Category Archives: Concept

The ARAC ZXS Concept by Marko Petrovic

It has been a while since my last article that featured a motorcycle.  Although I no longer own a motorcycle (for now) my passion for their aesthetic design and convenience, has not gone away.

When I saw this beautifully designed concept bike by Marko Petrovic, my enthusiasm was revived and just had to do a post on it, and only hope we will see something like it on our roads soon.

I know it is on my wish list…

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3 Epic Apple Product Concepts, I Would Like to See Made…

Being the Apple fan that I am, I have come across several concepts the various people have created (digitally).   After looking through them all, I have selected just three that would be awesome if Apple were to actually make them.  It is unlikely that any of these products will see the light of day, but there is some really great designers out there.

The three I have selected to show here are as follows:

  • Apple iPod Nano Coin
  • Apple QuickTake Camera
  • Apple iPod Shuffle 2020

Continue reading 3 Epic Apple Product Concepts, I Would Like to See Made…

Today’s Cool Concept: Know your Parking Spot in Advance

What is the one thing that annoys us drivers?  Parking! right.  Whenever you visit the shopping mall that has an extremely large parking garage that is very busy, it is difficult to find that one spot to park your car.

Well designers, Shih Chang-Chi, Huang Shao-Heng & Wang Shou-Yu have come up with a great idea that I think should have been implemented a very long time ago.  On entering the parking lot, you receive a ticket that could serve two purposes, it serves as your parking ticket, that could show when you entered the parking lot, and this is the best bit…

…it can also show you where the next available parking spot is by printing location information in the garage, and which spot is free right on the ticket for you.

Now you don’t need to go round in circles to find that one empty spot.  You might end up with that one parking slot that is so far from the exit however, but a great concept none the less.

Here are the concept pictures they posted on Yanko Design website.

Source

30 Cool Gadgets and Concepts

As you will continue to read this blog, you will quickly learn that I love my gadgets, and today’s post is no exception.  Here is a collection of some awesome gadgets and concepts I have found around the Internet.  You could say this is another wishlist, but despite not having the prices for some of the items on the list, the others come to approximate total of $46,500.00, so it is unlikely.  Hope you enjoy.  Would love to hear your thoughts on this list and any other gadgets and concepts you have discovered.

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Continue reading 30 Cool Gadgets and Concepts

Idea #3 : Heated Roads

It has always amazed me how this country can grind to a halt when a small amount of snow falls from the heavens.  Records have shown, the most severe of winters with record highs of snowfall was 1947, where from January 22nd to March 17th, snow fell every day, somewhere in the UK.  The temperatures rarely rose more than a degree or 2 above freezing.  Several of these snowfalls were of 60cm or more, with some depths of level-snow reaching 1.5 meters (150cm) in Upper Teesdale and the Denbighshire Hills.

We in the UK have not seen these kinds of snowfall since that date.  I am not saying that snow on our nations roads is not disruptive, it can cause real problems, but it has always amazed me how no-one seems to be prepared for it, including the government agencies.

Since the severe shortages of road-salt last year (so the government agencies said) they have increased their orders this year in case we get the same levels of snowfall.

Idea #3 : Heated Roads

Despite the efforts of government agencies ploughing and salting the roads, our roads never seem to be clear of snow and ice during the winter.  I have often thought that there must be a better way to keep our roads clear of snow, ice and frost in the winter so I thought of having heated coils embedded in our roads is the answer.

When sections of roads are laid, why can we not put a simple heated coil, similar to those used in underfloor heating in homes:

Even if the government undertook my previous idea, these coils could be wired up to our streetlamps and be switched on at key times during the winter or when the temperature drops below a certain level, meaning that any ice, frost or snow is removed from the roads and they are safer to drive on.

Research

After some further research I have found there is a UK based company called ICAX which is already using what they call :

ICAX™ Solar Road Systems – which clear the ice and snow from roads using under road heating or IHT (Interseasonal Heat Transfer) which captures surplus heat from the summer sunshine, stores it in ThermalBanks™ in the ground and releases it to heat buildings or roads in winter.

A black tarmac road in full sunshine will often reach 15°C higher than the ambient air temperature. ICAX captures this free energy in summer (reducing the peak  temperature at the surface) and returns the heat in winter.

Source

So why is this method not being adopted by our local councils?

That is Idea #3.  Please leave your comments below and let me know what you think, or let me have your ideas of alternatives.

Idea #2 : Auto-Street Lamps and save £500k per year.

It has always surpised me that the idea I am about to tell you about hasn’t been implemented already.

Street Lamps, Street Lights, Light Poles or Lamposts, whichever you refer to them as, are there to provide (don’t you dare say light!) safety to pedestrians around our citys.

Apart from the nightowls amongst us, most of us are tucked up tightly in our beds at the small hours of the night.  Many of the streets become unused during the hours of darkness, so why do we need to have the lights burning all night long.

My idea was to introduce a street light that is powered by LED, and has some kind of motion sensor that controls the lights within that street.  LED lights are in the most part an instant-on type of light meaning that, should a vehicle or pedestrian pass under a street light at the start of the street, the whole street it lit up instantly.

Each of the lights have a timer switch built in, and when there is no movement detected after a certain period, the light is distinguished, saving the country millions in electricity bills, not just by switching them off when they are not needed, but also replacing them with LEDs.

The lights can also be programmed, much like traditional light poles, that they are only available during certain times of the day or when it is actually getting dark.

Here is an example:

I am a photographer and to me this is a beautiful use of light and very atmospheric, giving a good sense that it is late at night and a completely abandoned car-parking-lot.

If this parking-lot is not being used at this time of night, do we really need to have the lights on…?

How much does it cost to run a street lamp in the uk?

THE ANSWER
The energy cost in winter is about 15 pence a night
If you include maintenance and replacement costs, it is about 27 pence a night
But costs vary according to the type of street light and the kind of deal struck with suppliers

The 15p a night figure is correct for Powys Council and 12 other authorities in South Wales, which buy their electricity as a consortium. The cost per street lamp will vary for other councils. But Powys’ energy costs have risen 36% in the last year and are set to increase a further 40% in the coming year.

A spokeswoman for Surrey County Council says it pays on average about 15 pence a night, although that figure excludes the maintenance costs such as replacing the bulbs. So what if these are taken into account too?

Source

The cost of 15p per night may not seem a lot, but as the article says – this excludes the cost of maintenance.  Plus this cost is per light.  Over a year this would mount to £54.75 (based on 365 days).  Granted some nights maybe cheaper because of the shorter nights.

£54.75 Per light for on year minus maintenance cost.  Multiply this by say 10 lights in a street (which is not a great deal of lights) comes to £547.50 per year in electricity.

Replacing them with LEDs will reduce the maintenance costs dramatically as they will not need to be replaced as often.

A quick search on Google.co.uk – How many street lights are there in the uk? and the first source gives an estimate of 46,789 by one person.  I don’t know if this is correct, but I would guess this is a good number to start with.

So using the figures from earlier per light, per year of £54.75, this comes to:

£54.75 x 46,789 = £2,561,697.50

Even if we saved 25% of this by switching the lights off when they are not needed and not replacing them with LED versions the UK would save approximately £640,424.38 per year in electricity.

Some crazy figures aren’t they.  I think it is amazing this idea hasn’t already been thought of.  You would save huge sums of money in electricity bills each year and you would not be putting anyone at risk of being in darkness late at night.

I think the cost of replacing them to LED versions would off set the savings you get.

That’s Idea number 2.  I would love to hear from you guys on what you think.