Will Dean's Ideas Factory: The perfect cup of tea - get one while they're hot

 

One of the few icons of British life that didn't make it into Danny Boyle's joyous Olympic Opening Ceremony is the cup of tea.

But that's not to say that the humble cuppa can't get involved in this summer's Games. As you may have noticed if you've popped down to Victoria Park (where Boris found himself hanging yesterday) tea is playing a big role at the big outdoor events there.

In situ is the Universal Tea Machine, a Heath Robinson-esque contraption brought to life by a combination of the Mayor of London's office and a motley crew of architectural firms. The machine combines the feel of a pinball machine with simple binary computing, and allows thirsty punters – if they're smart enough – to compute a way to brew the perfect cup. The Universal Tea Machine requires users to make five sequential additions, covering cup, tea bag, hot water, milk and sugar, in order to create a combination that gives them the perfect brew. It's easier said than done: the machine pays tribute to the computing skills of Alan Turing and if you miss out part of the calculation you could end up with a rotten mug of hot milk.

Nobody wants that.

Of course Olympic restrictions have made life difficult, too. The wonderful Edible Geography blog, which interviewed one of the UTM's creators, revealed that none of the official Olympic suppliers could offer sugar cubes to go into the contraption.

Still, if there was a gold medal for pointless ingenuity, the UTM would be well in the running.

Read more: bit.ly/utniteamach

Is this the future of office chairs? Um, perhaps...

In offices around the world, staff squirm and wriggle in poorly adjusted chairs. Or maybe that's just me sitting badly. Either way, most of us would like to be as comfortable as possible.

An answer may come in the Limbic Intelligent Chair but whether it will catch on in human resources departments around the country might depend on how much Olympic fever catches on in the next 10 days. Indeed, the picture on the website of Inno-Motion, makers of the chair, shows a man in Lycra lifting weights as he sits on it.

The Limbic has no seat per se, but two movable shells which fit around your legs, allowing you to move any which way. So – probably to the annoyance of one's colleagues, you could bounce around; dance even, while making sure your month-ending payments all line up properly. Inno-Motion claims the chair also combines neuroscience with ergonomics, suggesting that the freedom to float around boosts your mood. We'll have to take their word for it. There's another catch, too. It costs £5,500.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £32,000 Uncapped

    £22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £10,000 Uncapped - Part Time

    £7500 - £10000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness chai...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

    COMPETITIVE: Guru Careers: A Marketing / Digital Marketing Executive (CRM, Eve...

    Recruitment Genius: Receptionist / Sales / Customer Service Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: The role is likely to be 4on 4 off, days and ...

    Day In a Page

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea