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Electrolux Top 8 Appliance Design Lab Finalists Chosen
Jul 26, 2011
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A couple of months ago, Electrolux announced the 25 semi-finalists chosen from 1300 entries to its annual Design Lab competition, and now it has decided on the eight finalists that will travel to the finals in London on September 7.

The ninth Design Lab competition asked design students from around the world to submit concept appliance designs centered around the theme of Intelligent Mobility.

Electrolux received 1300 entries in 2011 and chose 25 concept appliances to be their finalists. The number has now been narrowed down to eight.

Winners will be chosen during the Room Home Intelligence conference in London, which offers expert trend prediction, future consumer behavioral insight, and global market intelligence for home product buyers, designers, and retailers.

The eight finalists will present their concept appliances to a jury of expert designers, who'll chose the 2011 winners based on the criteria of:
• intuitive design
• innovation
• consumer insight

The first prize winner gets a six-month paid internship at an Electrolux global design centre and 5,000 Euros. Second prize is 3,000 Euros and third prize is 2,000 Euros.

The final eight are from Australia, Canada, Finland, Hungary, New Zealand, Slovakia, South Korea, and the United States. The finalists are listed below. Descriptions and photos of all 25 semi-finalists can be found in the ApplianceMagazine.com June report: Concept Appliances: Design Lab 2011 Top 25 Semi-Finalists.

The eight finalists are:

The Ribbon from Australia's Enzo Kocak, Monash University. The Ribbon is an all-in-one hotplate, warming device, and cooler for portable use. It wraps around a vessel containing food or drink for heating or chilling. The black side provides heat while the white side cools. A rechargeable thermoelectric cell battery can also reverse the charging process– whilst not in use the cells convert excess heat back into electricity.

Robo TAP Cleaner from South Korea's Gyu Ha Choi, Handong Global University. The Robo TAP adds a new capability to current robotic vacuum cleaners: human guided targeting. An indoor positioning system (IPS) is synchronized to a small remote control attached to the user's shoe. Two show-taps on a dirty spot alerts the Robo TAP to the spot. Two more taps will cancel the summons and three taps tells the robot to go back to its predetermined route.

Smoobo Blender from New Zealand's Roseanne de Bruin, Massey University. This device is a smoothie-making blender. Users put their favorite ingredients inside the rubber ball, shut it, and start bouncing it around. The bounce activates the motor and spins the blades, powered by kinetically charged batteries. The Smoobo surface is made of uneven rubber knobs to make the bouncing unpredictable and more fun.

Mobile Induction Heat Plate from Finland's Tommi Moilanen, Aalto University School of Art and Design. This smart induction hot plate is intended to be a compact cooking device for those on the go. Put the hot plate wherever you want to cook. Your smartphone app is the remote control. The app is also designed to be used with intelligent food packaging, with NFC-tags providing instructions for properly heating the food. A wooden handle makes it easy to carry and easy to store by hanging it on the wall while recharging the battery.

Onda Portable Microwave from the U.S.'s Matthew Schwartz, California State University Long Beach. The Onda portable microwave oven slides onto the packaging of pre-prepared meals. As the seal of the packaging is broken, the handheld oven creates a circuit connection. Paper batteries produce the energy needed to cook the food.

Spot Cleaner Portable Washing Machine from Slovakia's Adrian Mankovecky, Academy of Fine Arts and Design Bratislava. Four pre-installed cleaning programs are available for quick and easy use garment cleaning by this portable washing machine. The user separates the two components of the device, places one on each side of the garment with a stain or odor, and chooses the suitable cleaning program. The device cleans the spot using negative ions and steam. It is powered with a sugar crystal battery.

Salvé Bagel Toaster from Canada's Kent Madden, Carleton University. This portable bagel toaster is especially convenient for those who can’t find time to eat breakfast in the morning. Place a bagel in the toaster and it will automatically start rotating until the user feels the bagel is sufficiently toasted. The toaster is energy efficient, running on sugar crystal batteries or recharged on a ceramic dock using induction.

Sous-vide Cell cooker from Hungary's Adam Miklosi, University of West Hungary – Institute of Applied Arts. The Sous-vide Cell cooker is inspired by the professional slow cooking trend. The Sous-vide cooks food at pre-determined times and comes with web and smartphone apps to help the user plan a menu. Ingredients are sealed in airtight plastic bags and in water bath for what may be extremely long cooking times (the designer says 72 hours is not an unusual cooking time) and held at temperatures that can be much lower than traditional cooking (around 140 °F).

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