Contest for all mod cons throws in the towel dryer

Leobardo Armenta's towel purifier and dryer (left) is one of six inventions in the final
Leobardo Armenta's towel purifier and dryer (left) is one of six inventions in the final
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DAMP bath towels tossed on teenagers’ bedroom floors could be a thing of the past with the invention of a self-drying and purifying hanger.

A Mexican student has come up with a smart towel hanger that cleans and dries used towels within seconds. Using ultra-violet rays and a high-speed dryer, the hanger eliminates 99.9 per cent of the bacteria in unwashed towels and reduces humidity caused by damp towels lying around.

The hanger, called Pure­Towel, is the work of student designer Leobardo Armenta. It is one of six entries to make the finals from 1,700 across the world in a competition to find the most innovative designs to improve household environments.

Romanian student Sorina Rasteanu’s “smart kitchenware” recreates tastes and smells of food – allowing the diner to believe they are eating a tasty but unhealthy treat while munching on a carrot stick.

By placing a transparent gel patch with a microchip on the user’s head, the plate and glass communicates wirelessly with their brain to allow them to experience a taste or smell they have known in the past.

Another finalist, Pan Wang, who is from China but studies in the UK, wants to revolutionise shopping by allowing householders to play a game via a hologram projected on to their kitchen wall. The food collected in the game is sent to a local shop, which delivers it.

Kovács Apor from Hungary created a machine which prints clothes from old plastic bottles.

The winner of the contest, run by appliance manufacturer Electrolux, will receive ¤5,000 (£3,965) and a six-month paid internship at an Electrolux global design centre. The designs were entered into one of three future home categories based around the “creating healthy homes”: culinary enjoyment, fabric care and air purification.

The final two designs include a device by Michal Pospiech from Poland, which filters air through a gadget which can fly around an entire city, and Fulden Dehneli from Turkey, whose Lotus air purifier uses “super plasma ion technology” to generate active hydrogen and oxygen ions, which eliminate biological contaminants and active oxygen in the air.

Lars Erikson, head of the Electrolux jury, said: “The finalists’ concepts are truly innovative and offer new ideas on how we might be living our lives in the future, whether it’s eating more healthily or being more sustainable.”

The winner will be chosen after presenting their concepts to a jury in Paris next month. The student whose concept receives the most public votes online will be named the winner of the People’s Choice Award and will receive ¤1,000.