An Automatic Cocktail Maker and 9 Other Brilliant Gadgets From the Electrolux Design Lab 2012

By Jon Partridge on at

The Electrolux Design Lab 2012 competition has been in full swing for the last couple of months, pitting brilliant industrial design students and graduate designers against each other to come up with fantastic and innovative designs for consumer products. The competition has now been whittled down to the last 30 semi-finalists, so here's our 10 favourite from the weird and wonderful bunch.

Fridge Nose

Country: Lithuania
Designer: Vilius Dringelis
School: Vilnius Academy of Arts

I'm not sure about you, but I constantly find it a right pain in the neck to keep track of all my food in the fridge -- dealing with mouldy substances is just rank. The Fridge Nose utilises sensors placed inside your fridge and lets you know when food has expired or just how long it's got left to go. No more icky hairy food!


Country: United Kingdom/Romania
Designer: Julian Caraulani
School: Coventry University

While not the most conventional idea, the ability to make some music with my food is all too good to pass up. SmartPlate wirelessly connects to your smartphone and identifies food, to which it then attaches a musical note, harmony and rhythm matching each ingredient. Who said anything about playing with your food?


Country: Taiwan
Designer: Kuan-ting Ho
School: National Taipei University of Technology

We like drinks. Cocktails? Sure, why not. All you need is the right ingredients and the Hurricane will do the rest. Choose from some classic drink combos and the Hurricane will give you step-by-step directions for what you need to do to make ace tasting drinks for you and your friends. Then with one press of a button, the Hurricane mixes and pours the drink for you.


Country: Estonia
Designer: Markus Marks
School: Estonian Academy of Arts

If you're anything like me, you'll agree that ironing clothes is a massive pain in the backside. Enter Touch, which uses infrared light to smooth out your clothes even when you're wearing them. The ultimate in ironing laziness.


Country: United Kingdom/South Korea
Designer: Jongwoo Choi
School: Central Saint Martins

I am terrible at cooking and I need all the help I can get. Which is why the Ingresure sounds fantastic as it tells you how much extra salt, pepper or spice you need in your meal to make it taste extra nice.


Country: China
Designer: WenYao Cai
School: Guandong Industry Technical College of Chinia

Coffee is one of the best things in the morning, but sometimes it feels like it's far too much effort to get the kettle on. I'm of the variety that likes their coffee exactly the same each time, which is why Memory is quite appealing. Just place your hand on the sensor, and the machine will serve up the exact same cup of coffee just for you, time and time again.


Country: Lithuania
Designer: Barbora Adamonyte
School: Vilnius Academy of Art

Despite being called the SaltSpoon, it's not just limited to salt. This handy device dispenses out the perfect tablespoon each time, letting you get your cooking just right, or  adding a spoonful of whatever capsule ingredient you fancy. Simple, yet effective.


Country: Norway
Designer: Christian Bakkhaug
School: Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Everyone wants to save a bit of space now and then, and the SpacePan helps downsize the stove element of your kitchen. It's fairly portable, meaning you can place it straight onto the dinner table and let it keep your dinner hot, or even involve the whole family in the cooking process. Illuminated colour indicators let you know how hot things are getting so you're always in control, and it's small enough to let you cook where and when you want.

Cruet Salt & Pepper

Country: United Kingdom
Designer: Harry Hale
School: Nottingham Trent University

The Cruet is a bit of a unique little gizmo, comprising of your standard salt and pepper set but with a twist. The base acts as a speaker, which allows you to include some dinner time music from your smartphone with your meal. Perfect for setting the mood on your date, if you feel so inclined. And if you're feeling a bit cheeky, just roll the round shaker to your mate down the table. Who said dinner time couldn't be fun?

Smart Embossed Blender

Country: South Korea
Designer: HwaJin Ock
School: Changwon National University

If you like your food a specific consistency when blended, check out the Smart Embossed Blender. What it does is let you feel how smooth or rough ingredients are in the blender via the handle. Small embossed bumps change with the consistency of the ingredients, so you can stay in control of your food mush.

That's your lot for now, but you can check out the rest of the semi-finalists over at the Design Lab website, with the final hosted in Milan on October 25th. [Electrolux Design Lab]