It’s a beautiful thing when a brand wants to encourage passionate, playful exploration. When Bentley invited us to join a fleet of their cars, Brian Gush - Head of Drivetrain and Motorsports, Robin Page - Head of Interior, a skeleton film crew, designer Cory Grosser, and former lead designer of Nokia/founder of Vertu - Frank Nuovo at Mister C in Beverly Hills, to just “be creative and play,” how could i resist? So we loaded up a bunch of new (and old) toys ~ and spent the day all over beverly hills and bel air playfully exploring these cars in new and inspiring ways… and while there is much to come from that… first things first!
At around 11am we ended up borrowing the Bentley Supersports Convertible ~ jetting back out to one of my favorite bluffs near home, and had fun playfully shooting it underneath the unbelievably bright moon and stars while overlooking pacific coast highway far below and the vast expanse of ocean and ~ it’s definitely different at night! Shawn managed to take some stunning shots of the car ~ and while he patiently took those, you can also see some of the silliness i ran around shooting in between on the next page! The car simply glows in the moonlight…
If you recall, i’ve been a bit research obsessed with mini-HD-action cams ~ and while i have a GoPro, the Contour+ was the one i was waiting for… First impression, i’m impressed with the Contour+ ~ nice packaging, solid chunk of hardware, and the 1080p video quality with GPS and bluetooth connection to both iphone and android devices as monitors are great (though a bit finicky to get connected at times) ~ while this and a few other toys just got acquired for some more playful projects coming up this week, wanted to take a moment to share the unboxing with you to get a first look at what’s included (and you know i’m a sucker for simple matte black boxes with crisp graphics) ~ so check it out on the next page, and more soon as i start playing with it more and comparing it to my GoPro… so far it already has me wishing my GoPro was more aerodynamic and had apps to let my phones be the preview monitor… anyhow, to the unbox on the next page!
p.s. Unboxing occurred while famished at lunch at Father’s Office.
When i wake up to an email that is like “Charging Glass? USB? I kind of want it.” and the link goes to a TOOTHBRUSH. I pop up in bed to pay attention. Sonicare’s new DiamondClean USB 5 mode rechargeable sonic toothbrush… beyond on the minor tweaks here and there that improve on my brushing… let’s talk accessories. How will any normal CUP compare to this magical charging GLASS? That yes, you can also use like a glass to rinse with. But more importantly, it looks nicer on your sink than having that charger for it to dock in to! More natural. What a nice user experience shift… also while on the go (or at your desk, or in your car, or when you forget your charger and just let it share with your ipad, etc) USB charging travel case! So its the accessories, and the laughable product shots with models that have me half awake and curious about this new toothbrush… or dreaming about how to convert my charger into a glass… see more pics on the next page!
Just launched today ~ Bluelounge MiniDock! This magical little contraption means you can now charge your Apple gadgets directly from the wall socket, saving counter/floor space and cables. Perfect for hotels, sitting in airport lounges, bedside charging… you name it! As usual with Bluelounge the product feels great in your hands, the details are perfectly simple ~ as the press kit cover says “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler,” quoting Albert Einstein. Take a peek at the unboxing as well as examples of it in use (and video!) on the next page!
Fresh in my inbox ~ my dad’s latest adventure seems to have landed him at Art Center for the new 2011 Pagani Huayra’s photoshoot on its way up to Pebble Beach ~ where all the stunning cars are migrating next week… from the sleek and agressive exterior styling i can’t stop staring at (and that COLOR!) ~ to the carbon fiber leaf like side mirrors ~ to the steampunk-retrofab interiors (the BUTTONS!) ~ and well, the Mercedes-AMG V-12 twin turbos and carbon fiber chasis and body… there is so much lustworthy loveliness to stare at, take a peek at his pics on the next page. Seriously, this seems like the hardest week to try to car shop with so many incredible launches and lustworthy cars passing through… enjoy the design details and sketches!
Love this Robo Mimicry from Shawn Sims + Karl Willis at CMU. There’s something magical about those huge robotic arms we always run into in manufacturing plants ~ big bright colors, mesmerizing to watch them assemble, paint, and do just about anything more powerful and precise than a human can… consistently… but there’s a lack of the fluidity and possibility within them… and since Shawn Sims showed me what initially looked like lightwriting pics on his iphone that were already visually mesmerizing… i was even more pulled in upon realizing they were 1) created by those awesome robotic arms 2) they were mimicking in z-space what a human had initially shown it through moving a hand around naturally… and using a Kinect as it’s eye…
The playful potential of taking the precise, programmable motions and actions of these robotic arms ~ and exploring their artistic and more “human” or organic motions ~ opens up a whole world of robotic lightwriting graffiti, painting, or a synchronized visual display (whether multiple robotic arms in one location, or across the globe) ~ the ability to explore ways that others may interact or control these robotic arms and have beautiful visual/motion captured results just send my head spinning with ideas… and perhaps that’s exactly why Shawn and i are teaming up for NOTlabs to see where else we can go with this space where art, technology, and culture are constantly overlapping… (While NOTlabs is in quiet incubation mode at the moment ~ feel free to follow us on Twitter as we figure out where we’re headed!) But for now… take a peek at the videos and images of the beautifully organic movements of the awesomely orange ABB4400 robot that is tucked away in CMU’s Digital Fabrication Lab as it fluidly dances and mimics with light on the next page!
On surprising Comic-con discoveries, i had a great chat with the LA based, PenGo. Their latest tablet apps for painting/drawing and their new Brush Pen with three swappable tips (thick, thin, and brush!) were available to demo before launch, and they are more impressive than any others i’ve played with! As you can see in the pic above, they’ve managed to create Wacom-like pressure based sensitivity in their latest version of their app which hasn’t been released yet. It was such a tease to get to play with their app and brush without being able to buy it yet! The ability to draw and doodle was incredibly fun! Take a peek at their newest product the Brush Pen on the next page… and keep an eye on their site for the official product launch!
So i already showed you the car accident mess i was in here. Sadly my car is totalled, but luckily i’m on the mend ~ and trying to figure out the next car and how to get better as fast as possible! On a separate note… friends and family checking out the accident pics noticed that i might have been hit by a 2012 Honda CR-V in stealth super secret prototype mode? (Bonus points to my dad and Acquire for noticing this!) And all the info and mysterious lack of data on the year/make/ of the car by the police/guy who hit me… and that he was from Ohio and may work for Honda… and checking out spyshots of the 2012 Honda CR-V the design and coverings seem to match really well… So it does seem to point to them being right? Did i really nearly get crushed in my car by a super stealth 2012 Honda CR-V?!?! See pics from the scene of the accident as well as spyshots for comparison on the next page!
Wow. So some of you may have heard on twitter and/or facebook that it’s been a rough few days, since i got in a car accident on Sunday. Sadly out of nowhere a car made a harsh left turn into me (when we were supposed to merge on to PCH) pushing me into stopped oncoming traffic. 4 car collision blocking PCH. Not fun. Airbag in my face upon impact, cops, firemen, and tow trucks on site in no time ~ neckbrace on ~ out of the car and on to a stretcher and into an ambulance and straight to the ER. Apparently it is just like the TV shows ~ the views of rolling by staring at the ambulance ceiling… and the hallways of hospitals from the room with the TV to the xray machines and back… Watched some of The World Is Not Enough from what seemed to be a James Bond marathon on Syfy while waiting. And i was lucky ~ really really lucky apparently ~ while my car is TOTALLED (poor poor car - see pics on the next page) ~ i managed to escape with a separated clavicle leaving my arm in a sling and neck pains that need icing/heating, and quite a bit of bruising everywhere the seatbelt makes contact. Hopefully, that’s all, but they do say things sometimes creep up on you as your body adjusts to the trauma?
Anyhow ~ it’s been a rough few days ~ and that’s why i’ve been pretty quiet. Dealing with the nice insurance guys ~ the collision guys who just shake their head when they see the state of my car and look in wonder at how i survived so unscathed… and starting to come to terms with the fact that my Toyota Highlander that took such good care of me the last 5 years is pretty much a goner (though, amazing how well it took such an impact and protected me!) needs replacing. So car shopping begins now? Ideas? And along the whole insane catastrophe, couldn’t help but to snap a few pics with the HTC Sensation - so take a peek of pics during, after, and the state of my car on the next page!
On awesome tech + hotel collaborations, latest one i’m loving is the Ace Hotel NY and Google teaming up to put Chromebooks in EVERY room and in the hands of lobby folks to experience them throughout their visits. Sure it’s great that they provide them for use both in and out of the hotel throughout your stay, but even cooler? The custom felt cases designed by Ace x Google that they come in! AND the Superfuture powered “Ace Hotel New York Field Guide” they’ve created as well! And bonus? “For guests, we’re laying out an extra gift: an Ace x Google designed notebook - with real paper - wearing a John Milton quote from 1634.” So whether you’re a guest staying at the Ace, or just hanging out for some Stumptown in the lobby - feel free to ask to borrow a Chromebook next time you’re in there! And take a peek at all the fun little details of this collab ~ all the details from the case to the guide are on the next page as experienced in one of the lovely Ace Hotel NY lofts!
The latest intervention by Kyle McDonald is causing quite a stir… with the Secret Service (and Apple?) - People Staring at Computers. It’s exactly what it sounds like ~ and not so different from what i’m seeing (and looking like) now as i co-work over vidchat. All of those moments when he or i are lost in our work or other windows, there’s that fixated stare that glazes over us all as the screens suck us in… As for Kyle’s project ~ the most interesting aspect is HOW and WHERE he got the images.
So if you happened to wander into an Apple store in NY last week, odds are you may have stumbled right into his exhibition. As you played with one of the machines, you might have a moment where the computer took your picture, showed it to you by fading your image in full screen, and the proceeded to show you those others than came before you. A selection of the pics were published to the People Staring at Computers tumblr, as well as a little video documenting the intervention/exhibition. While it clearly brings up issues of privacy and legality ~ i love the way it shifts our perspectives to see how computers see US ~ and it ain’t pretty. Are all our screens making us zombies? Apparently… So flip that camera on and perhaps start capturing what YOU look like when working/staring away unknowingly at your screens, it may surprise you! Check out the video and more info on the next page!
Toyota invited me tonight to Hatsune Miku’s Los Angeles concert. (It sold out in 2 hours?) Apparently it’s “her” first time outside of Asia and this j-pop 3D holograph superstar has been rumored to be like the next Gaga… how could i say no to this experience to see if vocaloids could take over?
Well, first impressions. I thought she was bigger. Rumors were floating around that she’d be 20ft tall! She was little asian girl sized it seemed. And she felt like a 3D holo-mime in a big screen/box on stage (particularly when she pounded her fists forwards). And things really looked best when you stared at the giant screens that perfectly captured/optimized her 3D look (aka, you might be better off watching the official vids of concerts online). Though i must say the crowd’s energy was something else ~ while everyone was seated (it felt as if we were watching her amazing band play behind a cartoon) ~ there was non stop high pitched screaming ~ and there weren’t nearly as many young girls as i would have expected in the audience. And everyone seemed to know exactly what to do with the glow sticks ~ waving them in sync with certain wrist actions at just the right moments. So, honestly, the hype had me hoping for more, but my curiosity about the tech and real life experience had me fascinated. Where this is heading is definitely curious ~ but Hatsune Miku definitely doesn’t have enough stage presence to pull me in quite yet… perhaps she should have interacted a bit more with humans during the dance numbers to really mix it all… her band members stayed in their respective spots all night. Take a peek at pics of how it felt to watch it in real life on the next page ~ as well as a vid from one of her other shows!
Almost exactly a month ago ~ i shared a peek into my insane days in Pittsburgh with the Toyota Ideas for Good teams ~ a combo of Toyota, Saatchi & Saatchi, Deeplocal, and CMU folks to name a few ~ making the ideas of winners to apply Toyota technologies to other purposes ~ all in the name of GOOD! The ambitious weekend of going from ideation to fully functioning prototypes was one of the most inspiring whirlwind trips i’ve had the pleasure of being pulled into.
So as a recap ~ what have you seen so far? The ROLLERCOASTER Deeplocal made from prius parts! Day 1 chaos! Adventures with the Firetruck! And if you recall ~ throughout the amazing experience, i found myself dancing around the various film crews doing their thing, constantly shuffling to stay out of shots while sneaking a few of my own, till i realized my shots were ultimately documenting their process! So finally, here it is… the awesome recap video to tie that weekend together that Slim Pictures did a great job on. And for a bit more silliness? More sneak peeks at the inspiring weekend… See it all on the next page…
Technology is AWESOME. I love that moment where it becomes SO easy for just about anyone to capture things we couldn’t even fathom/experience fully without it… like all these tiny everything-proofed action cams that are becoming more and more easily available and create incredible imagery/video ultimately reminding us how amazing humans are… or mounted to things like RC flying magines to create incredible aerial flyover vids of Venice Beach. Why tradeoff between living the action and capturing it on camera? With these Mini HD action cams, you can capture and even stream your activities live and in HD. There’s something for surfers, divers, cyclists, drivers, and just about any other use if you get creative! Whatever your activity, they make a mount for it and a housing tough enough to withstand it. So grab a cam, a mount and get out there! See some of our most enticing finds on the next page!