How Nemo can head off a breakfast disaster

11th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

17 November 2004, FRANKFURT - Gulping down breakfast and trying to get out of the house in the morning is always one of the most stressful parts of the day - especially if you discover that the milk is off.

17 November 2004

FRANKFURT - Gulping down breakfast and trying to get out of the house in the morning is always one of the most stressful parts of the day - especially if you discover that the milk is off.

Well, those days could be over. In world of seemingly ever increasing applicances and gizmos, Berlin researchers have come up with a gadget that flashes and beeps at you from inside the fridge when the milk has gone off or the meat is bad.

Called "Nemo"after the 2003 Disney/Pixar movie "Finding Nemo", the gizmo is aimed at older people, who don't smell or see as well as they used to.

The idea is that you simply clip Nemo to the milk carton. Just before the sell-by date, Nemo flashes. Over the date, he yells.

"Our products are aimed at older people who need mechanical aids but expect first-class design," explained co-developer Karin Schmidt-Ruhland of Berlin's University of the Arts. Nemo does not actually sniff the milk. It works more like an alarm clock

The device was a centre-point of Frankfurt's Tendence Lifestyle fair, where 3,706 companies from 88 nations showed many items that may show up in gift and home-furnishing shops next year.

Kare Design was there with a range the Munich company calls "Ethno Punk": lamps that range from an inner-lit Buddha statue in psychedelic orange to a chandelier made of glittery acrylic glass.

Asked to pick an over-arching trend, Kerstin Maenner, the trade show spokeswoman, said "haptic" sensations - those coming from touch rather than appearance - were very dominant in 2004.

Examples included a carpet made of tiny pebbles that feels agreeable underfoot, an "organically formed" tray that feels agreeable when carried and bowls that are as kind to the hands as they are to what's inside.

A Dutch firm, Silly Gifts, was in Frankfurt with a mousepad that comes complete with a gel-filled cushion for the wrist. Other items from the Deventer-based company, such as lamps containing a pickled alien, lived up to its name.

Also sighted at the fair: Christmas decorations that suggest angels will be the predominant seasonal symbol in Europe this year.

They will also be available printed on T-shirts, shopping bags and placemats, and of course it will be de rigeur to have heavenly hosts of them on the Christmas tree.

"Santa Claus is out this year. It's all angels from where I can see," said Maenner.

The fair proves you can style practically anything. Giorgia Graziadei, a University of Bolzano student, was showing off the results of a project code-named Pappilan where 27 designers were asked to sculpt better biscuits.

One of the most interesting creations came from Lorenzo Damiani of Italy: a biscuit with a lip that hooks over the outside of a saucer.

If you accidentally slop a little tea or coffee into the centre of the saucer - as you might well do if Nemo suddenly beeps from the milk jug - Damiani's lip stops the biscuit getting soggy.

[Copyright DPA with Expatica]

Subject: German news 

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