Beloved by progressive designers and earth-conscious consumers, bamboo grows free from pesticides and fertilizers in low water conditions. Add to that construction-grade strength and a naturally gorgeous grain, and bamboo emerges as a top pick for sustainability and good design. Recently, the material has been making waves in the tech world, used to build everything from smartphones to keyboards. Below you'll find four creative new applications of the fibrous grass.
Determined to bring bamboo to smartphones, U.K. student Kieron-Scott Woodhouse designed a concept for a more sustainable Android device. His rendering was picked up by an entrepreneur, and they're now hoping the ADzero Bamboo Phone will reach the market by the close of 2012. Besides the gorgeous look and grippy texture, the ADzero contains the first-ever rear-facing ring flash camera, a setup favored by portrait photographers for a diffused glow. Check in with ADzero's Google+ page for updates on production.
The recently launched iZen Bamboo Keyboard is a wireless device composed of 92% bamboo. While Impecca has been creating bamboo keyboards for some time, iZen's model has the distinction of being the first bluetooth-enabled wireless bamboo keyboard, which makes it compatible with devices and desktops alike.
The keyboard is built to the same dimensions as an Apple keyboard, with a texture that feels great for typing. iZen also makes bamboo tablet stands, useful when typing out tablet correspondences on the keyboard. Head over to the Kickstarter page to pledge to iZen's next round of production, where $85 will secure an iZen keyboard.
While computer soft cases remain the standard, nothing beats the look and feel of an old-fashioned hard case. Lined with wool felt, Silva's Macbook case is hand-sanded and finished with oil and polyurethane for a glass-like finish, with a thick leather handle practical for the lightweight case. Silva also makes two cases for iPad and are working on new models to accommodate the MacBook Air and 17" MacBook Pro.
Fit for the new iPad, this case from Grove is molded to accommodate the tablet's subtle curves. A range of covers are equipped with magnets to both wake and put the tablet to sleep, and the fabric lies flat against the back of the case when open. Wrapping slightly around the back, the covers lend an an ergonomic element for carrying as well. Overall, the case stands out for crisp, clean lines, especially when paired with the texture of Grove's recently debuted wool cover.