Posts in Category: electrical

BBC micro:bit

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In 1981 the BBC launched the BBC Micro, a series of programmable computers. Marketed as an educational device, 80 per cent of British schools owned a BBC Micro, and they are credited with transforming Britain into a computer-literate society.

Last month the BBC launched the BBC micro:bit – a handheld, programmable device designed as a creative means to teach children to code. The device will be distributed to one million 11-12 year old children across the UK in October.

The BBC micro:bit is designed as a beginner-level device to teach children to code and engage them with technology. The device features a built-in compass, motion detector, a series of red LED lights, five “rings” that allow users to connect the BBC micro:bit to external devices or sensors, bluetooth technology and two programmable buttons. The BBC micro:bit is fully customisable allowing the user, through basic coding, to tailor the device to meet their interests.

The shape and aesthetic design of the BBC micro:bit was created by Technology Will Save Us, a London-based technology company that specialises in creating interactive products that teach users basic coding. I’ve had a look at some of their kits before and they look great, this makes me wish I was about to start secondary school again and get hold of one myself!

Punkt MP01

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Punkt are set to release a simple (non-smart) mobile phone. There are few details about at the moment, but it follows the minimal design of their cordless phone and other products. For those looking for a no-frills device this looks pretty appealing!

Muji Appliances

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The Muji kitchen appliances posted about last year will now be available in outside of Japan! Desined by Naoto Fukasawa, the minimal toaster and kettle will be available in the UK from November, having recently been made available in the US.

LED Lightbulb Speaker

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Sony have unveiled an LED lightbulb that doubles as a bluetooth speaker. There have been a few smartphone-controlled lightbulbs released in the last couple of years, and bluetooth speakers are everywhere, so I suppose this was inevitable. The bulb simply screws into a socket and connects wirelessly to your network. It will be released in Japan on 23 May for ¥23,880 ($199 / £130).

Fine

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Much like her recent work for LaCie, Pauline Deltour’s Fine collection for Lexon is very different from anything else around in this area. The collection consists of a bluetooth speaker, a mobile phone charger, a card-holder and a USB memory stick. As the name suggests, the pieces are more like jewellery than electronics, with very feminine colours and shapes used. It’s nice to see someone doing things a bit differently!

Ikea Wireless Charging

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Ikea will soon launch a range of products that feature wireless charging technology. Induction charging has been around a long time in things like electric toothbrushes, and there are plenty of mobile devices launched in the last couple of years that use it too. Ikea getting involved might be the thing to really push it to the masses though, short of Apple making it standard. I’m not too keen on the shades they’ve chosen but the bases are nice, minimal things.

pocket operators

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i’ve always loved the design of anything i see from teenage engineering, but can never justify buying anything by them for myself. their op-1 is a lovely looking thing, but i’m no musician so probably shouldn’t spend €800 on one. that looks set to change with their pocket operators, a collaboration with cheap monday. they come in three models; the po-12 “rhythm” drum machine, po-14 “sub” bass synth and po-16 “factory” melody synth. silicone ‘pro cases’ are also available for each of them.

for a look at them in action, see these videos. the micro-synthesizers cost a mere €59 each. i can definitely justify that!

Muji Kitchen Appliances

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there’s some really nice new appliances in muji’s 2014 electronics collection, including a range of fridges, microwaves and toaster ovens, which sit perfectly with the minimalist ethos of the brand. alongside these there is a toaster, kettle, rice cooker and juicer with a softer, curvier aesthetic. all of them seem reasonably priced, however they are almost certainly only available in japan, which is a shame for anyone not living there. you can see the whole range on the muji 2014 electronics page.

netatmo

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this wirelessley-controlled thermostat, designed by philippe starck, can regulate itself by tracking resident’s activities. it is designed for netatmo, and allows heating in the home to be monitored and regulated using a smartphone app. the app provides the user with real-time temperature readings, and memorises routines and usage patterns to regulate the temperature automatically unless instructed to do otherwise.

similar to the nest device, but more minimal (or less, depending on your opinion), the simple interface includes an e-ink screen in the centre of the case, which shows the temperature and other information either vertically or horizontally depending on which way up it’s facing. the netatmo thermostat is available for €179.

via dezeen

pogo connector

the pogo connector concept by jon patterson splits in two when pulled apart to prevent damage to your devices when the cables get snagged. the two parts are joined by magnets – one with a jack that fits into the headphone socket on the device, and a second longer piece that accommodates the jack from the headphones. the signal is transferred between the two parts via four pins, but once the cord is yanked away they disconnect and the music stops until the sections are reconnected.

according to the video (above), the magnet is strong enough to hold the device but will break only when snagged. the connector can be used as a straight connection or at a 90 degree angle where it can fully rotate. i look forward to seeing whether this gets produced!

via dezeen