10 Weird Strangest But Awesome Foldable Gadgets

10 Weird But Awesome Foldable Gadgets

1. This Bathtub Folds Up And Fits In Your Closet — And It's Even Cooler Than It Sounds

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Soaking in a bubble bath is the epitome of relaxation, but for many, this is an unobtainable luxury as bathtubs can be both expensive and space-sucking. If your bathroom is tiny, chances are a tub isn't in it. But one German designer, Carina Deuschl, has found a way to make the bathtub more accessible to all with her award-winning pop-up, collapsible tub design called The XTEND.

I saw this amazing product a few weeks ago at Ambiente — the largest consumer goods trade show in the world — featured in the German Design Awards exhibition, and have not stopped thinking about it since. I spoke with Deuschl to learn more.

"The incentive was to redefine the ordinary bathtub, as we know it," Deuschl told me. "The material, the production, and handling were intended to fit the requirements of todays world."

Not only was the idea to create a portable bathtub innovative, but the XTEND has been lauded as an example of extraordinary design, craftsmanship, and digital manufacturing. The tub is made out of super light carbon fiber, cut using high pressure water jet technology. The inlay is made out of a durable, soft padded fabric that's also machine washable. It also comes with an attachable shower head.

"The design is determined by a contrasting yet complementary black and white color scheme," Deuschl explained. "The black and hard frame is made from carbon fibers. The white and soft inlay that completes the tub, cushions the tub with a three layer structure of a waterproof high-performance material. Carbon is known for its strength to weight ratio. Its restoring force, its stability, and its rigidity is processed in a way that allows for flexible deformations. While being a robust bearing structure optically, the carbon frame is a reference to the texture of water and waves."

The XTEND weighs only 15 pounds and, when folded, it's just a third of an inch in height.

"The fabric inlay is not only waterproof, lightweight, durable, and soft, but also highly compressible, such that it can be stowed in an ultra thin case," Deuschl continued. "The surface of the material, crumpled due to the compression, becomes smooth again once the bathtub is filled with water."

The tub's assembly can be done in a matter of minutes by hand, and once built, connects to a water source, such as a shower or hose. "After your bath is done, the water inlet can be transformed into a pump to drain the water out of the tub," Deuschl said.

The tub's legs and shower head are stored in slots at base of the tub when not in use, making for easy transport of all the XTEND's pieces into your closet.

Deuschl sees many applications for the XTEND, including in the medical field, in hotels, and, of course, at home.

"I liked the idea of taking a bath in the living room," she told me. "But it may also be used in tiny houses or small apartments without a built-in bathtub or on a camping trip."

Unfortunately, the biggest downside of the XTEND is that it's not yet available for purchase. Deuschl is currently in the process of looking for a producer to help her bring it to the mass market. We have our fingers crossed that she'll find the right partner soon so that we can dip our toes in it ASAP.


2. Fold-up Slide


If you desperately want a slide in your house, there is good news— there's a quirky new contraption that turns stairs into an indoor slide. SlideRider, currently in the prototype stage, consists of multiple folding mats that can be laid over angular steps to create a smooth surface. The final mat is cushioned for a soft landing, and there are foldout "safety rails" to ensure children don't bump into banisters.

SlideRider is the brainchild of Trisha Cleveland from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She submitted her idea to Quirky.com and is now waiting to see if it will be picked up by developers. If it is, she envisions it will retail between $45 and $95.


3. The Swiss Army Bike Is The Perfect Tool For Getting Around

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Swiss army knives pack a lot of useful tools into a small package. They’re small enough to fit in your pocket, but you can use them as a knife, a screw driver, a bottle opener, a saw, and a flashlight. The Swiss Army Bike is built on the same basic principal as the swiss army knife – it’s functional, and it folds up to become compact and easy to store. This electric bike will get you where you’re going, and once you get there, it’ll fold up for convenient storage. Get your preorder in now – when these go up for sale, we imagine they’ll sell quick.


4. A Portable, Folding Napkin Table

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Michael Jan, an industrial design graduate from Tunghai University in Taiwan, developed this clever pinicking accessory. It's a table that stretches between the necks of two people. It has cupholders and a flat surface for plates. There's a bib at the each neck to serve as napkins.


5. Das Moebel for Kids

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A new baby is a commitment for life, but unfortunately they don't stay small for too long. Who wouldn't want a foldable bassinet that converts into a toybox? What a great multifunctional use of materials.


6. Collapsible Transportation

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NYC designer Jin-Seok Hwang has created the unique concept of a folding skateboard.

This collapsible board is probably not meant for the daily hardcore skater, but it is extremely portable as you can just stick it into your backpack. Although the Foldable Skate Deck Concept looks cool and is highly efficient, the centre hinge looks like it will snap at any second!

Implications - In today's society, many people are expected to carry around their belongings with them at all times. Cell phones and laptops have become extremely portable, and now other items are following in technology's footprints. Businesses that make their items easily portable, like the featured skateboard, will fit the needs of busy people who are always on the go.


7. FOLD-OUT FAUCET

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You can mistake the Flat-Fold to be a high-tech mirror thang in the bathroom or even a cabinet; but a faucet…most definitely not! The tap fits flush with the base of this discreet wall mount and comes with digital technology, plus a capacitive touch sensitive panel. So basically you can personalize the flow of the water and have it set to taste.

The Flat-Fold is a Reece Bathroom Innovation Award Finalist.

Designer: Min Kong


8. Cardboard Furniture Unfolds Like a Pop-Up Book

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Liddy Scheffknecht and Armin B. Wagner's collapsible designs would make move-in day a breeze.

Watching these life-sized pop-up desks spring into existence is extremely satisfying. The cardboard furniture sets designed by Liddy Scheffknecht and Armin B. Wagner can be opened and closed like a book offering up a makeshift office or dining room nearly anywhere with ample square footage.


9. Picture Table by Ivy Design.

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Ivy Design

Ivy Design is a design company which specializes in furniture design and cult objects for homes, kitchens, dining rooms, furniture for children and offices.

Picture table as its name says, is a table design which can be used as a frame for picture while it’s not used as a table and perfect solution for saving space in small interior.  It’s a classic example of two in one furniture design. Black colour and clean lines of the table while it’s used as a picture frame adds simplicity and elegancy to interior space . Black and white images are a great company for black frames and together look very stylish. It’s a great way of exhibiting piece of art.  The table is attached to the wall with metal supports . Magnets help to keep the legs in place.  The materials which this piece is made of are beech and balsa wood, plexi glass and stainless steel.  The dimensions of the table are :130x85x78cm with the weight of 20kg, Around the table can seat 5 guests. The company also makes A mirror table.


10. Folding Barbecue Grill – Wall Mounted Grills by Focus

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If you thought you’d have to choose between backyard room to play and room to grill, this may be your favorite invention yet – a folding barbecue grill. These wall mounted grills by Focus-Creation conveniently fold down when you’re entertaining a group (or are just entertaining the thought of a mouth-watering meal!) and they fold up when not in use. And the steel firebowl looks great whether in the open or closed position. Another great thing about this wall-mounted grill is it can be mounted at any height, ideal for those with special needs. This is a great gadget if your yard is small but sweet, and ditto for balconies and small decks and awkwardly shaped spaces. Now anyone can barbecue to their heart’s content! For more information visit Focus.

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