The Design Milk Tech Top 10: May 2021
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.
1. LeGrow Desktop Garden
Imagine piecing together a modular indoor house plant system that interlocks like LEGO bricks, but also is outfitted to take care of watering, maintaining ideal humidity and providing additional grow lighting automatically.
2. LACMA x Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives
Do you miss going to museums as much as we do? Though not a replacement for the slow contemplative pleasures of walking through a gallery, we do commend the efforts of the Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art for thinking out of the box. LACMA’s partnership with Snapchat has resulted in five new augmented reality outdoor monuments strewn across Los Angeles, each visible using the Snapchat Camera.
3. Apple TV 4K Color Balance
Amongst the barrel of new products announced at Apple’s Spring Forward event – including the eye candy of new colorful M1-powered iMacs – the announcement that really caught our attention was connected with the new Apple TV 4K. Along with a much improved remote and high frame rate HDR, Apple revealed a very novel and genuinely useful option that uses the iPhone 12 as a television color calibration tool, optimizing color and contrast by placing the front facing camera onto the front of the television.
4. LeMond Prolog Electric Bike
As the only Team USA to win the Tour de France, Greg LeMond’s name is synonymous with the most heralded bicycle race in the world. But he’s now making electric bikes aimed at offering sleek and simple to operate lightweight city bikes made with carbon and assisted with a Mahle eBikeMotion X35 electric hub motor that can help you pedal as fast as 20mph.
5. Galaxy Upcycling at Home
By now you’ve probably upgraded from one phone to a new one several times over the years and might have a spare sitting around just gathering dust. Samsung wants you to revive your older Galaxy smartphone and turn it into an IoT home sensor device. The new SmartThings app taps Galaxy device sound and light-control features and turns them into a childcare monitor, a pet care solution and integrate with home lighting.
6. Atom Keyboard
If you’re looking for a mechanical keyboard with an audible click offering enough key travel to bring back memories of your computer lab days, but don’t want an enormous full-size model, this compact 60% RGB keyboard really does deliver for PC users (it works with Macs too, albeit with limited features). The Atom is marketed toward gamers, but we found its tactile and audible feedback reintroduces a very satisfying amount of feedback while working from home for nearly every task.
7. Samsung Bespoke Refrigerators
Are we finally moving away from the tired limited palette of brushed metal finishes in the kitchen? We hope so. Samsung’s online color customization is even more exciting because the Korean brand is offering new hues in a selection of modular sizes ranging from slim to double door, respectful of both smaller and larger kitchens, and everything in between.
8. Houseplant Record Player
It’s probably impossible not to imagine Seth Rogen’s hearty laugh accompanying while opening the lid of Houseplant’s latest drop, a co-branded made in partnership with turntable specialists, Pro-Ject. Unlike a lot of consumer entry level brands, the T1 Record Player is legit, with no plastic parts and one-piece aluminum tonearm.
9. Solar Quartz by Vincent Leroy
Parisian artist Vincent Leroy has been busy installing an unusual array of low technology artwork set in juxtaposition with distant natural settings with stunning results. His latest piece, Solar Quartz, resembles a revolving space probe dropped into the desert, complete with a repetitious soundtrack composed from sound samples recorded out in space.
Part wireless speaker, part audio visualizer, artist Dakd Jung uses the weird properties of ferrofluid (liquid containing magnetic nanoparticles) to visualize music with vicious viscous veracity.