THE BEST Prototypes

Google Project Ara Demo

Google Project Ara Demo

Google presented a non-functioning prototype of the Project Ara modular smartphone at This Week in Startups. The bare bones model could cost as low as $50 and will come in three sizes. Skip to around 6:00 for the demo.

Cloudwash Smart Washing Machine

Cloudwash Smart Washing Machine

Cloudwash is Berg’s vision of a 21st century washing machine. It has simple physical controls, with notifications and detailed options controlled from an app. The app is a bit over-designed – a washing machine calendar? – but promising.

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Retractable Tire Studs Concept

Retractable Tire Studs Concept

Nokian Tyres celebrates its 80th year of making winter tires by creating a prototype tire with retractable studs. When installed on a vehicle, the studs on all tires rise and retract at the same time at the press of a button.

RFID Bikealarm Concept

RFID Bikealarm Concept

Designed by Dennis Siegel, the RFID Bikealarm deters theft by emitting an ear-shattering 120dB alarm if it senses drastic movement. The owner uses a small RFID tag to wirelessly activate and deactivate the alarm.

Keyboard Waffle Iron

Keyboard Waffle Iron

The hipster’s favorite kitchen appliance. Chris Dimino turned a 60s Coronamatic typewriter into a waffle iron with a keyboard pattern. Chris made it back in 2001, but he said he’s going to sell a few functional units soon.

MyWing Coffee Table Concept

MyWing Coffee Table Concept

A proof of concept for a flexible coffee table that can transform into small laptop desks. Made by Carlo Ratti Assocati and Cassina, this table is part of a series of furniture built using modern technology and with modern users in mind.

Toyota FCV Concept

Toyota FCV Concept

The Toyota FCV Concept uses hydrogen fuel cells to drive its electric motors, emitting only water as its waste material. Its two hydrogen tanks are good for more than 300mi and can be refilled in just three minutes. Available in 2015.

inFORM Dynamic Shape Display

inFORM Dynamic Shape Display

The folks behind the shape-replicating surface show off the full appearance of the device. The video also provides more possible applications of inFORM (beyond looking awesome). Find out more from MIT’s Tangible Media Group.

Replicator Table

Replicator Table

This intriguing device uses small rods to imitate the size, shape and motion of objects placed under its sensor, all in real time. It was built by Professor Hiroshi Ishii and his students at the Tangible Media Group of the MIT Media Lab.

Motorola Project Ara

Motorola Project Ara

When Dave Hakkens presented his idea for a modular smartphone, naysayers said it couldn’t be done. Well, it turns out Motorola – i.e. the Google-owned company that invented the cellphone – is working on a very similar device.

FreedMan Chair

FreedMan Chair

A chair designed to counteract the adverse effects of prolonged sitting by guiding your spine and pelvis into the same position that they would be if you were standing. It’s hazardous to your wallet’s health though.

Mercedes-Benz Self-Driving Car

Mercedes-Benz Self-Driving Car

Mercedes-Benz successfully tested its autonomous vehicle in real world conditions. Based on the S-Class, the S500 research car drove over 60mi. on its own. More time for the “driver” to enjoy the massage seats. More here.

V-Tex Rapid Cooling Technology

V-Tex Rapid Cooling Technology

Enviro-Cool is working on a user-friendly “reverse microwave.” The V-Tex chiller can cool down a canned drink from room temperature to 5ºC in just 45s. The company plans to release both commercial and domestic variants.

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Adobe Pen & Ruler Prototypes

Adobe Pen & Ruler Prototypes

Prototypes from the Adobe XD team. The pen can be used to draw and transfer images between devices. But the real innovation is the ruler, which adds guidelines on screen to make it easier to draw lines and shapes accurately.

The Hover Golf Cart

The Hover Golf Cart

We may not have hoverboards yet, but thanks to pro golfer Bubba Watson, Oakley and Neoteric Hovercraft, we now have a hover golf cart. It can go anywhere and actually does less damage to the green compared to human feet.

Video Background Inpainting

Video Background Inpainting

Do you love the Content Aware Fill tool in Photoshop? This prototype program can do that with videos. It inpaints by using pixels from certain frames to edit a moving object out of other frames.

Cheater’s Pool Table

Cheater’s Pool Table

PoolLiveAid detects the table, cue and ball and then provides a virtual overlay of the ball’s trajectory. We’re not sure if it takes into account the strength and angle of the strike though.

The Worker Lamp

The Worker Lamp

Pascal Howe’s The Worker is a 13ft. high lamp that looks like a huge construction toy (or a construction tool dropped at an alien landing site). Keep tabs on Howe’s Facebook page for purchase info.

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