Only in Japan! But hopefully soon, everywhere else. Yes, this is one invention we can all wipe our feet on. Paionia Furyokuki have created a doormat that literally sucks the dirt off your feet and into a container as you stand on it, ensuring both spotless shoes and a noisy entry to the house. Oh, and it only costs US$6,250. Now that’s dirt cheap.
‘This is for all the lonely people; thinking that life has passed them by‘. Oh, sorry. I was momentarily distracted by the brilliant absurdity of Hugvie, the huggable robotic pillow-phone, which was invented in Japan (of all places) by the esteemed Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro. It works by imitating the heatbeat of a human, and adding in vibrators to create the sensation of a living, breathing friend. When hooked up to your mobile phone, you can receive real hugs as you chat, the intensity of which is determined by the tone of the conversation. Mystified? So are we. But we’ll happily take three of them to test.
First there was the bike that plays vinyl records as you cruise along the sidewalk. Now comes this: Turntable Rider, designed by interaction artist Toshiyuki Sugai, converts your bike into a live DJ console. Really? Really. So how does it work? Well, you attach sticks to the wheels, which then become a ‘moving jog dial'; the handbrakes become sound pads; and the handlebars contain a crossfader. It was created as a way to encourage bike sharing in crowded Japan, but if they receive more than 5,900 Facebook Fans, they’ll actually mass produce it for the rest of us to salivate over. Sweeeeeettt!
Japanese scientists have invented a fire alarm that squirts out wasabi to ensure you wake from a deep slumber to flee a burning building. They’d tested rotten eggs, but apparently the smell wasn’t noxious enough. The active ingredient in Wasabi, allyl isothiocyanate, is an irritant on the nose and works even when someone is asleep.
My sister is a huge advocate for sustainable living and lectures me for using the plastic bags in fruit and veg aisle of the supermarket. Is this reminder to be green annoying? Yes, every time. When the reminder comes from an adorable eco-conscious polar bear it’s a different story.
Who needs the latest Chanel or Hermes when you can hold all your essentials in a grilled fish? Well, sort of. Thanks to the, erm, clever folks at Japan’s Ito Manufacturing, you too can rock this one-of-a-kind Hokke Case.
All of you design buffs out there, listen up. We’ve come across another killer find from the land of bottle-cap herb gardens, subterranean farms, and Cheshire cat pizza. That’s right, we’re talking about Japan. And we’re sure that the latest creation from the Japanese firm Switch Design — aka Hiromi Taki and Tomonori Ohata — will scratch that design itch for a lot of The Urban Grocer’s style–loving readers.
Is this the greatest invention ever? Mobile Art Lab, an offshoot of the giant Japanese Dentsu advertising agency which develops mobile specific content, recently launched the PhoneBook project, with the ‘aim of finding new ways to connect parents and children using the iPhone’. The project mashes up the digital benefits of the iPhone with the […]