Electrolux holds a global competition called Design Lab every year, which sees design students from all over the world come up with some weird and wonderful, time-relevant concepts for future homes.
The competition presents what you could see in a smarthome or a world of the far and distant future, you could say. Some ideas are more conceptual, while others are ideas you could imagine becoming a reality now. This year especially highlighted the latter with a few concepts combining current technologies rather than looking at developing new ones.
Design Lab is in its 13th year and while 13 may be an unlucky number for some, it wasn't for finalist Jordan Lee Martin from the UK, who walks away with €10,000 and a six-month paid internship at Electrolux for his concept Bloom. The idea was a kettle-based pod system that allows users to utilise the steam and boiling water from the kettle in the centre to cook, clean and grow plants in the three pods surrounding it.
This year, the theme was healthy and happy kids. Everyone wants some of those right? Entrants had to come up with ideas and concepts within one of the three areas comprising air purification, cooking and fabric care. The challenge was to see how in the future our homes could become supportive environments for children to live in and grow in. There were 1500 applicants across 60 countries, from which the six finalists were chosen.
There is everything from a robot called Voris that teaches children to look after their clothes, to a robot called Plato that helps you takes care of your child and a hula hoop called Quadruple H that doubles up as an air purifier. We told you they were weird and wonderful.
You can find a run down of each finalist concept and what they are about in the gallery. The winner might have been chosen, but let us know in the comments which one you would like to see become a reality.
Bloom (pictured above) was designed by Jordan Lee Martin and it is described as the "most efficient kettle in the world" utilising wasted steam and hot water to carry out multiple tasks in the three surrounding pods.
The pods are controlled using a smart device or the kettle's hub and they all use pre-existing technology, such as a steam cooker, propagator, plant air purifier, steriliser and dishwasher. Bloom also features a child-lock safety feature that ensures potentially dangerous aspects are sealed.
The idea of Bloom is the educate younger generations and help them develop good habits. Jordan says Bloom will help deliver a more informed generation that will be more attentive towards waste and the environment, consumption and sustainability. Bloom was awarded first place in this year's Design Lab.
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Air Shield is a baby stroller that creates a pure and clean microclimate. This concept was created by Dominykas Budinas from Lithuania and its aim was to address the air pollution threat for children in heavily populated countries.
The Air Shield features a glass screen that creates the enclosed space and protects the baby from UV rays and polluted air. The stroller has a purification system to filter the air before it reaches the safe environment within the glass and there is a microphone and speaker to allow the parent to communicate with the child.
It was designed for younger babies but Budinas said the idea could be adapted for older children. He also said the Air Shield would be customisable to allow for different tastes. Air Shield was awarded second place.
READ MORE Air Shield concept
Quadruple H (Q.H)
Quadruple H, shortened to Q.H, was designed by Jeonbeen Seo from South Korea. It is a hula hoop that doubles up as an air purification device, as well as a hologram projector.
Polluted air is purified through the inlets on the underside of the hula hoop, while the hologram projector is built into the detachable wall holder to show the user preselected images chosen through a smartphone app.
Seo envisaged the hula hoop hanging above a window when it wasn't being played with in order to purify the air coming through but it could be hung in other places too. Q.H was awarded third place.
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Voris is a robot designed to help children with their washing so they aren't constantly being told off for leaving clothes all over their bedroom floor. It has been designed by Martha Fabiola García Bustos from Mexico and it was one of our favourites.
The aim of Voris is to refresh half-used clothes and the robot will move around the room in any direction on its spherical wheels, while LEDs on its back glow to start a game with the child in an attempt to make keeping a tidy room more appealing.
It uses ultraviolet light to disinfect the clothes it collects in its belly, while a fabric refresh technology makes lightly soiled clothing wearable again. Voris has a tongue that the clothing will appear on when the refresh programme is complete.
READ MORE Voris concept
The Future Classroom concept was designed by Tobias Tsamisis from Hungary and it combines an aquaponic system, cooking area and interactive surface to help children have fun with education.
An aquaponic system is where plants and fishes live together by benefitting from each other. The fish produce waste that allows the plants to grow faster, which in turn teaches the children how to grow vegetables and food.
The cooking area of the Future Classroom is equipped with a hob and sink and there is a dishwasher and an oven underneath. The interactive surface is the connecting piece between the cooking area and aquaponic system, allowing the kids to interact and learn in a playful way.
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Plato is a robot toy concept that has been designed by Mary Pilyugina from Russia to help parents look after their children. It was inspired by platonic solids and is made up of five devices comprising Octo, Docon, Cuon, Set Ico and Tetra.
Octo is a robotic baby monitor that can read a baby's facial expression and listen to its mumblings in order to tell the parents what the baby needs. Docon is a developing robotic toy to help children learn through tactile, visual and auditory sensations. Cuon is a training robot guard that helps parents observe the child.
Set Ico is a three-in-one product that combines a baby bathing tub, changing mat and a cradle, while Tetra is a steriliser for baby bottles and a pacifier using UV light.
READ MORE Plato concept