Over the past couple of years, I’ve featured quite the eclectic bunch of gadgets, gizmos, and design concepts that have (mostly successfully) gone the Kickstarter crowdfunding route: “personal gardening assistants” for hydroponic gardens, magnet-based vertical gardening systems, reusable water bottles with corresponding iPhone apps, humanitarian hammocks, and more. Today, I’ve decided to feature a flashlight that’s seeking financial support on Kickstarter.

Yes, a flashlight.

Well, as the name of said flashlight, Trioh!, suggests, it’s much more than a handheld, battery-operated torch that you're liable to shove in a kitchen junk drawer and forget about after it's been buried beneath layers of takeout menus and miscellaneous forms of household detritus. In addition to being “the world’s most beautiful flashlight,” the Trioh! also acts as an attractive decorative accent light ideal for romantic dinners on the patio and as an emergency light for when the lights go out.

And stay out.

Greg Hinzmann, the award-winning Portland, Ore.-based industrial designer behind the Trioh! (Hinzmann boasts quite the CV with past clients including Nike, Dell, Whirlpool, and HP), explains the concept behind his invention:

If you’re like most people, you keep your flashlight hidden away. Maybe it’s in a drawer, or a toolbox, or under the bed. The Trioh! was born out of the thinking that if flashlights were simply more attractive, then they might be kept out in the open where they would be more accessible when you need them. Like when the power goes out.

Brilliant. I certainly can’t tell you where three out of four flashlights in my apartment are currently stashed (or if they have fresh batteries). And the timing certainly couldn’t be better for launching the Trioh! Kickstarter campaign. If the past couple of weeks have been of any indication, we’re in for a summer of wild weather with record-breaking heat (hello brownouts and rolling blackouts) and nasty storms (hello extended power outages and emergency situations). So yeah, if there was ever a time when a three-in-one flashlight/accent light/emergency light would come in most handy, now is it.

Composed on a sleek silver torch with a trio of powerful, long-lasting LEDs embedded into its head and a charging base, the Trioh! looks perfectly lovely when plugged-in and perched atop an entryway table, desktop, or kitchen counter. If you need to use it as flashlight, simply remove it from the base for over 12 hours of continuous use. After you're done, return it to the base to recharge the built-in lithium ion batteries. And during power outages, the Trioh! charging station automatically turns the lamp on and lasts up to three days in pulsing power failure mode. The beauty here is that you don't have to stumble around in the dark searching for a flashlight — it's already illuminated and waiting for you.

Given that this is a Kickstarter campaign and all, there are perks to helping Hinzmann reach his fundraising goal of $90,000 (so far, he’s a little over half way there with 39 days to go). For example, backers who pledge $69 or more can pre-order their very own Trioh! this November provided that the goal is met (each unit will retail for $79). Those who give $125 can either opt for two Trioh! or a limited-edition Trioh! in special Kickstarter-only colors. From there, the perks keep on increasing along with the pledge amounts. Those who are only able to contribute a few bucks will still be kept in the loops with updates, etc.

For more on Trioh! head over to Hinzmann’s Kickstarter page. Given all the wild weather as of late, do you think you’d be interested in supporting — and perhaps eventually buying — one of these bad boys?

Via [Core77], [Gizmag]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Trioh: A multi-tasking beacon in the dark
During a season marked by oppressive heat and damaging storms, comes a clever 3-in-1 flashlight/accent light/emergency light that aims to eliminate any fumbling