10 Biomimic Gadgets

Arnoud van den Heuvel
November 23rd 2007

cocoon emergency survival

Coming across an image like this, makes one wonder at first: is it a giant punch-bag? Some sort of soft water-drop-sculpture?

No, it is the Emergency Outdoor Survival Cocoon, designed by John Moriarty; a place to find shelter in extreme conditions and environments. Hang it off a tree or a cliff face or anywhere else you need to. Inside, the user is comforted by warming colors and materials that will ensure he/she stays warm no matter what the conditions are like outside. And after a while, out crawls the hiking butterfly, just awoken from its metamorphosis!

Isn't this a nice example of a Biomimicmarketing product? (in short "biomimic") What nature has provided, man can copy, improve (or borrow characteristics from) and put on the market. That process is applied anywhere in the world and it is proved to be a very successful formula. More examples...

• "Start cleaning up those small messes in a super chic way with Stefano Giovannoni's hand-held re-chargeable vacuum in polished stainless and white plastic".

handheld vacuum cleaner

I don't think it has a tongue. But it sucks nonetheless.

• "Das blue label -Snail- ist mit 19 bar Pumpendruck ausgestattet. (...) das gehäuse ist aus spritztdruckaluminium. Die oberfläche ist mit einem flip-flop lack beschichtet. Die farbe ist blau-violett."

coffee machine snail

The German description states that this snail can go really fast (through its 19 bar pressure pump). The house is made of the strongest aluminum, so it cannot be crushed when stepped on and it is finished off with special flip-flop wax that will flip-flop-spice-up the average blue violet cup of coffee...

• And did you know that turtles are very good organisers?

cable turtle

Instead of biting or chewing your cables, they would love to get wired. Large Cable Turtles can be bought for £9.95 and add the smallest one to your virtual basket for only £4.45 !!

• Squids are highly intelligent creatures and quite tasty, but don't take this PowerSquid to your mouth...

powersquid

Its high-voltage tentacles will power up any electronic device in the US. I guess in other continents people will have to fall back on the old-school (and less intelligent!) electric Eels.

• Do you have an egg-timer? They come in all shapes and sizes. I have seen tomatoes, chickens, even the ones that have a door with a little wooden cuckoo inside. But guess what; now they have...

eggtimer

AN EGG TIMER IN THE SHAPE OF AN EGG!!! And with this timer you can boil your eggs for 15, 20, 25 or even 60 minutes. This design makes me wonder what came first... the egg or the timer?

• Need I explain?

mushroom lamp

One is to mush- and the other is to light the room. Sold! (And of course the amount of stools shaped like this is innumerable).

• When it comes to seeing, the human eye is quite a sophisticated device. It catches light (or colored reflections) and wires the data directly to the brain where it is converted into images and perhaps even memories on your hard disk.

beye camera

Cameras don't have to be large, ugly, static BigBrotherly monster-machines anymore. However still many cameras are designed to give us an uncomfortable "safe" feeling when we are innocently passing by. That is probably why Clément Eloy designed this little retro camera and calls it: Beye. It follows every little move (like human eyes would) and sees whatever you do.
But hey... can it do this? 😉

• She loves me... she loves me not... she loves me... she loves me not...

sixpartcoffeetable

Should I bring flowers? Or this SixPartCoffeeTable perhaps?! Very practical! And when she loves me not; at least we won't have to argue about who-gets-what part.

• The Thirsty Light is a device that you put in the pot. Water the plant and be notified through a tiny flickering led when it is getting thirsty. Keep in touch with your fellow-organisms!

thirsty light

Though it doesn't look very much like a tree, I tried to figure out why the device was shaped and colored like this. And it had to be like this, because the "collective visual memory bank" dictates that trees have a stem and green stuff on top. They grow from the bottom up and we prefer to see them healthy and green.

A conclusion might be appropriate:
Biomimics are like a mirror of how man experiences / or would like to perceive nature. As long as the gadget can be marketed and sold, these products give us the feeling that man is dominant; able to shape and convert the original into something new, with self-chosen materials and with a set of rules that is easier to understand - and more importantly - ours to control.

(to be continued...)

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=A=
Posted 24/11/2007 – 15:03

What we should do, Koert, is give all tags on this blog precise descriptions. That way we can avoid "blurring terminology" in future posts.
So right now I don't know how I should describe these marketing gadgets other than "Biomimics"... I think it is only fair that when we talk about Biomimicmarketing, we should call the subjects themselves "Biomimics" (though I understand the relation and/or difference with "Bionics"). I guess, when reading this in combination with the posted examples, one might get an idea, no?!)
@ pascal: I don't know the lamp, but if you find it please post the link. (Though I don't know whether to call it "Biomimicmarketing" or "Culturemimicmarketing"...)

pascal
Posted 24/11/2007 – 12:06

on the mushroom lamp: wasn't there once a nuclear-mushroom model, too? (or was it just a fake image) -- quite shocking but great-looking nonetheless (and not outstandingly radiant, safe for the home). But it wouldn' t be what one calls biomimical, though. Disastermimical maybe? (what we need in this category is the monsun-shower and tsunami-bathub, too)

Koert.com
Posted 24/11/2007 – 10:23

What a wonderful collection! Although I notice some terminology blurring in the writing. You mostly talk about biomimics, but link to the biomimicmarketing colleciton of posts. Which is something slightly different:
--
2) Biomimicmarketing: using images of old nature as a marketing tool.
1) Bionics (also known as biomimetics, biognosis, biomimicry, or bionical creativity engineering) is the application of methods and systems found in nature to the study and design of engineering systems and modern technology.
I guess biomimicmarketing is more about copying 'images', whereas bionics is more about the copying of underlying principles, that are sometimes not visible at al.
The principle you are describing seems to be somewhere in between? Do we have a new tag here?

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