Controliss Blinds News

  • Spotify goes off with a Bang

    Posted on 28th November 2013 by Ben.

    Beoplay A9 AirPlay Music System

    Bang & Olufsen, maker of high-end entertainment systems, has recently set its sights on producing great sounding, interesting looking speakers for a younger, hipper market. The BeoPlay brand focuses more on cool headphones and music on the go than turning your living room into a cathedral of sound but is ahead of the game when it comes to connectivity.

    Beoplay A9

    The new A9 speaker looks a bit like a satellite dish thanks to Bang and Olufsen’s trademark minimalist styling. It’s almost a work of art, which is just as well since you can have it freestanding or hanging on the wall. Plus it comes with a couple of neat tricks. The first is called Magic Touch, which allows you to raise and lower the volume simply by sweeping your hand across the top edge of the speaker. The second, hidden within, is the ability to connect to your Premium Spotify account and stream your music direct from the cloud while you control it via the ubiquitous app. It promises to be so easy to use you could almost forget the £1,699 price tag. Find out more:

    This Post was posted in Audio Visual and was tagged with Bang & Olufsen, beoplay, speaker, spotify

  • 3D printing from your desktop

    Posted on 22nd November 2013 by Ben.

    Windows 3d Builder

    The fashion for 3D printing has been growing significantly in the past couple of years with the technology behind it becoming compact enough to fit into the average home. The idea of downloading and printing out objects from the internet is now a reality and set to become common place in the next few years. At the moment you’ll find 3D printers in some specialist businesses while a handful of entrepreneurial ‘copy stores’ are opening on high streets across the globe. But now Microsoft has released a 3D printing app for Windows 8.1 meaning you can design and print your own objects at home. The free 3D Builder app comes with a library of pre-defined objects and shapes, which can be easily combined and changed to produce new objects. The best thing is you don’t need a degree in CAD to use it although access to a 3D printer would be helpful. Find out more: 3D Builder app for Windows

    This Post was posted in Technology and was tagged with 3d, app, microsoft, printing

  • The corkscrew wine cellar

    Posted on 18th November 2013 by Andy.

    Spiral Cellars Wine Cellar

    This being the 21st Century you don’t find many modern homes being built with their own wine cellar. But you can always add your own. The Spiral Cellar is a neat cylinder design that is a compact and striking way of adding room for up to 1,870 bottles of your favourite tipples.

    Resembling a nuclear missile silo the cellar is watertight and can be accessed via an easy to operate trapdoor. So you could either hide it away like your own personal panic room or make a feature of it with a glass hatch. All you need is somewhere to dig and the best part of £30k.

    Get a Spiral Cellar of your own:

    This Post was posted in Home & Garden and was tagged with cellar, room, wine

  • Balls to bathtime

    Posted on 14th November 2013 by Andy.

    Alexander Zhukovsky Bathsphere

    The bathroom was once an afterthought in many houses, something that has been seen as somewhere purely functional rather than something aesthetically pleasing. That has changed in the last 20 years as interior designers have challenged, not only the size and shape of traditional bathroom furniture, but even where it is located in the home. The bathroom has since become a byword for indulgence and many new concepts now reflect that. Take Alexander Zhukovsky’s concept for the Bathsphere for example. Not only does his crystal clear, suspended glass sphere take the humble bath and place it centre stage, but by making it entirely transparent removes pretty much any barriers (and privacy) between two spaces. Promising a haven of tranquillity accompanied by a sense of weightlessness the idea is beautifully simple. Water is pumped in through the top, allowing it to double as a shower, and drained from the bottom. Amazing to look at and sculptural in appearance it would be great to think that you could get in an out as elegantly as the execution of the idea. Somtething, along with how you’re supposed to clean it, that will only become apparent should Zhukovsky put it into production. Find out more:

    This Post was posted in Home & Garden and was tagged with bathroom, bathsphere, blinds, controliss

  • 5 smart pieces of space saving furniture

    Posted on 8th November 2013 by Andy.

    Controliss electric blinds are compact and neat, which makes them ideal for apartments or rooms where space is limited. Urban living in particular is changing the way we live and so smart, space-saving ideas are helping redefine living spaces for city dwellers. These are just some of latest ideas: The Circle kitchen The Original Circle Kitchen takes a conventional kitchen and redesigns it as an all-in-one appliance. It can be easily relocated and behaves in the same way as a carousel, letting you revolve the kitchen to get to the appliances and cupboards that you need. The bottom unit revolves 180 degrees, while the top revolves a complete 360. It comes in a variety of configurations and can include a sink, hob, oven, fridge and dishwasher, as well as cupboards and shelves. It has the added bonus that once you’ve finished with it you can shut the doors and forget about the washing up.

    Original Circular kitchen

    Aquarium sink Keeping pets in a small apartment can be a real problem, but this clever aquarium bathroom sink makes the most of the smallest room to create a real talking point. It also gives you the added illusion of washing your face in a fish tank, which may put some people off, although the glass tank can also house a small zen garden to help you find inner-peace.


    Pull-Down Bunk Beds The Pull-Down Bunk Bed by Italian designer Giulio Manzoni clearly takes its inspiration from the fold-down beds in the sleeper cars of European trains. A great way to free up floor space in the smallest of rooms, it also gives you additional, compact guest beds should the need ever arise.

    Giulio Manzoni Bunk-Beds

    The Open Book Library Chair Originally designed for a Grade II listed property that didn’t allow for book shelves to be installed, the OpenBook is essentially a bookshelf/magazine rack/armchair hybrid that provides a simple yet comfortable retreat where you can get stuck into a good book.

    StudioTilt OpenBook Chair

    The Living Cube The Living Cube by Till Konneker is designed to create storage and shelf space for small studio apartments. It’s essentially a TARDIS-like box that is part entertainment centre room and part walk-in wardrobe, topped off with a bunk bed. For something so compact it has plenty of room to keep all your stuff and keep your apartment tidy.

    ILLDesigns Living Cube

    This Post was posted in Home & Garden and was tagged with design, furniture, home, living, space

  • The smart scales that keep you fit

    Posted on 7th November 2013 by Andy.


    There are plenty of apps and tech designed to keep track on your health and fitness. But few that connect up all the data to help you get and stay fit. The Libra scales from Runtastic take one-step closer to a joined tech solution by measuring a lot more than just your weight. It also provides you with body fat measurements, body mass index, bone mass, muscle mass, calorie calculation and body water content. Data that is collected via a Bluetooth based sensor. By generating such detailed body metrics the Libra allows you to review and analyse the data and set yourself realistic health goals. Naturally it comes with an app that syncs with the scales to help you monitor your data on the go as well as syncing with the Runtastic website. As this kind of tech gets smarter it’s only a matter of time before your scales and your fridge start talking to each other to keep your diet on the straight and narrow, or to tell your treadmill to give you an extra hard workout. Find out more: Runtastic Libra Scales

    This Post was posted in Smart Home and was tagged with libra, runtastic, tech

  • Banksy’s New York art show

    Posted on 31st October 2013 by Andy.

    Banksy NY

    In New York October has been all about Banksy. The mysterious street artist from Bristol staged a month-long residency in the city entitled ‘Better Out than In’, which has seen him reveal a new work every day of the month. But to say his art has been met with a mixed response would be an understatement. Despite being condemned by Mayor Bloomberg and reportedly targeted by the NYPD it is actually aggrieved graffiti artists and property owners that have been Banksy’s biggest headaches. The result has seen many examples of his work, valued at around £20,000 each, be defaced, cleaned off or removed for sale within hours of them being revealed.

    On the plus side many of the artworks have also drawn big crowds to areas of the city not often associated with the typical tourist trail and significantly raised the artist’s profile in the US. Among many examples of street art his stand out New York work have been installation pieces. These included an abattoir truck circling the Meat Packing District containing stuffed toy animals and a Grim Reaper wildly riding a dodgem car to the tune of Blue Oyster Cult’s ‘Don’t Fear the Reaper’. But perhaps the biggest surprise of his residency came earlier in the month when Banksy set up a stall selling genuine, signed canvases of his work for $60 each. Throughout the day only five people actually bought pictures, including one man who bought four pictures to help decorate his new apartment. For just $240 he managed to walk away with over $80,000 worth of art. Find out more about Banksy’s New York residency here:

    This Post was posted in General Posts and was tagged with art, banksy, New York

  • One button to rule them all

    Posted on 26th October 2013 by Andy.


    Having remote controlled blinds is a great way to shut out the hectic outside world just with the flip of a switch. But with so many electronic devices in our lives that offer so many distractions and interruptions it can be almost impossible to completely disconnect. Emails and phone calls can still intrude while you try and relax or need to focus on a particular job. It's this very modern problem that a new Kickstarter project from CanFocus is trying to address. The MyFocus button is simply a single button that puts all your electronic distractions on hold instantly. Buying you time to yourself or to finish that big project. So all your emails, phone calls, text messages and instant messages are put on hold, only to be released when you press the button again. As an added bonus the button switches from a placid green to an angry red colour so that your co-workers and friends know not to disturb you. Plus there's an app for iPhone and Android to go with it.

    Although it's still in its prototype phase the people behind the project are optimistic that they'll be able to go into production soon. Head over to their Kickstarter page to find out more.

    This Post was posted in Home Office and was tagged with CanFocus, kickstarter, MyFocus, project

  • Finally, a smart smoke detector

    Posted on 24th October 2013 by Andy.


    It seems strange to think that very little has been done to move the design of household smoke alarms along from their original form while other household technology has evolved. The Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm from Nest sets about changing that by updating the usual features and building in extra functionality to create a smarter alarm. The creation of iPod designer Tony Fadell, the Protect does away with the annoying false alarms to which conventional fire alarms are prone. It can alert you via text message, app or internet, about potential and low-level threats, offering a spoken warning first before going into a full blown alarm mode.

    It boasts a battery life of up to seven years, can work in conjunction with other Protects to isolate where a threat is in your home and also acts as a night light when it detects motion in a darkened room. It is designed to give the home owner greater confidence in their fire alarm, reducing the number of instances of it 'crying wolf'. So next time you burn the toast you won't wake the neighbours. The Protect from Nest is now available for £109. Find out more at

    This Post was posted in Smart Home and was tagged with alarm, home, nest, protect, smoke

  • Conran has designs on the future of 3D

    Posted on 22nd October 2013 by Andy.

    Beagle-Holo Forget about your brand new 3D TV, that’s yesterday’s news. A new 3D experience is on its way and it’s straight out of science fiction movies. Designer Terence Conran has teamed up with innovation company Beagle to develop a holographic device called the Holo. It promises to turn everyday objects and people into holographic images that can be viewed in 360 degrees. Intended as a sales or presentation tool it also allows you to interact with the image through simple hand gestures - effectively letting you turn an object round to view it from other angles. The diamond-shaped device uses Samsung hardware to produce a phenomenon known as Pepper’s Ghost. It is a 400-year-old theatre illusion that is used to make people appear and disappear on stage, and was recently used to ‘resurrect’ the rapper Tupac Shakur at a concert. It is commercially available now, but don’t expect one in your living room just yet as Beagle are targeting high-end brands, conferences and exhibitions. Find out more:

    This Post was posted in Technology and was tagged with 3d, beagle, device, holo, holographic

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