Google Glass is nearly here for the regular consumer while Samsung’s Galaxy Gear SM-V700, a watch that connects to your phone so you can use it to answer calls, texts and email, has been out for a while. But now it seems like everyone is launching their own wearable tech, with the most interesting are these focusing on health and fitness.
Wearable wristbands that monitor your daily activity have been around for a while, with many sitting somewhere between a fitness band and more sophisticated smart-watches.
Jawbone for example dominates the market with a stylish wristband that monitors physical activity, calorie intake and sleep patterns to help you stay to your fitness goals.
Another leading maker of fitness bands is Basis, its new Carbon Steel Edition can monitor sweat output, heat dissipation, blood flow and heart rate as well being able to detect if you’re running or walking. It also offers advanced sleep analysis to help you get a better, healthier night time routine.
Sony recently announced its entry into the market, the SmartBand SWR10, which tracks movement and activity and it records on a lifelog app on your smartphone. The interesting angle that Sony have taken is that it also records your digital life, so the photos you take, the music you listen to, the places you go and your online social activity is all recorded as well. While it may be a bit too Orwellian for some people it will give you a good measure of how your daily routines break down. Maybe even inspiring you to change your ways.
Google recently revealed they are working on a contact lens that will allow its wearer to monitor their glucose levels. The lens, which has a small chip inserted into it, will help diabetics to easily track their condition without needing to resort to needles. Google are working on including tiny LEDs so that updates can be displayed directly to the user.
As this kind of tech gets more sophisticated it will be able to monitor and predict your behaviour while being able to make suggestions about sleep, fitness and eating in a way that you can maintain your health. It’s only a short leap then for this kind of tech to start talking to each other or even to your home gadgets. That way they can work alongside your fridge for instance, to monitor your food intake, or your lighting and electric blinds to send you to bed or gently wake you up.
At this time of year style magazines and industry commentators try to predict and dictate the essential design motifs that will be on trend for the year ahead. Pantone have already thrown its hat into the ring when it declared Radiant Orchid as its shade for 2014. But what other colours, patterns and textures are also set to be on everyone’s lips this year?
One of the few colours that many designers are agreeing will dominate in 2014 is blue. It’s an ideal accent colour for most rooms whether it’s a kitchen in shades of light blue or a bathroom with a navy blue feature wall. More muted shades of Teal and Turquoise will also lend a stylish feel to a living room or bedroom.
It sounds like a strange one but corduroy covered furniture is set to be big this year. It’s a fabric that you’ll either love or hate, with its connotations of bad 70s flares and geography teachers, but thick, bold textures are making a comeback and a set of electric roman blinds in a complementary material would tie your living room together nicely.
Silver and gold
There’s a definite move towards opulence and fussy detail this year, not least in the trend for pairing silver and gold together. In most spaces this can easily be pulled out with silver ornaments and gilt-edged mirrors. But patterns like flock print or stripes on your soft furnishings and blinds will help complete the look.
The fashion for bling has also found its way to the kitchen with a move to the opposite end of the spectrum from the modern, clean minimalist kitchen of previous years. This look consists of dark shades, mixed with classical motifs such as ornate cornices and bejewelled details such as crystal cupboard handles. It can come across very Victorian in style and can be topped off with a big crystal chandelier for good measure.
If any of the above doesn’t make you feel opulent enough then another recurring motif for 2014 is neo-classical sculpture, or to put it another way - big faux Grecian and Roman busts. Alongside all the other bling that’s in this year your home could end up looking very Versace and distinctly decadent.
A far simpler trend for the New Year is for honey-toned woods. So instead of the vintage, rough or untreated wood of previous years beautifully amber-toned wood with a smooth lacquered veneer is now in. It brings an easy warmth to any communal space such as your dining room and ticks both the natural and the stylish boxes.
A new development currently being planned for Bandra, Mumbai in India is making a big impression round the globe thanks to its ground breaking design. The Ohm Residential Tower has been designed by James Law Cybertecture and is based on the shapes that ripples make when splashed by a drop of water.
Rising to 30 storeys high the development promises to provide luxury living for those that can afford it. The circular, almost donut-shaped, building houses an orb-like club house in the centre, while each apartment boasts a glass-sided infinity pool on its balcony.
See more work from James Law Cybertecture www.jameslawcybertecture.com
The kind of gesture-controlled, floating computer interfaces that Tony Stark uses in the Marvel Comics inspired Iron Man movies have long been a goal for many tech developers.
Displair is one company that has managed to create a viable ‘floating interface’ that it aims to put into production. The system works by producing a curtain of fine vapour on to which a computer interface is projected. Custom-built gesture recognition is then used to detect the movement of your hands as it touches and passes through the mist, allowing you to interact with the items in the display. So it can be used to manipulate objects that are rendered in 3D on the screen or to produce visual effects that ripple and burst as you put your hand into the mist.
At the moment the price makes it prohibitive for home use but Displair is aiming at getting it into wider commercial use during 2014. But it does begin to show the way in which gesture-recognition and screen technology are combining to remove any need for physical computer interfaces.
Find out more: http://displair.com/
Got some last minute Christmas shopping to do and you’re desperate for ideas? Here’s a few clever options that will give you something to talk about around the Christmas tree:
The water-proof pool table
If you’ve ever been lounging in your pool and thought how great it would be to play a game of pool then this waterproof pool table is aimed squarely at you. It’s fully weatherproof, so you can leave it out all year round and, at $6,500, you probably don’t have to worry about spilling your drink on the baize either.
Fire Escape Shelves
These cool Fire Escape shelves from Urban Outfitter’s US webstore bring an iconic feature of countless American apartment blocks and cop shows to your home. Though they might not be the most practical of shelves they are great to look at and are a unique reminder of your time stateside.
Astronaut duvet set
If space is a problem in your home then you’ll the right equipment for exploring it. This brilliant duvet and pillow set from Dutch designers Snurk comes in both single and double sizes so big and little kids can both indulge their dreams of being an astronaut.
Classic videogame table
The Arcane Arcade Table takes it’s inspiration from old videogame tables that were briefly popular back in the Eighties, so you’ve always got somewhere to rest your drink while you’re playing. The Arcane table updates it with a simple, stylish cabinet and over 100 classic 8-bit videogames, including Bubble Bobble and Dungeon Crawl.
Don’t you just hate it when you have to wake up because of the blasted sunshine on your face? Not everyone is a morning person. Shutting out the light when you need a few more minutes of snoozing doesn’t have to be such a pain. Enter the ultimate lazy gizmo, radio controlled blinds.What’s that I hear? You don’t have the money to have these radio controlled blinds installed? Don’t be…Continue
Posted on January 12, 2011 at 8:00am