We take a look at some of the most innovative product designs on offer in our final installment on New Designers 2011.
Hywel Rhobet Vaughan, an industrial designer from the University of the West of England, showcased his innovative and environmentally conscious design ‘Plot’. From Wales, Hywel’s impetus came from the finding that ‘the Welsh Government is looking to plant 100,000 hectares of trees over 20 years’ and this device encourages the planting of new trees by providing the user with faster, cheaper and easier way to imput all the data required to apply for woodland grants.
Hywel says: ‘To make this process easier, the woodland plotter combines GPS technology and user-entered meta data about what is being recorded; all connecting to the woodland charity MyForest online system. This allows users to record all of the information needed, in situ, then upload it straight into a woodland management system. No tape measures, no graph paper, no fuss.’
University of Leeds graduate Michael Jones was showing Joey:) – a device for carrying babies and small children to different units within a hospital for non-urgent treatment that can be installed in a car, so freeing up ambulences and saving the hospital money and resources.
Jennie Morley from Loughborough University came to New Designers with her device Moulu, a domestic coffee roasting and grinding machine. Offering the consumer a weekly/monthy supply of ethically-sourced beans allows Jennie to market Moulu as an upmarket branded product.
Duncan of Jordanstone, Dundee’s Tim Pryde tugged our heartstrings with his adorable coin-operated charity robot DON-8r. Each donation received powers DON-8r for a short time, making it a fun and innovative way for charities to interact and engage with members of the public.
Stuart Baker from Ravensbourne has designed a clever gadget for around the home. The Mult-Tool is ‘an electrical appliance that lives in the kitchen. It has a number of interchangeable heads that allow it to perform a range of tasks. These include small D.I.Y jobs as well as other rotary based task such as whisking and blending.’
Anoush Mortazavi of Sheffield Hallam University created Innowave, a high quality microwave oven designed for space saving kitchens. The ‘Innowave’ slides effortlessly from a standard drawer slot, freeing up space for other tasks. Northumbria University’s Anna Milner showed us her cordless hair and face drier Feder. Designed for professional men aged 18+, ‘Feder’ uses the latest battery technology to provide the user with five minutes of instant drying.
Middlesex University graduate Darren Lewis brought his Babel Create to the show. Babel Create ‘is a low-cost hardware based tool to allow people to prototype their own ideas (hacks) involving the Microsoft Kinect as a sensor with ease, making it possible to create a functioning project in a very short space of time. It is easy to program the use of a simple sensor such as an infra-red sensor. Babel Create makes it just as easy to use the Kinect in this way. This low-cost prototyping tool brings Kinect hacking to a much wider and more creative audience.
‘Arduino is the market leader in low-cost prototyping platforms and an Arduino shield provides an extra function for the Arduino board. Through further development Babel Create will take the form of an Arduino shield. The target market groups will be artists, designers, students, technology enthusiasts, roboticists, researchers, Arduino users and hobbyists.’