SaddleBaby: Your beast of burden...

My daughter is just about to hit the age where she'll be able to ride on Dada's shoulders, so this caught my eye: the SaddleBaby claims to make shoulder-riding "a safe & fun way to bond with your child!"  And you know, I'm sure it's a smooth ride. But if I have to schlep one more thing to strap to myself, adjust, clip in, tighten, insert tab A into slot B, ad nauseam, I'm gonna lose it. (Not that you weren't lifesavers at times, Bjorn and Ergo!) But this is one parenting activity that I'll be doing the old-fashioned way - if nothing else, the look on that guy's face in the photo has convinced me to steer clear!
[via Gizmodo]

Drinking Fountains Adapted to Water Bottles

We've already seen a water bottle that adapts to drinking fountains, but this one seen by Mark Hurst goes the other way around: an airport drinking fountain adapted into a water bottle refilling station. (This one's from Delta, which has impressed me recently with usable design.) It's an overdue solution, especially in airports where you can't bring your own water through security - just bring your empty reusable bottle and refill it, instead of supporting the scourge that is commercial bottled water. Refreshing in more ways than one!
[From, and photo credit to, Mark Hurst]

Fuut: While you work, your feet can relax!

If there's one thing wrong with most workspaces, it's that there's not enough hammock in'em. Fix that with Fuut, the hammock for your feet for your desk. This image alone sold me - and if that's not enough, it's adjustable for low ("work") and high ("rest") positions. Working barefoot is just a bonus!
[via Gizmodo]

Hotel Buttons: Good, bad, and ugly...

I recently stayed in a Marriott in Shanghai, where the light switches practically begged for some commentary. The good: text labels so I can actually tell what's going to happen when I flip a switch! The bad: it's still not natural mapping, which could have made it intuitive without resorting to labels. The ugly: the sticker on the Do Not Disturb button trying to tell you which way is on, but still not even being clear about it; plus, the "For Power Only" key card which defeats the power-saving function of using your actual room key. Still, I'll take this setup over Phoenix's mystery buttons!

In-Flight Interface: "Are we there yet?"

Fresh off of holiday flights with my 18-month-old daughter in tow, I'm especially appreciative of anything that made the experience better. So my thanks goes out to Delta for a superb in-flight entertainment system: not just the selection (Hannah enjoyed Ratatouille as seen above, among others), but the interface was helpful - even clever. Circled above is the critical info I kept wanting to know - the time to arrival - which popped up without having to stop the movie. We even noticed that when watching movies from the general selection, that red button is labeled "Flight Info" - but when watching kids' movies, it's "Are we there yet?" It was a little extra nugget of delight in a long flight that needed it!