately increases or decreases the amount of light and heat let through.
It completely eliminates the need for window treatments such as blinds or curtains and is incredibly easy to install. Homeowners simply snap the SmarterShade in place within any window and it’s ready to be used. Besides the obvious savings from having such an energy efficient window treatment, it’s also easy to clean, keeps you healthy by blocking UV rays and can be applied to any of your existing windows.
The SmarterShade model currently available costs about $200.00 and runs on battery power (for the remote control tint). However, the future of SmarterShades will hopefully run only on solar power. The SmarterShades are a unique and ingenious window treatment that will not only save the homeowner in monthly bills, but also offers a more environmentally friendly solution for heating, cooling, and lighting the home.
For more information on this and other similar products, check out this article and interview of the student inventors as well as their website, SmarterShade.com.
Despite hundreds of years of progress in the area of hygiene, we humans still produce a lot of mess. Luckily in this day and age, we have creative geniuses who have developed appliances to eliminate our odors, kill our germs and do our dirty work for us, all without having to hear them whine. Here are the 7 unluckiest appliances whose sole purpose is to make our lives easier (and you thought your job was bad).
7. Personal Bathroom Scale
From the moment you take your scale out of the cardboard box it came in, it will be frowned at, cursed out, stepped on, and spat upon. If scales had psyches, they would either suffer from bi-polar disorder or would be the bitter and catty fashionistas making snide remarks with the digital display– such as “Those pants DO make you look fat.”
6. The Body Groomer
Its name evokes thoughts of a hygienic, cutting edge epilator. But it’s really just a ‘back hair’ shaver. You know, for crony-tailed mid-lifers who want to lounge under the sun in their Borat one-piece.
Ewww… we don’t want to know how often the razor needs changing.
Since, it’s a best selling bathroom appliance; it must be good for those hard-to-reach places. *Shudder*
5. The Karaoke Machine
At least Simon Cowell is sitting on millions for eardrum abuse; too bad we can’t say the same for the rest of us. The piteous karaoke machine is an electrical deity among appliances in Japan, but also the bane of bartenders in the south. Who ever thought it was a modern advancement to let drunk people have a microphone to sing Sheryl Crow in the same key used to discipline canines?
4. The Boot, Sneaker, and Glove Dryer
This tubular ventilation system is the little hairdryer that couldn’t. It was designed to be a ski lodge amenity; however it mostly just sees rainy days and pet accidents. Even at the ritziest celebrity harem in Aspen, this machine still has to dehydrate Paris Hilton’s foot sweat from her Ugg Boots.
3. The Oral Irrigator & Sanitizer
Does it keep your toothbrushes clean or do you rinse with it? Nobody knows for sure, although we all agree that it’s a dirty, dirty job to fight mouthfuls of bacteria and rush in like a fool to greet the worst breath of the day – morning breath.
2. The Pool Vacuum
These faceless robots sweep the pine needles, band-aids, and beetles out from under your feet. They’re fun little things to chase your kids with but they are the unfortunate technological equivalent of a bottom-feeder.
1. The Automatic Litterbox
The automatic litter box knows that poop happens several times a day because its daily duty is to clump it, deodorize it, and sweep it away before you have to see it or smell it. It’s a hard-knock life being someone’s toilet and by far, the most disgusting job of all.
Now that April showers have brought May flowers, summer is finally just around the corner. Unfortunately for us heat-lovers, we’ve still got some time before we can unpack the short shorts and get out our bathing suits.
If you’re having troubles getting rid of the winter blues and think you may not make it until the warm weather finally hits, you can add a touch of summer to your home with these adorable Beach Ball Lamps.
Designed by Toby Sanders, these lamps with their bright blues, reds, pinks, oranges, and yellows will brighten up any room and give you that fuzzy, summer feeling. Made from reused beach balls and non-toxic materials, these lamps not only bring vibrancy to the home, but they’re great for the environment, too.
No matter how glum you are about the rainy weather outside, it’s impossible not to feel good when lounging under these fun and creative Beach Ball Lamps.