Electrolux Design Lab 2014: The future of a smart healthy home
Every year since 2003 Electrolux runs its Design Lab competition where students worldwide are challenged to create a concept that is time relevant and presents what the future of design could look like.
There have been numerous themes in the past, including healthy eating, sustainable living and the internet generation, but this year the brief wanted concepts around the topic of creating healthy homes with three focus areas including culinary enjoyment, fabric care and air purifying.
Some of the designs from the top 35 semi-finalists are the kind of thing you'd expect to see in Star Trek rather than in your home, but we have picked 10 of our favourite crazy ideas to show what the future of a healthy home could have within it.
Taking on the refrigerator, the U-Bubble concept is a freezing machine that consists of a number of bubbles that float around with food inside them.
The idea is that you won't have to get up off the sofa to get something from the fridge when you get peckish. Instead, you just choose one of the floating bubbles with the food inside that you fancy by using an app on your device.
U-Bubble floats using a magnetic force, with the ceiling designed to be the force's provider, as well as a giant charging dock that will wirelessly charge the bubbles when they automatically float to the top to get some extra juice.
READ: More about the U-Bubble
Instant Cleaning Glove
The Instant Cleaning Glove could be your best friend when it comes to stain removal by disintegrating any stain from fabrics using a combination of nanotechnology, ultrasound and water.
The neoprene glove features a flexible AMOLED display on it to give you a series of steps to get your clothing back into a wearable state. It is wirelessly charged and it can be adjusted to fit various people.
Putting the glove on and closing your hand will power the screen up, after which the glove will scan the stain to decide how difficult it is to remove. It will then set itself to the respective frequency in order to disintegrate the stain, turning it into particles that are then absorbed by the glove.
Feasy is another concept designed to take on the fridge, offering a modular food storage system that brings four different-sized containers to keep food fresh in portions, avoid food waste and help you optimise shelf life.
There is a management display interface within the system that can communicate with tablets and smartphones, along with offering the ability to create user profiles on the screen directly. From this interface, users can add or remove modules, check how much room they have for storage, change the temperature and compile a grocery list, for example.
The honeycomb structure fits onto the wall creating a feature and you will be able to change the screen to be a colour or transparent, allowing you to fit it in with your kitchen or see what is inside each of the containers.
Set to Mimic
Set to Mimic is a concept that would come in very handy for those that want to go on a diet but don't like the taste of healthy food, or for those that want to change the taste or smell of food or drinks into something you really enjoy.
This idea allows you to store the mental experience you get when you eat something you like, as data within a computer inside the plate and glass. It does this by transferring a wireless signal from the patches attached to your head, which capture synapse information inside your brain and converts it to data.
Therefore, you could put a selection of vegetables on the plate, select a product from the alphabetised list that you like and then pop the transparent gel patches on your head to convert the taste into burgers and chips instead.
Fabric Assistances is an idea to make the chore of cleaning and ironing less alarming by refreshing and ironing any fabric in a couple of minutes.
The concept consists of an intelligent charging system that will not only charge the Fabric Assistance module but will also automatically add a measure of water and deodorising cleaning fluid too.
The Fabric Assistance module will then automatically release cleansing steam onto the fabric to clean, refresh and smooth it out. It will continue to do so until the duration of the refresh cycle is completed or you manually stop it.
Zero Waste is a 3D printing concept for the fashion conscious that are after a product to help them keep up with the trends without running out of wardrobe space or spending too much money.
This wardrobe doesn't need a lot of space and it will let you make new clothes using old clothes as the raw material. The interface will assist you in choosing a new outfit and you'll be able to see what it looks like when worn with the virtual reflection.
Zero Waste will come with a certain amount of special raw material that can be recycled numerous times in the future, and while you are waiting for your new outfit to be 3D printed, you can use the wardrobe to scan your body measurements and do some virtual shopping.
Surphase is a concept devised to allow you to literally take your kitchen with you wherever you go. The cooking and cooling part of it anyway - you'll have to leave the sink behind.
When flat, Surphase has enough room for three medium sized pans but as it is flexible and wireless, it can be folded up and put in your bag. This also means you can fold up the sides to create an oven or fridge.
Sensors detect the a pan or food to ensure only used areas are heated or cooled, and you will be able to adjust the heating level and set a timer using the touch screen that appears when a pan is detected.
Lotus Flow aims at the perfect combination of form and function by attempting to be an air purification system, dynamic lighting effects and a statement product all in one.
The outer shell petals are made from an electroluminescent fabric with a hydrophobic coating to attract dust and pollutants to the Lotus Flow's inner core. These will filter air, absorb dust and kill bacteria to produce fresh air.
It will check the air quality in your room and work in response to the people within it. You'll be able to connect it to a home network and smart devices so you can keep an eye on the room's conditions and find out whether parts need replacing.
Luna is a concept designed to transform your laundry basket into a washing machine to give you more space, preserve the environment and make it less effort to look after your clothes.
The idea is that you take your basket of dirty laundry, fill Luna up with some water and put the sphere-shaped object into the laundry basket for it to work its magic. There is a simple interface to show you the main information but the more advanced information and functions will be found in the app.
Luna will scan the basket to work out how much it needs to clean and how dirty your clothes are to give you a time, after which it will electrostatically steam them and use pulses and vibrations to get rid of dirt. Following this, Luna will collect the dirt particles and suck them into its core, giving you a basket of clean clothes in the process.
Yura is the coolest bartender you'll meet. It will make custom drinks for you, be it cocktails or juice, and deliver them directly to your hands.
It is a flying droid that will be able to receive voice commands or take orders from your phone and it will be able to configure the temperature of liquid, number of calories, amount of liquid, as well as carbohydrate, fat and protein content.
Yura is self-recharging and it comes with spherical folding cups in three sizes comprising 0.25 litres, 0.33 litres and 0.5 litres. It also has quiet turntables so you shouldn't hear any noise when in operation.
If one of these concepts tickles your fancy then you can vote for it on the Electrolux Design Lab website from midday on 12 August to help the product reach the final six.