The Design Milk Tech 10: Indoor Gardening Simplified, Luxurious Mushroom Leather + a Car Powered Cabin
Every month we share some of the most interesting and promising announcements from the realm of tech, including personal entertainment devices, the intersection of art and tech, home appliances trends, health tech and smart home solutions.
A CES 2022 Innovation Award winner, the indoor growing system is named after the Korean word for, “to sprout.” Indicative of the continuing trend and popularity of greenery during a time when travel is sometimes restricted – this compact refrigerator-sized home appliance allows green thumbs to indulge in growing greens where space or weather do not always permit hosting your own garden.
2. Rivian R1S
If I ever had any doubts about the future of electric vehicles, the Rivian R1T electric truck erased them. A recent test drive here in California made a convincing argument I needed to replace my current off-roader for one powered by the R1T’s quad motor drivetrain. Whether tasked to eat up some gnarly desert trails or to indulge in some stupid-fun acceleration across an airstrip, it was impossible not to grin while behind the wheel of the R1T. It’s capable of 0-60 performance in just 3-second and can automatically raise and lower its height with an easy to engage air suspension system. The entire vehicle is cleverly outfitted with storage and safety/comfort technologies throughout. The entire experience left me equally excited about their second upcoming model, the R1S, a SUV which I think will be an even more versatile and comfortable option for city/suburban dwellers.
Bang & Olufsen tends to stick with an earthen-organic Scandinavian palette when they grace their audio gear with color, but how can you not be enamored with the sumptuous blue tones gracing their Beoplay EQ earphones, Beoplay A9 4th generation speaker, Beoplay HX headphones, and the Beolit 20 Bluetooth speaker – a limited-edition Moment Collection celebrating the Chinese New Year. It’s only a shame these shades are an Asia-Pacific exclusive.
Ex-Googler, Xiaomi and Meta executive Hugo Barra is well aware that COVID at-home testing kits are hard to come by, and that antigen detecting rapid tests aren’t always accurate enough to verify infection. That’s part of the impetus behind the development of Detect, a 1-hour molecular PCR-quality reusable testing system engineered to be 97.3% accurate with no false positives. Detect’s user experience and industrial design is more consumer technology than medical equipment, a purposeful attempt to simplify and humanize what is often a stressful mode of health verification.
The 2022 Mercedes EQS sedan stands out as a promising model within the electric luxury vehicle segment, a new S-class vehicle equipped with a 56″ curved glass instrument panel Hyperscreen stretching from door-to-door, seamlessly merging three screens into one singular future-now interior. But then the German automaker went out and eclipsed its present with a reveal of its purported future, unveiling a marvelous CES concept. The futuristic VISION EQXX’s 620-miles range and wind-swept silhouette is at the heart of its all-electric appeal, but we’re equally impressed the automaker’s team imagines drivers will soon be slicing through traffic relaxing within the comforts of mushroom fibers and cactus fiber seats, with feet resting upon 100% bamboo fiber carpeting.
We’re still old-school pedal pushers, but it’s undeniable electric bikes have blown up as a popular option for commuting within urban and even suburban neighborhoods. Italy-based HYCON stands out from the increasingly crowded eBike field with a space-efficient and portable foldable design that retains full-size 24-inch tires in lieu of the smaller Mickey Mouse tires typically associated with foldable bikes.
Fashion house Dior is flexing its muscles in unexpected fashion, with a selection of global pop-up stores introducing the Dior Vibe line, a small collection of home fitness products designed in collaboration with luxe fitness equipment brand, Technogym. The Technogym MyRun connected treadmill, Technogym multifunctional workout bench, and Technogym exercise ball are superficially updated with a white finish, striping, and the House’s emblematic signature to appeal to home fitness devotees unsatisfied with typical industrially-glum equipment.
8. LG Objet TV
Spurred on by innovations within the display technology realm, televisions have seen a sort of renaissance in the varying shapes and sizes available to consumers. Look at the LG Objet TV showcased at CES 2022 and you could mistake it for a canvas of minimalist art. But that’s because the 65-inch display is hidden behind a tastefully hued Kvadrat fabric cover – a fetching proposal for anyone who dreads the idea of a large set within their home. The screen reveals itself by remote, a 4K OLED display paired with a 80W, 4.2-channel sound system to handle the audio end of the home entertainment experience.
One benefit of electric vehicles is they can operate as giant battery packs to power all sorts of devices. The Today’s Office cabin is an example of this mobile powerbank feature – a “Plug n’ Stay” structure outfitted with modest yet modern accommodations designed by Studio Puisto Architects from Finland, with numerous creature comforts powered by the Hyundai IONIQ 5’s Vehicle-to-Load capabilities. That means even while “roughing it,” guests can use wi-fi, enjoy a sound system and TV, reach for refreshments from a refrigerator, or use an air-sourced heat pump, kettle, espresso machine, and perhaps most importantly, a toilet while escaping for an off-the-grid holiday.
A typical morning here begins with a yawn and a push of a button using this very same grinder (but in its previous all-black incarnation), and I can attest this compact machine does its job proficiently and quietly using its 64 mm professional-grade flat burrs. It’s also one of the best looking kitchen/coffee appliances, built with a satisfying heft and attention to the tactile. The Ode Brew Grinder’s 31 dial settings is especially welcome for those of us who like to switch from various coffee preparation methods throughout the week.
Whether you want to show some love to your partner, friends, pets, or just get a treat for yourself — you’ll find plenty of thoughtful, design-driven Valentine’s Day gift ideas in the Design Milk Shop.