The suitably named Counter Computer™ features an aluminum casting that encloses a recycled 7-8” tablet (which you must provide) as its entire circuitry, and uses WiFi and Bluetooth to wirelessly drive remote speakers. The iLamp stays clear of precious counter space to bring the Internet to work areas cheaply.
iLamp designer Dwight Jones points out the challenge of kitchen installations.
“Counter space is tight, and past requirements like keyboards and bulky monitors ruled out placing a computer on them. The backsplashes and walls surrounding kitchen counters can’t reasonably have holes cut into them, so it’s not feasible to just screw the devices to the wall, and drill holes in ceramic tile or stainless steel. The power outlets are ugly enough with all the cables dangling from them, and today family members invade the kitchen in search of outlets to charge their cellphones and tablets, often using cheesy docking stations that just compound the chaos. The iLamp's flexibility addresses these issues.”
As an developer of interactive defibrillator enclosures, Jones realized that an intelligent enclosure lid that his firm Elevaed produced was itself compact and suitable, if it could be mounted on those counter walls. The iLamp design replaces fasteners with industrial mounting tape, for easy and non-destructive attachment to the walls, and its miniature cables are barely visible.
By incorporating the new dual USB outlets (which replace one of the 110V plugs with two 5W USB ports) the ugly “wall wart” adapters needed for cellphone charging were eliminated.
Sold as a kit, its modest cost provides a second life for tablets without generating another monthly bill. The iLamp is meant to become a trusted appliance just like its kitchen companions, bringing music and full-on Internet to places that have resisted it, while taking care of charging tasks as well.
“We’ll encourage the conversion of two outlets in any kitchen or work area,” says Jones “because you don’t want people taking down the (removable) enclosure every time they want to charge something. With a separate charging station, the iLamp has a speaker within easy range, and a ledge to display and run those tabs or cells from while they charge up.”
Listed on the project site Indiegogo , the Northwest spinoff firm is seeking funding to ramp up its patent-pending design, and for commissioning die casting molds to automate production.
The versatile iLamp indeed surmounts the kitchen’s barriers with a protective enclosure, a recycled tablet and an opportunistic design that conceals cables and outlets.
And its use of advanced duct tape would surely earn Red Green's approval.