Excited to try out the new and improved Dyson Cool Desk Fan. Favorite details ~ it is far quieter than it’s predecessor! And there’s a remote (that magnetically attaches to the top of the desk fan like the floor models always had) - and a new super subtle digital display in the fan base, as well as a sleep timer! They also say it’s 75% quieter, and consumes 30% less power! Take a peek at the full unboxing on the next page!
I have to admit, it’s been terribly difficult (and also weirdly freeing) to be working on so many projects and doing so many things i CAN’T share on NOTCOT… yet! So of course, where i can, peeks at the process and inspiration and randomness encountered along the way sneak on to the NOTlabs Instagram. I’m currently sitting in the lab surrounded by excessive amounts of electronics parts and awaiting the arrival of more before it’s time to become our own little assembly line to build the ______ i can’t wait to share with you! Soon! I hope! It’s getting there…
I have been learning SO much the last few weeks. Random things like, outsourced 3D printing lead times are insanely slow (relative to my love of instant gratification). Chinese New Year WILL interfere with electronics orders coming from China - a few days turns into a few weeks. Some stores can’t ship more than 2 (if it has to fly - 12 if shipping ground) lithium ion batteries per package. And UPS will put your mountain of small boxes in a tied up plastic bag for delivery. Super tiny limit switches are hard to find. As are tiny, stumpy 4 way joystick buttons - especially if you want a click button in the center too. Just because there are 14,000 of something in stock, doesn’t mean it will stay there till the next day… and restocking may take weeks. Companies that use only paypal are not the best setup when international clients need to make massive payments on a credit card… so many limits and complications! Sparkfun’s red boxes make me smile every time they show up. And so much more i’m sure i’m not even remembering right now!
None the less, the craziness has barely begun ~ prototyping done, ordering in progress, awaiting all the parts, then comes days of soldering, assembly, etc… so take a peek at what we’ve got so far on the next page
On fun surprises, Simplethings has fun messages inside their pie boxes! The new Simplethings in Westwood just soft opened on saturday, and we popped by to check it out for lunch and brought some mini “cutie pies” home! Inside the tiny cutie pies box is “life is short. enjoy the simplethings.” and inside the simple pies box is “you make good decisions.” ~ ahhhh validation by pie box. Take a peek at the fun on the next page!
On fun surprises, the nice folks at Mophie just sent over their new Mophie Space Pack! And honestly, it’s kind of magical! As is expected from Mophie, it boosts your battery life ~ but now it’s also adding an additional 16GB to 32GB of storage! And by storage, i mean that more like an external harddrive or flash drive that both your computer and a compatible iPhone can read. It isn’t exactly letting your iPhone fill up and then automatically use the space on the Space Pack. Their Space App enable you to browse files, take photos straight to the Space Pack, listen to music and watch videos (with airplay!), airdrop files to other iphones, and more. It’s definitely an easy way to transfer photos from your computer to iPhone to then open in Instagram, etc.
In the past we shared our unboxing of the rugged Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro, which we still carry around to events, on trips, etc and use regularly. What i love about that one is that you can charge anything via USB and it’s easy to share. Similarly with the new Mophie Space Pack, as long as your friend/colleague/etc has a compatible iPhone and grabs the Space App, you can share both power and storage easily. In fact, i love that this sample came preloaded with all of the press photos and documents, far more efficient than additional print outs or another USB key! Take a peek at the unboxing and details of the Mophie Space Pack on the next page!
Oakley’s performance eyeware turned 30! And to celebrate and launch the beginning of even more fun in the next era of their company they threw a #DisruptiveByDesign party last night. In the goodie bags? These special edition Disruptive By Design Oakley Eyeshades. These are part of their Heritage Collection which “salutes the evolution of a revolution by bringing back vintage rarities for a limited time.” In the collection are Eyeshades, Razor Blades, and Frog Skins. And while these resemble the classic Eyeshades, they have been updated with an improved nose pad, and come with both curved and straight ear stems… and details like the 2014 inside the frame, and ‘Disruptive by Design’ etched into the bottom of the lens! The special Microclear bag for storage/cleaning has a special sketch of the original design on them, and the packaging and bag have fun retro Oakley logos. They also look pretty amazing on NOTpuppy, Bucky! Check out all the details on the next page…
I’ve been so intrigued by the Philips LED SlimStyle A Shape since we first posted it on NOTCOT.org, so when i saw them in person at Home Depot, i couldn’t resist! While they are certainly slim, they are far thicker than i imagined ~ but the plastic and lighting (both color and brightness) feel great. But my curiosity didn’t stop there, after testing it out in a few lights, i had to see what was inside! What allows for this unique design is the brilliant move of eliminating the large heat sink for this LED Bulb by spreading out the LEDs on the disk (and giving each its own tiny flat copper heat sink) ~ less weight, less space, less energy, and as far as i could tell, the lighting was comparable to the other incandescent bulbs around. All in all, i’m definitely tempted to replace more bulbs around the house with these ~ and they even work with dimmers! Take a peek on the next page for a closer look at the packaging and dissection.
Valentine’s day is around the corner, and the Kraken Rum just surprised us with a V-day card, adorably mini rum, and a black rose! For their Kraken vs Cupid campaign, the lucky folks in London have a chance to pick up a bouquet of black roses paired with a bottle of Kraken (vs champagne)! How do they do it? “The black roses for sale are created by placing dark red roses in vases filled with a Kraken’s ink in place of water. This ink is then transported up the stem, via the xylem, to the leaves and petals turning them black, a scientific process that will also be showcased in the space. For dramatic effect some of the flowers will also be turned black using special floristry dyes.” and they will be paired with “… Calendula Lily Eclips and Queen of the Night Tulips, both darkest purple in colour looking visually black to the human eye.” Take a peek at details of the gorgeously dark surprise we received on the next page! And if you’re in London, visit the Think Ink Florist on Feb 14th!
In the “wish someone told me this earlier” category ~ you should have 3D printing material test kits on hand before your client has to decide which to use! We’re currently crunched on time for a big project where we need to order a few hundred 3D prints sooner than later… and as we shop around various 3D printers, you forget how many types of materials and colors and options exist! Even if some places have the same materials/printers - they will all vary depending on whether they are dyeing or polishing them… you just can’t do big orders without getting test prints… and before even deciding which material(s) to test print in… samples of various materials are extremely helpful! Beyond simply how it looks and feels in real life - it’s great to test how flexible they are, how light shines through, how they dye, etc etc etc… And on a time crunch, i’m still getting used to how slow printing and shipping for projects can be ~ especially in this spoiled Amazon Prime world we are in…
So, I wanted to share these amazing Materials Sample Kits from Shapeways. They have three kits, the Color & Finish, Basic, and Metals, and each kit comes with samples on a 3D printed safety pin of sorts and coordinating trading cards with stats on each material as well as images of some prints using them. I also appreciate that they encourage people to explore and understand the various materials by including a $25 Shapeways credit with the basic kit, which ultimately sets you back $5 if you were planning on ordering something anyhow! While these kits don’t cover ALL of their materials, it’s a great start. Take a peek at the unboxing and details on the next page.
Happy Chinese New Year! As we celebrate the new year ~ and also start working on some hardware projects… fun fact i learned this week is that Chinese New Year not only shuts down a lot of businesses in asia, but if you’re trying to get things shipped or manufactured, this is a bad week to do it! So long story short, our order of Microduinos should have been made 24 hours before… and we could have had them NOW instead of a few weeks from now. Luckily, thanks to the power of the internet, the very nice folks at Microduino met up with us in person yesterday to get us a few modules to get the project going!
THEY ARE SO SMALL! Impressively small in fact… and stackable! While i can’t tell you what we’re working on (yet!) i had to share how adorably tiny they are! They are even open source and Arduino compatible. Microduino started on Kickstarter and were successfully funded back in October, and are steadily growing their module capabilities. Take a peek at them up close on the next page!
“I’ve started this post for months…” is how so many text documents that float on my desktop begin. And they are all essentially letters to you (the readers!) and me (to make me face things and admit them out loud?)… yet somehow i write and rewrite them, so this time it’s just going to go right up! Here we go!
Things have been quiet here on NOTCOT.com (but still filling NOTCOT.org and the others with inspiration constantly!) It’s going to be 9 years in March. Nine years! That feels like an eternity, yet I can’t imagine my life without the sites. I’ve said it time and time again, but it still holds true - “Having to find one thing that excites and inspires me daily has changed my life.” It has! It still does! It keeps me giddy and excited and thrilled and curious about what i’ll find tomorrow.
As for the quietness ~ when some of the once fun parts started to feel more like work than fun, (besides physically realizing i needed to slow down a smidge) i finally realized it was time to step back and reassess things. Reexamine. Refocus. Restart?
One of those restart bits was testing out “superposts” (the pages that look like these) as we’ve called them internally on NOTCOT.org. Instead of writing these posts on Movable Type (like this one! On my ancient blog design i have yet to redo in a while…) Dan wrote me some superpost code to try out so we could integrate full length posts into NOTCOT.org pages and post bigger pics and videos and more… and while i’ve been using it for some time, it was when i stopped doing features on NOTCOT.com (here!) to fully commit to trying out how those felt for a little bit. And it’s been fun! And they go up SO FAST! Big pictures + captions, but they sometimes feel lost amongst the sea of links over there, so i’m still hesitant to fully let go of this space. (Thoughts?)
Another fresh start has been NOTlabs ~ teaming up with Shawn Sims, we’ve been taking my background in interactive/product design/UX and years of NOTCOT (it’s amazing what becomes instinctual after more than a decade of looking at and tracking design inspiration of all sorts) and his background in architecture, tangible interaction design, automotive, and robotics ~ mixing them together, what emerges has been a fascinating, playful, curiosity driven learning experience the last 2 years. From silly laser cutter and 3d printing experiments of our own ~ to interactive installations for others ~ to inspiration filled presentations for design companies and agencies ~ to create toys for our puppy ~ building/growing/shaping things ~ and there’s so much more to come in 2014! It’s amazing how much FUN things are when driven by passion and curiosity.
So what’s next?
Here’s the latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw ~ in addition to her other Top Drawer finds, we LOVE these semi DIY cards that use Bare Conductive’s Electric Paint.
Here’s the latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw, who recently covered Top Drawer in London ~ and here are links to some of our features about it!
When Delta® reached out wanting us to experience their Economy Comfort™ seats, and figure out what’s #worthit, the first question was - where should we go? Well the perfect way to kick off 2014 was to find somewhere new and inspiring (and not too far) to take a quick trip - and Portland, OR came to mind. Just back from the madness of holiday travel, Shawn and I needed to properly unwind, relax, and explore, so we happily hopped up to Portland for 2 quick nights! The second question - when to go?!?! So after a bit of poking around the Delta site to figure out which types of planes fly where and what wasn’t fully booked up to get some decent seats (aka Economy Comfort™ and non-middles where possible!) we were set for Jan 6-8. Then came the research phase, as I oriented myself with Portland digitally (and asking friends for advice) this google map of dots emerged to help us figure out what to explore when wandering the city. Feel free to suggest more spots that can’t be missed on our next Portland adventure! Take a peek on the next page at some of our discoveries, as well as the stunning views out the window flying!