DesignLab

Electrolux

U-Bubble

Free floating refrigiration

By Chengyin Zhang, China
U-Bubble

3 Stage - Visual Development

  • U-Bubble - Stage - Visual Development
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View the concept video
What is the concept U-Bubble?

U-Bubble is a concept of refrigerating bubbles that hover in the air, so you can always see what food you have at home. Each bubble can have different products, making sure tastes and odours are not mixed and each ingredient is stored in the optimal way. The bubbles use magnetism to float in the air, and the transparent film that the bubbles are made of also works as an interactive screen. It can tell you how long it is until a product expires, or let you connect with other’s who use U-Bubble. The bubbles automatically recharge by docking with a wireless charger in the ceiling.

What was the inspiration behind your concept?

I come up with this idea is I just want to realize a childhood dream world: bubble’s wonderland and floating food.

How do you think your concept will change peoples’ lives?

U-Bubble is a floating refrigerating machine, they can float anywhere in your home, you can control it to your side by your voice or APP, so you needn’t go to kitchen every time. It also an ornament, I believe that the floating bubble can give users a special visual experience.

U-Bubble has a social function, it has its own APP, use user’s account to log, this APP give U-Bubble’s users a platform to discuss how to create delicious and healthy food, users can find a person who has the same taste with him or her, and explore their pursuit of healthy food.

U-Bubble create another way for you to spend leisure time when you enjoy your food, you can chat with others who take out the same food with you from the bubbles, it create another mode of rapid social intercourse, this game style way of looking chat partner, I believe can bring to the users easy and enjoyable.

U-Bubble also can assist users to urge their healthy diet, it can statistics what you have taken out recently and analysis it to supervise whether you have balanced diet. This function can help users to change their bad diet, induce them to healthy eating.

Expert feedback

No expert feedback available

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2 Stage - Concept Development

Have you ever seen in a dream that food floats in the air? Have you ever dreamed dancing with bubbles in fairy-tale world?U-Bubble will make these dreams come true.

  • Concept images
  • Design details
  • U-Bubble - Stage - Concept Development
  • U-Bubble - Stage - Concept Development
  • U-Bubble - Stage - Concept Development
  • U-Bubble - Stage - Concept Development
  • U-Bubble - Stage - Concept Development
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  • U-Bubble - Stage - Concept Development
  • U-Bubble - Stage - Concept Development
  • U-Bubble - Stage - Concept Development
  • U-Bubble - Stage - Concept Development
  • U-Bubble - Stage - Concept Development
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Expert feedback

Nice development work and very impressive images. I’m unsure if consumers would really use the social function, but I appreciate the fact that you are bold even with envisioning this. Perhaps the peer pressure of having a publicly open fridge will result into eating healthier food, suppose nobody want’s to show and share with others if they continuously buy chocolate mousse or fatty fast food…! So there’s a lot of room for imagination in this concept. Which technological feature would you find most important to highlight in the last stage? Perhaps the functionality of the healable polymer film in home appliances? Good luck with submitting to Stage 3!

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1 Stage - My concept

U-Bubble is a freezing machine,it looks like a suspended bubble,it can be controlled by mobile devices and make friends with others.

  • U-Bubble - Stage - My concept
  • U-Bubble - Stage - My concept
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Expert feedback

The concept is playful, bold and provocative. The concept can be developed to various directions, so it will be interesting to see where you choose to take this. We would like to see more images of the concept in contect of use in the home environment and more specifically showing how it brings people together (logic and function) and how the concept recharges.

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Development Blog

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Position Control

  • Position Control
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In order to better manage bubbles, users should know every bubbles’ location and manage them, so I decide to simply show this feature.
The APP can synchronize users’ room’s floor plan, and the bubble’s position will appear on the plan, you can change its position by touching the plan where you want, also you can set retracted area to limit his activity space.


Sound control and sound localization system

  • Sound control and sound localization system
  • Sound control and sound localization system
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I find a problem that if bubble is in your neighborhood, such as at the same room, still use device to call it to your side is inconvenience, so I decide to give bubbles a pair of ears, than you can call bubbles to your side only by your mouth if its near you. This feature involves a technology called sound localization system, this technology will let bubbles locate the sound source position, that is to find the user’s location and close to him with collision avoidance radar. About this technique, I found a related patent, I believe in the future this technology will be more lightweight and more accurate.
Here is the link to the patent.

http://www.google.com/patents/WO2009062211A1?cl=en


Collision avoidance radar

  • Collision avoidance radar
  • Collision avoidance radar
  • Collision avoidance radar
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A friend asked me: bubbles floating in the home freely, won’t they hit the wall or the people?
Its really a problem, that bubbles’ freedom can not be truly free, they should consciously avoid obstacles, so I think it is necessary to teach them know.
To solve this problem I decide to use collision avoidance radar, because it harmless to human body, it has been widely applied to the rear of the car to help the driver reversing, it uses ultrasound’s reflection to determine whether there are obstacles around, then make timely evaded, and it will be installed in U-Bubble’s head.


SAME FOOD

  • SAME FOOD
  • SAME FOOD
  • SAME FOOD
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In my last blog, I mentioned a SAME FOOD system. In fact, it just the new way to make friends I described earlier, just recently I gave it a name.For it is one of U-Bubble’s highlights, so I want to once again detailed describe it. It works very simple, once you take a food out of bubble, bubble’s film will sense this action, and than search nearby bubble which was taken out the same food at the same time immediately, than display its host’s brief information on your bubble’s film, at same time, this information will appear in your APP too, if you have interest with him/her, you can choose to chat with he/she right away. SAME FOOD use a simple way to develop relationships Platform, using “Food Fate” to connect people together, when you are in your free time, when you take out a food out of bubble, U-Bubble can find a people accompany you pass the time, and food must be a good topic. Considered not everyone need this system because it might invasion of privacy or disturb life, therefore, the participants of this system must be voluntary. So users could choose to turn it off in options interface, than no stranger will bother you or know what you have took from the bubbles.


APP interface

  • APP interface
  • APP interface
  • APP interface
  • APP interface
  • APP interface
  • APP interface
  • APP interface
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I made a few APP interface for an overview of its capabilities, I gave them a series of numbers, let me explain one by one by the numbers.
1. APP’s main interface, here you can see the status of each bubble and foods in it, bubbles classified according to the type of food, select them by sliding interface.
2. Click on the top left corner of the plus sign will display APP’s other content.
3. My profile, here is your personal information that can be seen by your friends.
4. Circle, you can see your friends share information about healthy food here, you can comment or share your own acquisition.
5. Friends, here you can look over your friends you have, you can add friends by ID number or Public Home, or using U-Bubble’s unique social platform, SAME FOOD, find out a person who took out the same thing at the same time from the bubble.
6. Diet analysis, U-Bubble will statistics the amount of food you take from the bubble a period of time, you can find that your diet is healthy or not,calories are exceeded or not by analyzing and comparing in this page.
7. Options, you can set your APP in this page, including some general or privacy options.


APP logo

  • APP logo
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Thank to the expert’s feedback! Thank you for your support and affirmation,also like to thank expert point out my problem.It’s really an issue that not everyone would like to share their dietary content for sometimes it might be their privacy.So I am ready to strengthen the app system to make it more logical and more reasonable in stage 3,to create a healthy food community development,where costumers can find Healthy Recipes or Like-minded foodies in this place.Now, I released the logo of app first.


Soap bubble screen is ‘the world’s thinnest display’

  • Soap bubble screen is ‘the world’s thinnest display’
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Viewers may soon be able to watch films on soap bubbles – after researchers developed a technology to project images on a screen made of soap film.

An international team produced a display that uses ultrasonic sound waves to alter film’s properties and create either a flat or a 3D image.

The bubble mixture is more complex than the one sold in stores for children, but soap is still the main ingredient.The bubble is much harder to burst than a regular soap bubble, as the mixture contains special colloids – and objects can even pass through the film without popping it.

The team says the display is the world’s thinnest transparent screen.

“It is common knowledge that the surface of soap bubble is a micro membrane. It allows light to pass through and displays the colour on its structure,” the lead researcher, Yoichi Ochiai from the University of Tokyo, wrote in his blog.

“We developed an ultra-thin and flexible BRDF [bidirectional reflectance distribution function, a four-dimensional function defining how light is reflected at an opaque surface] screen using the mixture of two colloidal liquids.”

Although traditional screens are opaque, the display created by Dr Ochiai and his colleagues Keisuke Toyoshima from the University of Tsukuba in Japan and Alexis Oyama from the Carnegie Mellon University in the US, varies in transparency and reflectance.

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-18671061


How can U-Bubble connect people together

  • How can U-Bubble connect people together
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Data show that as many as 180 million Chinese single men and women.What causes so many single men and women?There is a main reason is now increasingly fast pace of life,people have no time to look for he or she.People began to pursue some of the quickest way to get to know more people.There are many chat tool by shaking the phone to make friends,the principle is linked two people who doing the same things together. U-Bubble,too.U-Bubble can find out another one who took out the same things out of the bubble,and display other side’s brief information to you(As shown in Figure).Because you two did the same things, so there can be a talk topic,such as:You eat beef at noon today too?how did you cooked it?Then it must have many way to expand the topic by the equipment which control the bubbles.How then develop? U-Bubble can only help you to here.


Wireless charging technology

  • Wireless charging technology
  • Wireless charging technology
  • Wireless charging technology
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I imagine that the bubble was charged by wireless charging technology,this is a new but gradually mature technology,it can charge bubbles without plug,it can improve the overall appearance and can streamline operations.In stage 1 I have said that the ceiling is a big charger,and the bubbles will adsorb on it automatically everywhere in house when it will power off.Ceiling’s power comes from the solar,use clean energy create more healthy life.


My source of inspiration

  • My source of inspiration
  • My source of inspiration
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My inspiration comes from the bubbles,I would like to create a dreamlike ambience to make people relax.This time I want to share some beautiful pictures about bubbles.


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