The month of February left us awestruck and drooling over some seriously cool product designs. Innovation has been at an all-time high, and designers are working tirelessly to dazzle us with products that are cutting edge, super functional, and also manage to improve our lives in some way or another. At Yanko Design, we tried our level best to discover and showcase the best of what the design industry had to offer, and now it’s time to round up and appreciate some of the best designs that were featured on YD in the month of February. From an iPhone fold concept that transforms into an iPad mini to real-time in-ear translator earphones, we’ve got a collection of unique and groundbreaking designs that you’ll be frantic to get your hands on. Enjoy!
The Rocco multifunctional outdoor furniture by Moróro is a barbecue, a sofa, a champagne bar, and more! 2020 has been about creating intimate moments at home, and nothing says intimate like a cozy evening in your backyard! To take things up a notch, we have Rocco which is an all-rounder piece of outdoor furniture. Its clever design transforms it from a fun barbecue into a sofa or champagne bar and even a smores pit – I think it’s safe to say Rocco is an essential this year! You can add a fire bowl to the base or choose from various other accessories like a grill, tabletop, ice bucket, and parasol base. Customize Rocco to fit what you define as a chill evening.
Think of every audio device you’ve got in your home… standalone speaker units, headphones, earphones, your TV, record player, etc. Now imagine they were vehicles. The larger ones would be cars, trucks, the smaller ones like headphones would be bikes or scooters. In this analogy, if these audio devices are vehicles, the Dense Home is like a turbocharger for your vehicles. Designed to look like a slick, innocuous box that blends right into your home decor, the Dense Home is a stereo amplifier that just makes the audio sound richer, louder, and frankly, more sublime. It boosts the ability of your audio devices by taking their input and amplifying the audio signal going in. Using a top-tier Digital to Analog Converter (DAC), the Dense Home transcribes the digital input signal into a near-perfect, high-fidelity, amplified analog signal. This means music sounds richer on your devices, and sounds/instruments you never noticed in your favorite songs end up becoming more clear. In every which way, amplifiers help you listen to music the way it was produced in the studio.
Designed for speed, storage, strength, and to be the subscription-killer (I’ll explain), the ECLLPSE is poised to be the future of data storage. Simply put, the ECLLPSE is a tiny, finger-sized SSD that’s encased in a rugged, virtually unbreakable, waterproof housing. With as much as 2 Terabytes of internal storage, the ECLLPSE gives you a way to store and carry practically all your data around with you, right in your pocket. It comes with multiple adapters built right into its design, giving you the ability to connect it to ALL your devices, from your laptop to your phone, and from your DSLR to your drone, letting you seamlessly back-up, restore, and transfer files between multiple devices. Although with that much storage, comes a pretty major responsibility… transfer speed. It’s a good thing though that the ECLLPSE boasts of read/write speeds that reach as high as 550MB/s, allowing you to transfer 8K videos in mere minutes. It also means you could use the ECLLPSE as external storage for your PS5 or Nintendo Switch and run games off it with absolutely no lag!
The iPhone Fold concept designed by Svyatoslav Alexandrov (for the YouTube channel ConceptsiPhone) comes in the familiar Galaxy Fold format, with a primary 6.3-inch screen on the outside, and a larger, 8-inch folding screen on the inside. It ditches FaceID for the reliable TouchID, and turns the entire primary display into a fingerprint sensor – so you can unlock your phone simply by swiping up. The lack of FaceID means a significantly smaller notch with just one front-facing camera for selfies. The back, however, comes with the iPhone 12 Pro’s entire camera setup, featuring wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses, along with a flash and a LiDAR scanner. Open the iPhone up and it transforms into a squarish iPad Mini that’s designed to be perfectly portable. While the concept doesn’t say much about whether this device supports the Apple Pencil, I’d like to think it does; and designer Svyatoslav Alexandrov does mention that the concept is MagSafe capable and 5G ready, which already makes it a pretty good iPad replacement, all things considered.
Hyunseok An’s design team Ulrim designed The Coral, an indoor micro-algae farm that looks as good as it is for you. Using algae to convert carbon dioxide into energy, The Coral implements the use of a bioreactor to support its micro-biological farm. The bioreactor provides a controlled environment for the algae to enact photosynthesis and produce the nutrients that are then contained within the wall-mounted cell blocks for future consumption. Each cell block is like a microcosm of stagnant ponds covered with a healthy coating of algae, the only difference being that The Coral is a controlled environment. This controlled environment allows each cell block to successfully perform the symbiotic relationship that occurs in nature as we witness take place in coral reefs. Each of The Coral’s 16 cell blocks contains two-grams of algae that darken as the algae grow. Once a cell block reaches its darkest blue-green, typically over the span of two weeks, it can be consumed and taken in as a daily health supplement, as the cycle is then replenished and continued.
While the Timekettle WT2 Edge doesn’t work with languages from alien civilizations as shown in most sci-fi depictions, it does its job of actively and instantly translating Earth-based languages rather well. Running on as many as 15 serves worldwide, the earphones provide you with real-time low-latency translation of 40 languages and 93 accents with an industry-leading 95% accuracy. 7 of the world’s most spoken languages are even stored offline on the WT2 Edge, offering translation even without an internet connection. All this is only possible because the WT2 Edge builds on the successes of technological innovations before it. The earphones are powered by 6 leading translation engines (DeepL, Google, Microsoft, iFlytek, AmiVoice, and Hoya) along with Timekettle’s own translation engine to provide translations between both languages and accents. Just pop these in-ear translators in and they can be used in 3 different modes. A “Simul Mode” lets you share one earpiece with the person you’re talking to, and both earphones work as individual translators, actively translating both input and output in realtime to ensure you have a seamless conversation.
Helmets are designed for protection, not prevention. A helmet gives you cushioning during impact… but it doesn’t help you avoid the impact in the first place. Designed to do both jobs, the TorchONE is a helmet that guards you as well as increases your visibility. With large removable curved lights integrated into the helmet’s front and back, the TorchONE helps you be seen in low-light settings. The TorchONE hopes to alter a scary statistic around cycling. In 2019, 56,000 cyclists lost their lives worldwide, and an estimated 60-70% of them were during low-light conditions. By integrating lights right into the helmet, the TorchONE approaches this problem with a two-fold solution – Prevention and Protection. A finalist at the 2020 EuroBike Awards, the TorchONE boasts of a streamlined, aerodynamic design that weighs a mere 382 grams with large, highly visible, removable lights on the front and back. Designed to provide 360° visibility, these are the largest lights to ever be fitted onto a bike, ensuring that they’re sufficiently visible even in bad weather. Attach them when you need and the lights can run 24/7, detach them during the day and the helmet’s weight drops to an incredibly lightweight 266 grams.
Meet the Christianshavn, a bedsheet that tackles this problem on a molecular level. Even though its name sounds like the kind of bedsheet that would put the fear of god into bacteria, it is, in fact, the unique material developed for and used by the bedsheet that helps it self-clean by automatically killing the microorganisms on it and preventing the spread of odors… so your bedsheet remains cleaner for longer, and doesn’t need changing so often. Nordifakt’s Christianshavn bedding is made in 100% organic cotton, which means it feels just as comfortable as your current bedsheets. However, it comes treated with Polygiene®, a fabric treatment that uses low concentrations of silver chloride that has anti-microbial properties. The Polygiene within the bedsheet acts like a natural disinfectant, using silver ions to break down germs that make their way into the bedsheet. These ions can break down VOCs or volatile organic compounds too, stopping the growth of molds and even keeping your bedsheets smelling fresh. The Polygiene treatment lasts practically forever because silver chloride isn’t water-soluble… which means washing the bedsheet doesn’t diminish its self-cleaning power.
BloomingTables, dubbed “the world’s first living furniture line,” creates household tables that double as indoor gardens to cater to that exact dilemma. It seems nowadays that people are trying to get closer and closer to nature, even in their own homes. Biophilic design is on the rise once more, and many of us who live in smaller spaces want to embrace nature indoors too. BloomingTables is a new biophilic desk design that embeds living plantlife into each table, just beneath the transparent, glass surface. BloomingTables comes in four variations: desk, coffee, entryway, and side tables. Each table is equipped with an acrylic tub that keeps the plant life, soil, and water in an airtight, designated space so that we won’t ever have to worry about leakage. The acrylic tubs are filled with layers of gravel and activated charcoal to absorb water and also to avoid the chance of overwatering the plant life. Once the soil layers are filled, we can then create our own arrangement of succulents, ferns, herbs, or even pebble art, ideal for those who like to cook, but don’t have enough room for both a desk and herb garden. The transparent glass surface adheres to suction cups and can be lifted to water the plant life below.
The HeimVision Assure B1 is a culmination of a lot of good ideas into one, neat package. It’s a CCTV but works as a two-way audio teleconferencing device too. It runs via an app, but can even be commanded via Alexa, making it simple to use without needing your phone around. The Assure B1’s basic kit (that’s the $79 one) comprises one wireless camera and one central hub that sits within your home. The camera features a tripod-mount for easy installation and runs on rechargeable AA batteries for a solid 12 months (with the option of hooking it to a solar panel for uninterrupted continuous power). The camera unit is a small, robust little device that weighs a mere 181 grams, but packs a solid punch. It can capture video in 2K Ultra HD with a 130° FoV, and even sports-colored night-vision. Fitted within its Stormtrooper-esque white and black body is also a passive infrared sensor that can detect motion as well as identify humans. A built-in floodlight helps illuminate the area at night, potentially scaring away any intruders, while the two-way audio I mentioned earlier lets you converse with people, leaving instructions for your delivery personnel, or letting people at the door know if you’re away. An IP65 rating on the camera means it can practically brave any weather, from sun, rain, and storms to even blizzards.