Why make life complicated, when the simplest of designs can be even more effective?

Whether the weather is fine

Most internet of things smart objects are created to connect you to various networks and offer multiple functions to make life more convenient — even if at times in a slightly complicated manner. QM Weather, however, has been designed to do just one thing: tell you if it’s a good or bad day outside. With that single purpose, the focus is on design, which, like the device itself, is all about simplicity.

Supported in a plain wooden block, the QM Weather’s transparent screen has just four meteorological icons that glow according to information received from the online forecaster OpenWeatherMap. At a glance, you can tell if it’s sunny, cloudy, rainy or snowy, as well as roughly how warm, cold or wet it is, depending on the color gradation of the icons, which change from red to orange and then white to blue.

What makes QM Weather most attractive, though, is that there are four styles of icons to choose from, each designed by different companies. There’s QM Weather’s own set, inspired by pixels and created from tiny dots; Digital Habits’ striped linear graphics; Artless Inc.’s bold vector-like ones; and, the most unusual, Kyo-gen Inc.’s set based on Japanese motifs (pictured). Kyo-gen Inc. is a kamon (crest) design company and its striking circular symbols reflect a century of know-how in creating family and company emblems.

QM Weather works with an iPhone app (Android coming soon) and is priced at ¥14,040 at Tsutaya Books in Nakameguro and Futakotamagawa. Check the website for upcoming online sales.


The perfect brew, on the go

Small and light enough to slip into a passport case, the Tetra Drip portable coffee dripper is ideal for travelers who insist on a fresh brew of their favorite beans, no matter where they are. Its three metal sheets have sections cut out, giving it a sleek modern look and allowing them to slot together to create an inverted tetrahedon that supports conical coffee filters.

The shape ensures that they drip precisely in the center, so they can also be used for filling flasks and bottles, and the medium version (pours 1½ cups) weighs just 16 grams, while the large (3½ cups) is 26 grams.

When Shingo Numata of Munieq (Minimal Unique Equipment) originally designed the Tetra Drip, he had hoped to make it in titanium, but he couldn’t find a slim and rigid enough sheet version of the metal — so he settled on stainless steel. Now, however, he’s discovered a rare extra-strong titanium, which makes this new Tetra Drip 30 percent lighter than the steel version but just as compact at about 1 millimeter thick when dismantled and stacked.

A medium titanium Tetra Drip costs ¥8,640, while the large is ¥10,800. For the stainless steel prices, see the website.


For the house pet

If you want to give your pet a place to retreat but don’t have much spare space, then Rewire’s Paper Tubes House may be something to consider.

Made from MDF board, with cardboard tubes for the sides, this portable flat-pack kennel is designed to look like a miniature cottage. It even has a little cedar wood chimney detail. No glue or nails are involved — the structure is securely held together by a few straps and two sturdy rubber bands — so it’s easy to construct and disassemble when needed. As a pet house, it’s great for indoors, but since it also has legs to keep it off the ground it can also be used as a temporary outdoor kennel.

Priced at ¥29,700, the Paper Tubes House is 60×63×44 centimeters, so it’s best for small dogs or cats. It also shouldn’t be used in the rain. Contact Rewire for more information.


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