Receptacle for the respectable

It wouldn't seem that much could be done to improve on the functionality of the lowly water dispenser -- all you need is a receptacle and a tap. Enter Kai House with the Adhoc product from their Kitchen Design Movement collection. It features both a paired-down design -- it's almost nothing but a stand -- and a stark sense of modernism that makes it an attractive addition to the kitchen. The advantage to owning an Adhoc is that it can be used with any PET bottle, so you're not limited to using a specialized container to supply the water. The only thing you'll really need to consider is whether you'll want to load your bottle as is or take the time to remove labels and go for that clear "au naturel" look. The Adhoc water dispenser sells for 8,000 yen and is available in either stainless steel or blue.

A tote bag is a tote bag, and it just needs to do one thing: hold your stuff. But the Store Bag Store (how's that for a name?) does one better, intelligently harnessing the Internet by incorporating into the bag's design a selection of QR bar codes -- those tiny crossword-like graphics that often appear on advertisements these days. The graphics, scannable by most mobile-phone cameras, provide info about the advertised products or, more frequently, direct your phone to a Web site. The QR bar codes on the Store Bag Store provide you with lists of recipes from a group of restaurants who have paid for space on the bag. The idea is to make you more creative when doing your grocery shopping, with the kind of spur-of-the-moment decision- making that the mobile Net encourages. Sure, you could probably do something similar by accessing various recipe Web sites on your phone, but the Store Bag Store automates the process. And besides, the bags look great!