Products with just one function are so passe. In 2014, phones are also cameras and bracelets are also sleep trackers. Multifunctional products can save users space and money–why have three bulky things when you could lump them into one sleek thing? What follows is a guide to ten highly original multifunctional products we came across in 2014–a bicycle saddle that doubles as a bike lock, a colander that doubles as a bowl, and more. Their transformational abilities make us feel like stunned little kids watching magic tricks.
Created by Danish designer Ole Jensen, the Two-Sided Colander is almost like a shell chair for your salads and spaghetti. One side of the colander drains, while the other operates as a serving bowl. Wash and drain your food on the perforated side, and then flip the colander up to allow it to collect in the bowl section. It’s available from the MoMA Design Store for $40 here.
Moleskine’s Livescribe Notebook ($30) appears at first to be a typical, tactile Moleksine. Except, when you write on it with a $150 Livescribe smartpen (a pen known for turning written, paper notes into typed, digital transcripts), your doodles and brainstorms are not only automatically backed up to an app, they’re also infused with the conveniences of digital-native technologies. Order the Livescribe here.
Adobe Ink & Slide are designed to be used with the iPad to make sketching and drawing more natural. Adobe Ink is a lightweight pressure-sensitive pen built using Adonit Pixelpoint technology, and Adobe Slide is a digital ruler that lets you perfectly draw any shape you want on your iPad–straight lines, triangles, circles, squares. Each works through capacitive touch technology–the same premise that allows your fingers to activate the iPad’s screen. To enhance functionality, the pen and ruler also connect to your iPad via Bluetooth. Get Ink & Slide here for $199.99.
Sitting all day is bad for you. Standing desks offer a solution, but they’re usually pretty pricey. StandDesk is a cheaper solution. The basic model, which has a simple automated system to raise and lower the desk at the touch of a button, starts at less than $400. Not quite as cheap as a cardboard desk, but not $1,600 either. Get it here for $399.
Seatylock looks deceptively like a normal bicycle saddle, but a three-foot steel chain lock folds into it. When you take the seat off its post, the lock comes out, and it takes 30 seconds to secure your bike frame and seat to any pole or fixed object. This means that, unlike most bike locks, it’s not a pain to transport and can’t be forgotten at home. A universal adaptor means it’s compatible with any standard bike–it’s as easy as replacing your bike saddle–and can adjust to your preferred seat position. And it will be available in a range of colors for cyclists who like to turn their rides into fashion statements. Pre-order it here for $90.
Norwegian company Stokke tapped Oslo-based design group Permafrost to develop Stokke Steps, an all-in-one bouncer seat and highchair. Think of it as the transformer of baby products. Its height is adjustable, so as your baby grows, it does too. Get Stokke Steps here for $279.
The Strauss Bubble Bar is both a water filtration system and an at-home seltzer maker. It can filter, carbonate, and heat water for tea. It also cools drinking water to a palatable temperature. It’s hooked up to a water line to automatically feed in the H2O and the machinery inside pressurizes and cleans that water. Check out Strauss’s website for information about pricing.
Designed by Spanish and Mexican design studio LaSelva, the Loop, like most wall hooks, is made up of a small block of wood, a couple of screws, and a thin ribbon of metal or polypropylene. Installing it is about as simple as screwing a hook into a wall. But unlike most wall hooks, it’s equipped with a loop of ribbon that makes it infinitely adjustable. It can be manually lengthened and shortened–using a short loop, you can use it to hang a single umbrella on the wall, but with a longer loop, it could hang six coats at once.
In addition to possibly being the world’s most beautiful and sophisticated nightlight–with an ambient light sensor, a ring to adjust brightness, and the ability to set the hue to one of 16 million colors–the Leeo Smart Alert can protect your home when you’re away. It’s a plug-and-play accessory that will listen for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, alerting you and your emergency contacts if something goes wrong when you’re away from the house. To use it, just plug it into the wall, and connect it to your home Wi-Fi, setting it up through an iPhone or Android app. Get the Smart Alert here for $99.
The Vesper is a vibrator that doubles as a necklace. Designed by San Francisco-based Crave, the classy pendant vibrates when you press a button. It’s waterproof, USB-rechargable, and available in three colors including silver, rose, and 24-karat gold. You can even get your Vesper engraved with custom text: The vibrator’s makers suggest Charles Eames’s famous quote, “Take your pleasure seriously.” Get it here for $69.