Lilypad is a floating city ready to fight the rising tide

Vincent Callebaut Architectures' Lilypad Floating Ecopolis img1 544px
(image credit: Vincent Callebaut Architectures)

it is said that the global water level will continue to rise, putting those residing in low-lying areas at risk of being displaced, thus becoming refugees of climate change. it may sound like something that will only happen in a movie like 2012, but this unpleasant prospect might well be very real. it is certainly not too late for us to think into the future and crack our brain to think of how we will cope with such calamity. one, and possibly the only solution to counter such rising tide scenario would be a floating island or city and Vincent Callebaut Architectures‘ concept, Lilypad, is a completely self-sustainable floating Ecopolis that is intended for such purpose.

capable of housing up to 50,000 people within its 500,000 m2 surface and sub-surface area, this stunning floating architecture of the future drew its inspiration from the highly ribbed leave of the great lilypad of Amazonia Victoria Regia. Lilypad is designed to be a zero carbon emission city through the integration with all forms of renewable energies such as solar, thermal, wind, tidal energy et cetera. the double layer skin of this amazing architecture is made of polyester fibers covered by a layer of Titanium Dioxide (TiO2), which would react with ultraviolet rays and absorb atmospheric pollution via a photocatalytic effect, thereby purifying the air.

we have not seen a lot of floating city but from the few concepts that we have witnessed, the Lilypad is perhaps the most breathtaking and phenomenal concept to date. needless to say, this won’t be happening anytime soon as Callebaut has designed the Lilypad with a vision set in 2100 which, judging from the recent drastic climate changes in recent years, could be a little too late. nevertheless, we hope this stunning work would receive the attention from designers, architects, private and government institutions from around the world and hence, set forth to provide a practical solution to the climate change refugees.

images horizontal 544x38px

Vincent Callebaut Architectures' Lilypad Floating Ecopolis img1 600x400px Vincent Callebaut Architectures' Lilypad Floating Ecopolis img2 600x400px Vincent Callebaut Architectures' Lilypad Floating Ecopolis img3 600x400px Vincent Callebaut Architectures' Lilypad Floating Ecopolis img4 600x450px Vincent Callebaut Architectures' Lilypad Floating Ecopolis img5 600x450px Vincent Callebaut Architectures' Lilypad Floating Ecopolis img6 600x450px Vincent Callebaut Architectures' Lilypad Floating Ecopolis img7 600x400px Vincent Callebaut Architectures' Lilypad Floating Ecopolis img8 600x400px Vincent Callebaut Architectures' Lilypad Floating Ecopolis img9 600x400px

via Inhabitat

BIG puts a ski slope on a waste incineration building

BIG Amagerforbraending - main img 544x311px
(image credit: BIG)

skiing down the side of a waste incinerator might not be a dream of every avid skiers but this particular building unveiled by Bjarke Ingels Group or BIG integrates a ski slope into a waste incinerator building which brings skiing vacation right into the urban landscape. the building, dubbed the Amagerforbraending or AMF in short, is expected to be located between the industrial and residential sectors of Copenhagen.

the AMF looks a mountain itself and would features ‘recycled synthetic granular’ materials in place of snow and there’s no ski-lift here, instead, the skiers would take a ride in an elevator which runs along the smoke stack to reach the summit. while on their way up, the skiers will be treated to a view of the interior workings of the waste incinerator which wouldn’t be a pretty sight. but what do i know? remember what we said about mountain? well, the facade is wrapped in modular grid of planters and windows that are accented with greeneries, making the architecture looks like a mountain in the city.

the roof will supports three slopes of different gradients and therefore, accommodating skiers with a broad range of experiences. the AMF will features more than 1500-meters of ski runs, which includes a terrain park.

having personally been involved in waste incinerator in the past, i can’t help but to wonder how the foul smell that usually associated with a waste incinerating plant, will be curbed. while concept is limited by our imaginations but the practicality, in this case, presence of foul smell remains a gargantuan task to be dealt with. even if, as the concept touted to be, carbon dioxide and water vapor would be the only two elements being discharged into the atmosphere.

images horizontal 544x38px

BIG Amagerforbraending - day time 800x500px BIG Amagerforbraending - night time 800x500px BIG Amagerforbraending - the ski slope 800x500px BIG Amagerforbraending - scenery from afar 800x500px BIG Amagerforbraending - modular grid of planters and windows 800x500px BIG Amagerforbraending - inside the Amagerforbraending 800x500px BIG Amagerforbraending - situated between the city and the industrial area 800x500px BIG Amagerforbraending - scaled model 800x500px BIG Amagerforbraending - overview of the facilities 800x500px

via Inhabitat

Hublot La Clé Du Temps: lets you take control of time

Hublot La Clé Du Temps img1 544px
(image credit: Hublot) Hublot La Clé Du Temps | US$tbc |

new from Hublot is this La Clé Du Temps wristwatch that reeks of luxurious futuristic complexity or at least, this is how we sees it. it is one timepiece that stops us on our track and we just kept ogling at it. this limited edition timepiece is part of a series of most futuristic and exclusive works by the Swiss luxury timepiece firm and it is by no accident that it is named La Clé Du Temps, which means “the key of time.” Continue reading Hublot La Clé Du Temps: lets you take control of time

(almost) indestructible real-life Terminator robotic arm

Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics robotic arm img1 544px
(image credit: DLR)

did someone found an arm left behind by the time-traveling Terminator? not really. in fact, this human size robotic hand is very real and was developed by the German Aerospace Center’s Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics. the hand consists of five fully articulated fingers which are connected to individual motors via a web of tendons. each motor in the forearm can tension the tendons in an event of an impact, which allows it to absorb violent shocks. wow.

so now that we have good development of the robotic hands, splice it with the agility and precision of the knife-wielding robotic arm and we are on the way to creating a true to life T-800. just don’t give anymore artificial intelligence then required. we don’t wish to be slaves to the machines. check out the video showing the robotic being punished by hammer and a metal pipe below.

images horizontal 544x38px

Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics robotic arm img2 Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics robotic arm img4 Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics robotic arm img3


CompuLab Trim-Slice PC is no bigger than a bunch of keys

CompuLab Trim Slice img1 544x311px
(image credit: CompuLab/Trim-Slice) CompuLab Trim-Slice miniature PC | US$tbc |

being a computer enthusiast who have been building my own PC, i have never imagined PC could get this small. as you can witness from the image above, this miniature PC from Israel firm, CompuLab, is not bigger than a bunch keys. no kidding. dubbed the Trim-Slice, this nViDia Tegra 2 processing platform PC is touted to provide rich multimedia capabilities and user experience of a full-size PC but drawing a fraction of the power of the full-size PC counterpart.

at a glance, the Trim-Slice might be easily be mistaken for an USB hub. measuring a petite 130 x 95 x 15-mm, the fanless Trim-Slice is not lacking in features and power. housed in this nickel-plated metal enclosure is a 1GHz Dual Core ARM Cortex A9 processor with an ultra-low power HD GeForce graphics within. other specs include 1 GB DD2 RAM, a 64-GB Solid State Drive (SSD) and micro-SD and SD card slots.

connectivity includes USB 2.0 ports, an USB device port, a serial port, HDMI-out, dual head DVI, Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n wireless connectivity. aside form the standard line-in and audio-out jacks, it also spots a S/PDIF out for 5.1 channel digital audio output. as for the operating system, nothing has been announced at this point.

Trim-Slice is slated for release in April, but no words on its retail price as yet. on the aesthetic front, we certainly don’t expect much from a PC this small. at this rate of PC miniaturizing, i suspect we will soon hear this: “Mum, have you seen my PC?”

images horizontal 544x38px

CompuLab Trim Slice - front 600x337px CompuLab Trim Slice - back 600x337px CompuLab Trim Slice img3 600x237px

via Gizmag

Klang Ultrasonic Speakers send audio in one direction

Klang Ultrasonic Speakers - studio shot 544x352px
(image credit: Adam Moller) Klang Ultrasonic Speakers | US$NA (concept) |

get ready for the sound of the future, cos’ ultrasonic speakers might be just around the corner. the Klang Ultrasonic Speakers designed by Adam Moller for Bang & Olufsen, is not your conventional speakers but it uses low-level ultrasound from a node that’s attached to a dish. accordingly to Adam, the relative location of the node to the focal point on the dish will determine the spread of this low-level signal.

in a nutshell, user will be able to direct the sound to a specific direction by adjusting the signal spread of the speakers. the signal spread can be achieved by varying the node distance from the brass reflection dish. simply amazing. though this is only a concept, but i’m sure it will pave the way for such sound reproduction in a not so distant future. just imagine being able to choose to listen music yourself or share it with the rest in a room, all by the adjustment of the nodes.

on the construction aspect of this beautifully crafted speakers, the ultrasonic speaker dish are actual brass pieces machined by Adam using a lathe machine, while the base was 3D printed and the rest of pieces that made up the Klang were also machined using lathe after being created from instacast. simply a gorgeous work of art where technology and design meets. i want one real bad. since we can’t have one right now, we might as well check out some of lovely images of the Klang after the jump.

images horizontal 544x38px

Klang Ultrasonic Speakers - intro cover 600x388px Klang Ultrasonic Speakers - studio shot 600x388px Klang Ultrasonic Speakers - the tech behind it 600x388px Klang Ultrasonic Speakers - the anatomy 600x388px Klang Ultrasonic Speakers - focused audio 600x388px

via Yanko Design

minimalism: Nixon The Trooper 3 Button headphones

Nixon Trooper 3 Button - Matte White & Matte Black 544x311px
(image credit: Nixon) Nixon The Trooper 3 Button Headphones | US$60.00 |

you can’t get any minimalist than this new pair of cans from Nixon, the maker of wrist watches. yes. watch maker… Nixon has been into personal audio equipment for quite sometime now and The Trooper 3 Button is the latest to join the ranks of cans and buds in their headphones and audio accessories line up.

design and specs-wise, the Trooper 3 Button is essentially The Trooper with an added 3 Button in-line remote which is compatible with iPhone. other features include padded headband, custom molded silicone ear cushions and collapsible headband for easy storage. well, not that the headphones is any bigger but that how it is designed to be. the cord is also removable, again for easy storage.

The Trooper 3 Button comes in a choice of two colors: matte black and matte white. plain and simple. The Trooper 3 Button retails for $60 and is available now on Nixon online store.

Be A HeadCase turns your iPhone into a bottle opener

Be a HeadCase bottle opener case action shot 544x360px
(image credit: Be A HeadCase) Be A HeadCase Bottle Opener Case | from US$19.99 |

what do you know? your iPhone can assist you in popping open your next booze, announcing with an anthem and keeps count on how many bottles you have popped. sounds impossible? you can, with the Be a HeadCase Bottle Opener case. basically, the Be a HeadCase is a ABS hard shell iPhone case coated with rubber with a stainless steel bottle opener built into its back.

so how does the case knows that you are popping your bottle of booze? well, your iPhone is the one that is going to know that, not the case. for a complete experience with the Be a HeadCase bottle opener case, first you gotta download and install the Bottle Opener Case app available free on the iTunes store. once installed and launched, the iPhone’s accelerometer will detects when there’s an opening action and displays an image and sound of your choice to celebrate the occasion.

in case you are those who keeps count of everything that you do, the app also keep tracks of how many bottle of booze you have opened. Be a HeadCase bottle opener case is available in black or pink and has cases for both iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. there’s a blackberry version coming soon too. prices starts from $19.99 for iPhone 3GS, $24.99 for the iPhone 4 and Blackberry versions.

images horizontal 544x38px

Be a HeadCase bottle opener case img1 600x600px Be a HeadCase bottle opener case action shot 600x600px Be a HeadCase bottle opener case action shot 600x600px Be a HeadCase bottle opener case action shot 600x600px Be a HeadCase bottle opener case free app 400x600px

via Gizmag

up or down? an USB plug that works both ways

Ma Yi Xuan Double USB img1 544x311px
how many times have we curse silently when we get the direction of the USB plug wrongly? i have met with countless of such incidents and i wonder why the USB interface has to be directional-sensitive? the frustration adds up when the USB ports are located behind like on a standard CPU and iMac. lucky for us, designer Ma Yi Xuan has a concept called the Double USB which could solve our misery of plugging in the wrong side. need i say more? i hope manufacturers will take heed, start making the Double USB and saves us a few seconds of our life each time we plug it in.

via Yanko Design

make your favorite blend of CBTL coffee at home

CBTL single serve coffee machines 544x311px
(image credit: CBTL) CBTL Single Serve Coffee Machine | from US$129.95 |

if you are a fan of the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf‘s coffee and always find yourself too lethargic to make it to the nearest store for a shot of the caffeinated beverage, well, you can always make yourself one right at home with the new CBTL single serve coffee machines. three models are available, with the entry model ‘contata’ costing $129.95.

general features across the three models are automatic proportioning, electronic temperature control, easy capsule insertion and automatic ejection, and diagnostic lights. all three models has a removable 40.6 oz (1.2-liter) water tank. among the three models, ‘nautilus’ is on the higher end of the scale with a droid looking design (apparently, it resembles a nautilus) and has a integrated froth/steam wand. another difference is the ‘nautilus’ used capsule drawer is capable of holding 15 used capsule instead of the standard 10.

two of the three Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf single serve coffee machine are available now from CBTL official website and prices start from $129.95. the ‘nautilus’ retails for $199.95 and will be available from Fall 2011. these machines aren’t ridiculously priced as compared to the current offerings in the market and provides coffee-drinker (specifically, CBTL’s fans) a quick fix of caffeine before the ‘withdrawal syndrome’ takes a better of them.

images horizontal 544x38px

CBTL contata 500x500px CBTL contata - side view 500x500px CBTL contata - back view 500x500px CBTL contata - close-up 500x500px CBTL kaldi blue 500x500px CBTL kaldi blue - side view 500x500px CBTL kaldi blue - close-up 500x500px CBTL kaldi blue - capsule insertion 500x500px CBTL kaldi red 500x500px CBTL kaldi white 500x500px CBTL nautilus silver 500x500px

Tech Culture and Lifestyle Stuff.