back to article We saw the future: Apart from the bath apps it looks like the past

While much of the 100% Design show was devoted to furniture, textiles and materials, we love stuff you can plug in – especially if it also lights up. And there was no shortage of entertaining electricals on offer. ni_parasol_648 NI Parasol: For those who absolutely, resolutely refuse to go indoors NI Parasol: Don't you …

  1. AdamT

    Efficiency...

    Nice use of sarcasm in the article saving us from having to bother in the comments!

  2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    ...profit?

    Take an existing idea , dump the controls and replace with a smartphone app - hey presto- run down the patent office with a brand new invention!

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: ...profit?

      In an astounding coincidence, I have written a smartphone app that posts your exact comment at the press of a button. You can now complain that "do it with a phone" passes for innovation - from the train!

      Pat. Pend.

  3. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I used to love tech...

    But this stuff leaves me uninspired. Must be gettin' old I guess.

    (I do like the retro Segula bulbs though)

    1. Keef

      Re: I used to love tech...

      Screwfix and B&Q sell 'filament' LED bulbs which look nice and are cheaper than the Segula kit.

      Maybe not such a wide range but hey, they're cheap.

      1. Richard Wharram

        Re: I used to love tech...

        It's an LED with some glass around it. Why? Why make something modern look like something old that only looked like that due to technical limitations?

        Why not take a modern 4K monitor panel and stick it in a ginormous CRT housing and pop a couple of sand-bags in for an authentic feel? Would that also be cool?

        1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

          Re: I used to love tech...

          Nostalgia just isn't what it used to be.

        2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

          Re: I used to love tech...

          Why? Because it looks good, takes ages to fail, dims, sips power, and it's expensive but still within the reach of most people. Most CFL lights look awful, as did pearl lightbulbs, but this looks good.

          A modern 4K panel might be cool if it looked as good as some of the very best stylish CRTs (let's face it, mostly they're big and ugly), and performed as well as CRTs (debateable, depending on which bits of CRT features you liked).

          1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

            Re: I used to love tech...

            OOohh! Can the 4K panel duplicate the color and ghosting of the old P1 phosphor screens? Please say it will, please!

            1. Geoffrey W Silver badge

              Re: I used to love tech...

              RE: "OOohh! Can the 4K panel duplicate the color and ghosting of the old P1 phosphor screens? Please say it will, please!"

              And when you turn it off can it reduce to a dot in the centre of the screen that takes ages to fade away. And when you switch on Doctor Who the screen fills with William Hartnell, Zarbi, and Menoptera. Steam Punk TV!

        3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: I used to love tech...

          well it'd make it harder to steal :)

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: I used to love tech...

      What? This was tech? I never realised!

      Designer rubbish was all I saw.

  4. Jay 2
    FAIL

    To me most of that was just pure hipster wankery. Pre-rusted lights, WTF!? I had to laugh at the crappy lamp thing due to "They couldn't turn it on at 100% Design because the cable was too short to reach the socket".

    Would you like to buy our lamp? Can I see what is does? No, we're fucking idiots...

    1. dogged

      It does make you wonder whether designers are allergic to extension leads.

      1. Just Enough

        Aesthetically unacceptable.

        They'd rather sit in the dark than have their eyeballs sullied by such a vulgar and utilitarian outrage.

  5. dogged
    Unhappy

    What a sad, sad waste of a pinball table.

  6. JDX Gold badge

    It's mostly so useless I end up coming out the other side and like it.

    Although I would genuinely love an automated bath - so many times I go to check my emails while it's running, then come back and find the back is luke-warm because it's overflowed all the hot water down the drain.

    Although a bath that simply stops the tap when it's full would solve this, temperature control and the ability to start it running while I'm still on the exercise bike would be sweet.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
      Pint

      Get a automated bath or...

      a water proof tablet/phone for emails?

    2. Anode

      DIY bath automation

      You can get close to the automated bath system you desire by installing a thermostatic filler and a Nove-Flo which will turn off the water when it reaches the overflow.

    3. graeme leggett

      In the old days you'd take a project idea from Practical Electronics or one of Mr Penfold's books, and a handful of parts from Maplin and build a buzzer that sounded when the water reached the right level, or was too hot.

      1. John Bailey

        "In the old days you'd take a project idea from Practical Electronics or one of Mr Penfold's books, and a handful of parts from Maplin and build a buzzer that sounded when the water reached the right level, or was too hot."

        Yeah.. Not so much today.

        Go into Maplin with a list, and you will come out with their entire stock of parts, so long as you need no more than two of any one item. And the other 70% of your list will be ready to pick up Tuesday.

        Except for the most crucial part, that you will go home and order from someone on Ebay, like the rest of us do.

        21st century method.. Hook an Arduino up to an ultrasonic proximity sensor, points it at the water, and it texts you when the bath is full.

        And still costs less than your list of parts from Maplin.

    4. Sureo

      Do you need the app to pull the drain plug?

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Only as an optional feature where you realise you don't want/need/have time for the bath after all.

  7. Yugguy

    NI Parasol £2900????

    or alternatively a £5.99 outside light from Wilkos.

    1. g e

      Re: NI Parasol £2900????

      I was thinking you could even repurpose some photographic umbrellas to much the same effect for 100th the price

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: NI Parasol £2900????

        Or add $2 of waterproof self-adhesive LED strip, £2 worth of frost and a £10 12VDC power supply to an existing parasol and get something identical.

  8. Mage Silver badge

    One born every minute

    No-one is actually forced to buy this tat?

    I wonder do the LED lights really last 20,000hrs including the power supply capacitors? I doubt it.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: One born every minute

      From hipster suppliers, probably not.

      They can be built to last that long, but "artists" rarely pay attention to the actual workings of their designs.

      It is good to see that they appear to be using the L70 figure instead of the larger (but useless) L50 though.

  9. robertcirca

    BrainOmatic

    Hi folks

    please have a look at my BrainOmatic. The latest and brightest of German engineerig. It switches off your brain automatically when you do not need it. That is 50% of the time. It will set your brain in standby when watching TV or listening to your wife. That is another 40%.

    So this brain saver will save all your intelligence for challenging tasks.

    Only 200$ for the basic version. If you can prove that you are an idiot, you will get it for free.

  10. Dr_N Silver badge

    Jesus Wept

    If that was the best "designs" they had on show I dread to think what the rest of the tat looked like.

    Whatever happened to innovative design?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Jesus Wept

      Reminds me of the "make-over" craze a few years ago. Perfectly good things given a bad coat of emulsion to make them look trendy. One TV programme did a makeover of someone's lounge - and the owner literally burst into tears when she saw the abysmal result.

      A shop has just opened in our High Street selling that sort of stuff. Give it 12 months to go bust. The previous shop like that was selling other closed-down shops' "remaindered stock" at relatively cheap prices - and still went bust.

      1. Fibbles

        Re: Jesus Wept

        There used to be a show in the UK where two random couples who'd never met were tasked with designing a 'makeover' for each other's homes. One couple ended up with a living room decorated extensively in fake furs. Turns out they were animal rights activists. The fake smile lasted less than a second before the tears started.

        Rarely have I laughed so hard.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Jesus Wept

          There used to be a show in the UK where two random couples who'd never met were tasked with designing a 'makeover' for each other's homes

          That would be Changing Rooms, yes? It was remade in the US as Trading Spaces, and lasted for 8 seasons.

          Some of the designers and teams1 did nice work, but usually it was somewhere between questionable and outright disaster. And as with pretty much all DIY shows, they showed terrible technique for things like demolition and painting.

          1Of course the homeowner-participants did not do all the work; neither did their on-air budgets cover all the materials and supplies. But that's the norm for "reality" TV.

  11. GBE

    LED filament bulbs

    A few weeks ago I put 5 of the LED filament bulbs (in the small "candelabra" style) in a chandelier that hangs over my parents dining room table. They are great. With the old 60W incandescent bulbs, that fixture put out so much heat that it was uncomfortable to have it on in the summer time. The 4W LED filament bulbs look great in that type of fixture, put out plenty of light, and don't make you sweat. The LED filament bulbs do have a pretty low color temperature (they're yellower than "standard" incandescent, I'd guess no higher than 2500 kelvins) so I wouldn't use them for a reading lamp, but they're great if you want an early 1900's look.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: LED filament bulbs

      That's the secret of good style - combining new things with old in a sympathetic way. Had a 1970s hanging lamp fitting that needed six tungsten "candle" bulbs to edge light six glass tubes. For about 250w there was almost no light - but the effect was nice. Tried CFL but they didn't have the same effect. Finally gave it to the charity shop in the hope of it finding a good home.

    2. theOtherJT

      Re: LED filament bulbs

      But being filament bulbs, they don't last long.

      Does anyone actually have any concrete numbers to back that up? I'm not saying I disagree - maybe I just don't remember very well - but I spent most of the first 20 years of my life without there being such a thing as energy saving bulbs, and I really don't remember having to change them all that often.

      I reckon I can count on one hand the number of filament bulbs that have actually failed on me - and at 50p a bulb it wasn't exactly a big deal when they did.

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: LED filament bulbs

        But being filament bulbs, they don't last long.

        The longest-lasting light bulb in the world* is a filament bulb. This one's in California, but I'm sure I've read of another ancient bulb in Scotland.

        * apologies for the Daily Fail link - it was just what came up on Google.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: LED filament bulbs

        "I reckon I can count on one hand the number of filament bulbs that have actually failed on me "

        Standard tungsten bulbs have generally lasted a long time - although a couple took the fuse out when they went. One even destroyed the bathroom pull-switch. The CFL replacements for the 100w bulbs were not as bright - and after two units failed in a short time I went back to tungsten ones.

        However tungsten spotlight bulbs were relatively short-lived. The CFL replacements in new wall fittings have been reliable and efficient. The 3x4w LED spotlights in the kitchen have been in for a couple of years now - and are surviving repeated short on/off cycles. The old 80w fluorescent tube strips are only needed when an even spread of light is needed. The tubes needed changing for the first time after 30 years of service - but just before LED replacements looked worthwhile.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: LED filament bulbs

      If you're looking at your lighting, you're using it wrong.

      1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge

        Re: LED filament bulbs

        Actually filament bulbs take a lot of beating. Great light output, human-friendly colour spectrum (no eco-bulb gloom) and little wasted energy.*

        * Yes, conventional wisdom has it that 80% of the energy is wasted, but since most illumination takes place in the heating season (in the UK anyway), unless your main heating doesn't have a thermostat, bulbs' heat is a net input.

    4. Esme

      Re: LED filament bulbs

      Aye, those bulbs are about the only ones I;d countenance out of that lot, as well as being the only ones I can afford. As for the rest, I wish I was rich enough to have the problems that they address.

  12. Crisp Silver badge

    I was excited about the pinball coffee table...

    Until I saw that it was £6,500...

    And the pinball bit didn't actually work.

    1. g e

      Re: I was excited about the pinball coffee table...

      You can get a (Williams? Bally?) refurbed Addams Family *real-and-working* table for that. Bag a £15 coffee table from Argos for somewhere to pop your mugs while you play it :oD

  13. a well wisher

    All ideal products for Harry Enfields shop "I saw you coming"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVvcD4Czx4Y

  14. jzl

    100% Design?

    They should have made it more like 80% to leave some room for function.

  15. Nigel Whitfield.

    I do enjoy a good skewering ...

    ... but I fear Mr Caplin may have raised the bar for cynicism so high I'll never be able to top that.

  16. Triggerfish

    RE: The table

    I have talked to some designers and architects who think the design is more important than the practicality, which is slightly worrying when some of the architects said it was more important than building structural regs.

    Idiots basically.

  17. TheProf
    Angel

    Very common

    "They couldn't turn it on at 100% Design because the cable was too short to reach the socket".

    Cable length is a common review complaint on Amazon.

    I can't remember what the item was but one reviewer knocked a point off because 'the cable was to short to reach the socket', the next knocked a point off because 'the cable was much to long.'

    Handy Hint: If the cable is too short, move your appliance closer to the socket. If the cable is too long, buy a new house with bigger rooms.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Very common

      No if the cable is too long you can do any of the following:

      1) Place the appliance further away if it is useful.

      2) Coil up the cable, possible with some form of cable tie to hold it neatly in place.

      3) Cut the cable a little too long[*] and put a new plug on it.

      Easy really...

      * We all know a cable cut to length will be too short.

  18. Teiwaz Silver badge

    What I took away from this article

    If you are tempted to purchase any more than one of these items.

    You need to be taxed more.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    tat

    and tat.

  20. Turtle

    Nice!

    "Ever wished your metal light fittings were just that bit more rusty? Now you can get pre-rusted lighting without having to wait for it to oxidise under its own steam (see what I did there?) "

    (Yup. Good one!)

  21. Captain DaFt

    I'm puzzled

    They had all these purveyors of expensive and mostly useless crap together in one room, and nobody considered welding the doors shut, cutting the power, and quietly walking away?

  22. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    "cable was too short to reach the socket"

    The perfect metaphor for this design show.

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. Peter Simpson 1
    Joke

    As with most things

    A very little goes a long way. Except, I suppose, with lighting power cords...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Reality sets in

    I'm redoing my kitchen+bath this next year. Afraid it's gonna be tough to find anything decent among all the IoT crap, hipster-nostalgia crap, cheap-ass crap, and overpriced IoT-enabled hipsterized cheap crap.

    1. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Reality sets in

      In same boat.

      I'm starting to aquire small bits here and there (sink, cabinet fittings, etc) that might work for me in the end (SO thinks I've lost my mind and am turning into a pack rat) - I've not finalized anything but I'm definitely making my own cabinets (no particle board going in this) and possibly might tackle the replacement kitchen table. Whilst I like some of the new HE appliances, I'm seriously wondering what level of stupid is taking over the planet when we've got (2/3/4 year) short lifespan software and electronics in an appliance that should last (based on the prices) 20 years. No thanks, I don't want your "didgital thermal management" (sic) in my goddamn fridge, nor do I want an electronic temperature control on my gas stove, just give me a dial.....

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