Everyday Objects, Updated - Design Bureau

Everyday Objects, Updated

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Images courtesy of Brizo (top, 2nd from top), Future-Shape (4th from top), the companies featured (5th-7th from top); 3rd from top by Mathijs Labadie, mathijslabadie.nl

From robotic vacuums to motion-sensor faucets, household products continue to be revolutionized by technological advancement. DB highlights six such products—from Motorola’s smart watch to Future-Shape’s SensFloor—that are making an impact in kitchens, furniture, home automation, wearable tech, and more.


Luxury kitchen-and-bath label Brizo is striving to “change the way we look at water” with its newest technologies—TempIQ, SmartTouch, and SmartTouchPlus. All three faucet options offer a functionality around the sink designed to enhance the user experience.

TempIQ lets consumers know exactly when water has reached the desired temperature with a built-in LED light that changes color from blue to magenta to red. SmartTouch allows users to turn on their faucet simply by tapping it, while SmartTouchPlus senses motion and starts the flow of water when it detects the user— both technologies ultimately maximizing water conservation. The faucet’s default flow rate of 1.5 GPM cuts consumption; however, it can be increased to 2.0, making jobs such as filling the sink or pots go a lot faster.

“Water conservation plays an important role in the design of our products and technologies,” says Judd Lord, director of industrial design for Brizo. “It’s not enough for a faucet to offer water savings; it has to deliver on performance expectations as well.”


Brizo’s new H2Okinetic technology, incorporated into its Hydrati 2|1 showers, lets you take the long, comfortable showers you’re used to while still conserving water—using up to 40 percent less than standard showerheads. “The showerheads and handshowers employ the science of fluidics to control the speed, movement, and droplet size of the water exiting the fixture,” Lord says, “to sculpt a unique wave pattern that creates the feeling of a warmer, more drenching shower while using less water.”

Within the shower, the HydraChoiceBody-Spray System has functional spray heads that can be adjusted 50 degrees in any direction, allowing users to aim the water flow. Allowing further customization, four interchangeable spray heads are available from invigorating to massaging, soothing, and full spray.


By Marjan Van Aubel

The first of its kind to harvest and store energy indoors, the Current Table dually functions as a workspace and a phone or tablet charger. The table’s glass surface contains a dye-synthesized solar cell, which generates a greater electrical current due to its orange hue. The technique, based on photosynthesis, can function indoors under diffused light, unlike classic solar cells that need direct sunlight.


By Future-Shape

Installed underneath carpet, PVC, or laminate, SensFloor combines home automation with everyday flooring. Its 2mm-thin sensor underlay, which communicates via integrated radio modules, can control lighting and automatic doors, can detect home intrusion, and has healthcare applications for the non-ambulatory.


Collaboratively created by a fashion designer, an industrial designer, and an art director, the Lix pen brings 3D printing to an accessible level. Users can write in the air and bring their drawings to life as colored plastic quickly melts and cools once released from the pen, creating rigid, freestanding structures. Side buttons of the aluminum pen, which comes in black or gray matte, allow users to control the emission speed and thickness of the plastic.


By Motorola

With its traditional round face, Motorola’s Moto 360 is a fashionable smart watch that actually looks like one. Unlike its square and bulky predecessors, Moto 360 stays sleek and stylish with customizable hardware and band options. Powered by Android Wear, users can access their notifications with gestures or can channel their inner Dick Tracy by using the hands-free voice-control option.

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